When you enter a rehab center the very first step is detoxification.   This is the process the body goes through to rid itself of the drugs. The point is to let the physiological healing start by removing the toxins. This is an intense process best done with medical supervision.

There are several kinds of drug detox and one well known method our outpatient clinics that offer methadone for heroin addicts.  Outpatient clinics are not recommended and used as a last resort for financial reasons.   These are the other options available.

  • Inpatient detox- is a medically supervised detoxification process. The withdrawal process can be dangerous and medical supervision is highly advised.
  • Opiate detox- requires medication that has been FDA-approved this includes both heroin and prescription pain medication
  • Alcohol detox – Is well known to cause significant and dangerous withdrawal symptoms thus medical supervision and treatment is recommended
  • Psychological detox – is for detoxing from drugs like crystal meth and cocaine. These drugs don’t have as an intense physical withdrawal as other drugs but psychologically the withdrawal is harder often leading to acute depression and suicidal tendencies.

There are three methods of detox:

  • Cold turkey – this is where you stop using the drug without anything more than medical supervision in case of an emergency. Depending on the drug, it can be very mild or last for days and you will feel it all.
  • Short-term medical detox – is used for mild addictions and you only take medication as you need it. If you experience physical pain you will be offered non-narcotic pain medication and medical staff will be on hand to get your through the discomfort
  • Long-term medical detox – Is often left for heroin and opiate withdrawal as they take longer to wean the body from and the dose is lowered over time until there no longer is physical withdrawal symptoms

The symptoms of withdrawal will vary from person and to person and depends on the class of drugs used, the length of addiction, the dose of the drug being used and the co-existence of other physical or mental disorders. Common withdrawal symptoms regardless of drug used are:

  • Mood changes- irritability, agitation and swings
  • Sleep issues – most common is insomnia despite intense and profound fatigue
  • Physical – sweats, tremors, chills, headache, nausea and vomiting are all common
  • Craving- the desire to use the drug of choice is intense during the withdrawal period

Serious withdrawal symptoms, especially with alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines like Valium can cause seizures and hallucinations while withdrawal symptoms from stimulants can cause serious depression and suicidal ideation.

Again, medical detox is highly recommended as it can be much gentler and result in a better rate of recovery over the long run. It is not recommended to detox at home due to the dangers of withdrawal and possible fatal effects without medical supervision.

Addiction Hotline- Find Treatment Addiction Care Centers offers a complete medical detox program for any substance. We are committed to providing the gentlest means of detox possible for your health and overall wellbeing.

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