An alcohol or drug medical detox is a medically supervised procedure for withdrawal from substances. Medical professionals administer prescribed medications to the substance abuser to eliminate any substances from the body. Withdrawal symptoms without medications can be painful and sometimes fatal. A medical detox keeps a person comfortable and medically safe in a controlled environment.
The process of reducing the levels of abused substances in the body relieves the serious withdrawal symptoms someone could experience if they abruptly stopped using. Alcohol and many commonly used illicit substances can cause serious health complications in withdrawal. Even death has been reported if withdrawal is not properly managed. Medical detoxification is safe and supervised in a medical setting with staff to monitor the person detoxing.
Detox eliminates the physical dependence, due to the abuse of drugs or alcohol, by eliminating them from the body. Medically assisted detox is the safest way to cleanse the body, by using other medications, to support the lowering levels of illicit substances as the body detoxes.
An alcohol detox program treats alcohol dependence by not drinking alcohol and using medications such as benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants. Since seizures and convulsions are a threat, these medications control these threats. Other medications also help stop further cravings for alcohol and relieve other co-existing disorder symptoms.
A drug detox depends on what drugs were abused and are physically present. A detox for opiates involves substitution of opioid medication to replace the opiates. Helping to reduce and relieve withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings using these types of medications also help prevent a relapse. Suboxone, Methadone, Naltrexone, Antabuse, Neurontin and Bupropion are some examples of these medications.
Home detoxifications are not recommended and are dangerous and can lead to death. With no medical care available for emergencies, detoxing at home puts the person at dire risk. Also, prescribed medications can only be given in a medical setting and not in a home detox.
Each substance has a unique set of withdrawal symptoms.
Doctors and nurses will administer treatment medication for the controlled management of withdrawal symptoms.
The recommended way to detox is in a residential drug treatment center. Medical supervision is important to ensure safety. Qualified medical staff can deal with any emergencies. What symptoms will manifest and how severe they will be are unpredictable factors in detox. Medical professionals can deal with these factors as the situations arise and keep a person safe.
Medically assisted detoxification isn't a standalone treatment and appropriate follow-up treatment is needed. A detox alone will lead to a relapse. Once the body is cleaned of illicit substances, counseling, therapy, nutrition and aftercare services are all needed to achieve sustained sobriety.
Residential treatment is the safest method for detoxing. Physical and mental health can be monitored around the clock by qualified medical staff. Medications will be administered to alleviate any uncomfortable symptoms and nutrition, which is usually lacking in addicted individuals, is given.