Signs a Medical Detox Program May Be What Your Loved One Needs
Watching a loved one suffer from drug or alcohol addiction is devastating. If you have never struggled with addiction, it may seem easy enough to stop using. But because of the way these substances change the brain, it is very common for a person to be unable to stop on their own. Addiction is so powerful. Even if your loved one wants to stop using drugs or alcohol, they might be unable to do so without help. In fact, it may be dangerous for them to stop without help. That’s where medical detox comes into play.
What Is a Medical Detox for Substance Use Disorder?
A person with substance use disorder may benefit from a medical detox program. In detox, a person’s body learns how to function again without the use of drugs or alcohol present. During this transition, there could be physical, emotional, and mental complications and discomfort. In a medical detox, doctors ensure that a person remains safe throughout the process.
A medical detox may provide:
- Relief from painful withdrawal symptoms
- A gradual step-down process to protect the body and brain from detox complications
- Round-the-clock care by healthcare professionals who can intervene in case of emergency
- Nutritional supplements the body needs to rebuild from the damage created by addiction
- Assessment for underlying mental health disorders
- Management of any additional illness the body may undergo during detox
There’s much a medical detox program can offer, but at the heart of it is its ability to create a safe place for your loved one to stop using drugs and alcohol successfully.
Who Needs a Medical Detox?
The decision to enter into a detox program starts with an assessment performed by the medical team, therapists, and others. The goal here is to determine what type of drugs your loved one is using, how much they are using, and how long or severe their addiction is. Then, the team can determine what level of detox will be best for your loved one.
Your loved one may be a good candidate for medical detox in the following situations:
- They’ve used the drugs for a long time. When this is the case, the body and brain are likely dependent on the drugs, making it nearly impossible to stop using without intervention.
- They’re using high-risk drugs. Some drugs, including alcohol, can be very dangerous to quit cold turkey. Benzos for example, typically need a step-down approach in a controlled environment.
- They don’t have a safe, drug-free home. In some situations, a detox program may be beneficial because a person lacks a stable home life and may not be able to avoid coming into contact with the drug there.
- The withdrawal symptoms experienced are intense. Some drugs create very high-risk symptoms that need to be managed carefully by a medical professional. Drugs like cocaine and meth can create severe withdrawal symptoms.
- They’ve overdosed in the past. Because overdose can be life-threatening, a person should be in a medical detox program if they try to stop using these substances again. If they attempt to quit using drugs and relapse, they may take too much of the substance and be at risk for overdose. Chronic relapse can be dangerous.
- They have medical conditions that need monitoring. Some drug addictions lead to medical complications, including those related to the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Doctors can help stabilize the body as it weans itself of the toxic substances.
- They have an underlying mental health condition. The presence of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health disorders complicate addiction. However, it’s very common for people to have co-occurring disorders: a substance use disorder along with a mental health disorder. Both conditions can receive initial treatment in a detox program, allowing your loved one to work towards full recovery more effectively.
Medical Detox Can Provide You With the Tools for Recovery
A person who needs detox but doesn’t get it may be more likely to relapse in the future. They may struggle with a wide range of health conditions and relapse risks without the support they need. The long-term outlook for someone with untreated addiction is dismal.
Detox is an opportunity to start on the path to recovery in a safe place where your loved one will have ample support from medical professionals, therapists, and others. Take the time to reach out to our team today to learn more about medical detox options and how they can change your loved one’s future.
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