Your Guide to Medically Assisted Detox
Detoxification is a complex process that aims to remove the chemical drug from a person’s body.
To understand what a person goes through when undergoing detox, it’s important to recognize just how much drugs and alcohol change the physical makeup of an individual. When the body becomes accustomed to an addictive substance, eliminating it can produce a wide of physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.
Sometimes, the detoxification process in itself can be life-threatening. Yet, it becomes necessary to allow an individual to move towards recovery. Medically assisted detox is used to help promote a safe and comfortable recovery.
Why Alcohol and Drug Detox Is Dangerous
Detox can be one of the most challenging components of drug and alcohol rehab simply because of the physical and emotional demand it places on a person.
Common symptoms of alcohol or drug withdrawal include:
- Severe fatigue
- Anxiety and agitation
- Muscle pain
- Violence and aggression
- Injury or reckless behavior
- Flu-like symptoms
As you can see, these are quite intense symptoms. That is why detox should always be done in a treatment center specifically designed to provide support for an individual who is struggling.
What Is Medically Assisted Detox?
In a medically assisted detox program, the goal is quite simply to ensure a person is safe while they are going through withdrawal. Those drug and alcohol treatment centers capable of providing this type of detox will ensure a doctor or registered nurse is on hand at all times. This ensures medical help is available to assist immediately if there are complications.
What could happen? As noted, psychosis and violence are not uncommon. However, the detox process can also cause physical symptoms as the body adjusts to the lack of the drug’s presence. This can cause difficulty breathing, a racing or too slow heartbeat, and seizures. The type of drugs being abused and the extensiveness of the drug use can impact these types of life-threatening conditions. In a medically assisted detox program, you or your loved one have a professional available to treat any life-threatening symptoms. Safety is the top priority.
Will Medically Assisted Detox Programs Provide Drugs?
Many people think that within a medical detox program, the doctors prescribe or provide drugs to the patient to ease them through the process. No location will give a patient illegal drugs for any reason. However, doctors can prescribe and use medications designed to ease the symptoms a person feels.
For example, if an individual experiences heart-related problems as a result of the detox process, the doctors on hand have medications to provide immediate relief or treatment as appropriate. Medication is necessary to help with some withdrawal symptoms, but drugs are not used to prolong the treatment or to allow dependency to continue.
Also important is the nutritional support the doctors provide. The clinicians working in such programs will focus on providing the right balance of nutrients to help a patient to overcome the symptoms they feel and to encourage healing. Nutritional programs can be a key component of any detox process.
What About Tapering of Opioids?
Some drugs cannot be simply stopped. If you were to be given a prescription for opioid painkillers, for example, your doctor may tell you to take the drugs over a period of time with a taper at the end. Opioids are very commonly prescribed like this because of the way the body becomes dependent on them. Just stopping their use can lead to significant risks to health. In these situations, doctors will use medications to taper a person off of them safely.
Tapering is always done using medications approved for use–it never includes illegal drugs. The medications are given within a controlled environment and with the fastest, but safest approach to detox being the goal.
What Is Right for Your Loved One?
Whether you are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction or your loved one is, detox is a true first step. Yet, detox needs to be done in a safe environment. At Victory Addiction Recovery Center, we focus on providing clients with the tools necessary to safely detox in a medically assisted program. This ensures they receive the very best level of care while taking the first step towards recovery.
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