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What is Drug Detox?
Recovering from a drug addiction is not easy. It is a long, hard road often accompanied by many stumbling blocks. An individual wanting to break an addiction to drugs will benefit from undertaking steps to detoxify their system and get ‘clean’. Drug detox refers to this process.
What is a Drug Addict?
A person qualifies as an addict when he or she becomes dependent on drugs - taking drugs regularly and experiencing cravings for them despite the harmful effects. These drugs can be prescription medications and/or recreational drugs. Millions of people are successfully recovering from drug addiction today because they have received the right help, before it was too late. Rehabilitation and treatment are effective ways of learning how to stop abusing drugs. So, detoxification, often referred to as drug detox, is the first step in the drug rehabilitation process.
What is the Purpose of Drug Detox?
The primary objective of drug detox is to eliminate the toxins accumulated in the body as a result of using drugs. This is achieved through a process of detoxification. If these toxins are not removed, any drug residue left in the body will create addictive cravings for the drug again. Withdrawal is the term used to describe the body’s reaction (with physical and psychological symptoms) to the removal of any substance it has become dependent upon.
Symptoms of Withdrawl
When an individual goes through withdrawal, symptoms such as sweating, shaking, headaches, nausea, cravings, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, insomnia, confusion, agitation, depression, anxiety, or other behavioral changes may be experienced. The nature and severity of withdrawal symptoms varies dramatically depending on the type of drug or drugs used. In addition, the frequency of drug use also impacts on the withdrawal symptoms.
In today’s global culture it is less common to encounter people who use one drug exclusively. Often you will find that people use a combination of drugs – be it alcohol and prescription drugs or alcohol combined with cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, or crack cocaine.
How Drug Detox Can Help
Certain types of drugs such as opiates like heroin, methadone and prescription medication require a period of medical drug detox. There is a self induced, psychological dependence associated with these harmful substances, and a period of medical stabilization is generally recommended.
Treatment includes close monitoring of the person’s vital signs, medical support, emotional care and medication. Commonly used medications such as Klonepin reduce physical symptoms while anticonvulsant medication such as Buprenophex can also be used during drug detox. This period of medical detox usually lasts for 3-7 days.
These drugs may also be eliminated from the system by using the rapid detox process. This process is conducted under general anesthesia and is overseen by certified anesthesiologists and a staff specialized in this procedure. The patient is administered medications that accelerate the physical reactions to the rapid withdrawal process which can last from 4 to 6 hours, while under anesthesia.
This is becoming a quick method of drug rehabilitation. However, only once the detox process is completed may the individual participate in the educational and therapeutic process of rehabilitation and treatment.