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Clifton Medical Detox (973) 396-1240

Medical detox is a crucial first step to recovery for a number of addictions. The focus of medical detox is to remove drugs or alcohol from the body and to monitor withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is the first step in breaking physical addiction to a substance so that treatment for psychological addiction can commence.

Find out more about medical detox treatment programs by calling Clifton Drug Rehab at (973) 396-1240.

What is Alcohol Drug Detox?

Alcohol drug detox is the term given to medically supervised detoxification from alcohol. Some patients may be given prescription medications to alleviate the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

It’s important that chronic alcoholics receive professional treatment in detox centers, as some withdrawal symptoms can be potentially life threatening. Depending on the level of tolerance and dependency the patient has developed, some rehab centers may use benzodiazepine medications, such as Valium or Ativan to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Drug detoxification is the process of removing toxins from drugs from the body. As the effects of the drug wear off, the process of breaking the body’s physical dependency can commence.

Detox should be done with proper medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe with many types of drug detox. Being in a rehab center reduces the risk of giving in to intense cravings during the withdrawal process. Inpatient detox treatments also remove the temptation to seek out more drugs or alcohol, which results in a higher success rate for breaking physical dependency.

Why is it Dangerous to Detox at Home?

The first hours and days of detox can be extremely intense. The addict is not only struggling with physical withdrawals from the substance, but also fighting with the psychological aspect of the addiction.

Once a person has become dependent on a substance, it’s possible to send the body into shock when exposure to that substance is stopped suddenly. Depending on the drug, sudden withdrawal can result in serious side effects, including:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Extreme depression
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration

It’s strongly advised that detoxing from any addictive substance be conducted under the supervision of a medical professional in a drug treatment facility. Drug detox needs to be carefully supervised. Some patients may require medication to help reduce the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

Types of Detox Programs

Inpatient detox is perhaps the most effective method of treatment, as it reduces the risk of relapse. Inpatient treatment in a residential rehab center offers correct medical care and supervision during the detox process and will often be coupled with addiction treatment programs that help to address underlying psychological issues or co-existing mental health issues.

Detox from opiates, such as heroin or prescription pain-killers, can often differ from treatments for other substances of abuse. Opiate detox may require the administration of medications such as methadone throughout the treatment process.

Alcohol detox can trigger serious side effects that can be life-threatening. It’s strongly advised that people with a high level of alcohol dependency seek treatment at a specialist rehab center.

Outpatient detox is rarely recommended. However, if a patient has financial or family responsibilities and must remain at work throughout the day, an outpatient detox program may be discussed.

Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Detox

The withdrawal symptoms associated with detox will vary, depending on the substance of abuse. Alcohol withdrawal can produce severe side effects that may require sedation with benzodiazepines in some instances.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms include severe abdominal cramping, intense cravings, extreme depression, anxiety, body aches and pains, diarrhea, runny nose, nausea and vomiting. Some rehab centers may use methadone to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Some heroin addicts may experience several weeks or even months of withdrawal symptoms if not properly treated during the detox phase.  Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) increases the risk of relapse if treatment, therapy and support are not present.

Withdrawal from OxyContin, or oxycodone, is very similar to heroin withdrawal. OxyContin is chemically almost identical to heroin and it’s equally as addictive. The withdrawal symptoms can also be just as awful as heroin withdrawal, which is why methadone is often used to treat OxyContin withdrawal.

Meth withdrawal doesn’t usually require a detox, as it’s not considered a drug that can cause physical addiction. However, meth can cause a strong psychological dependency that requires very different treatment during detox. Withdrawal from stimulant drugs, such as crystal meth or cocaine can cause severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

Other withdrawal symptoms include psychotic episodes, paranoia, anxiety, lethargy and excessive sleeping. It’s advised to seek professional treatment at a drug rehab center when withdrawing from meth.

Detox at Drug Treatment Centers

There are various medications that may be used during addiction treatment. The type of detox used will depend on the substance the patient is detoxing from and the severity of dependency.

Methadone and suboxone are often given to patients recovering from opiate addiction, including heroin and oxycodone. Naltrexone is also used to treat opioid dependence, but it may also be administered to treat alcohol dependence.

Antabuse disulfiram is often given to recovering alcoholics when they return home after treatment. Antabuse causes unpleasant side effects when it’s combined with alcohol, which acts as a deterrent to stop drinking. Acamprosate may also be prescribed to help stabilize brain chemistry that may have been affected by long-term alcohol abuse.

For patients detoxing from oxycodone, Neurontin may be prescribed to assist with withdrawal symptoms. Bupropion is commonly used to help treat nicotine addiction, but it may also be administered to treat symptoms of depression during detox.

How Does Detox Trigger Relapse without Treatment?

One of the primary triggers for relapse is trying to detox without proper treatment. Detoxing at home means the addict has a higher likelihood of giving in to intense cravings for more drugs. What’s more, detoxing from the substance of abuse doesn’t treat the psychological aspect of the addiction.

Seeking help from a residential treatment center offers supervision and monitoring throughout the detox process. Medical detox treatments available in a rehab center may also help to alleviate the worst withdrawal symptoms. Once the detox phase is complete, treatment programs can be arranged to address the psychological addiction and to treat any co-existing mental health issues that could trigger relapse.

Treatment is available whenever you are ready to seek it. Start today by calling Clifton Drug Rehab at (973) 396-1240.

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