To break the cycle of drug or alcohol addiction, you must first conquer your physical dependence upon the substance. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines “detox” or “detoxification” as a process that lets the body rid itself of a substance as withdrawal symptoms are managed. NIDA acknowledges detox as being the first step in drug rehabilitation programs, which is then followed by behavioral therapy and medication if needed.
Methods of Detox
Detox means cleansing the system of the drugs that have been affecting the mind and the body which have been harmful to yourself and to those who care about you. It is imperative that the detoxification phase takes place before rehab begins in order to remove all traces of addictive substances from your body.
When the detox process is undergone, the body goes through a state of withdrawal that can cause certain symptoms, some of them painful or dangerous, depending upon the substance being cleansed and the length of time addiction has lasted.
There are basically two methods to undergo the detox process. These include medical detox and at-home detox.
Natural Detox at Home
At first glance, accomplishing or going through a natural detox process in your own home sounds like a good idea. The words “natural” and “at home” may be attractive to many who do not want to venture out to a clinic, rehab center or physician to rid themselves of substances when they feel it can be done in a more comfortable setting: their own home. However, there are quite a few good reasons why home detox is not the answer for most people seeking to achieve sobriety.
Home detox can be dangerous, especially if you decide to attempt the process on your own, without the support of friends and family. Performing detox at home by going “cold turkey” can be harmful and even deadly, most notably if you attempting to withdraw from alcohol, benzodiazepines or opiates.
The withdrawal symptoms during detox can include heart palpitations, seizures, hallucinations, delirium tremens (DTs), panic attacks, depression, confusion, insomnia, irritability and depersonalization. These are just a few examples, based upon different substances of abuse.
Without the support of medically trained assistants, an at-home detox procedure can be extremely uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally.
Another reason for not attempting at-home detox is that this type of detox does not usually have successful outcomes.
Without the additional support of cognitive behavioral therapy and medications to control withdrawal symptoms, many people give up or end up relapsing in the short term.
Because in-patient detox focuses on lessening the severity of withdrawal symptoms and on providing support to clients throughout the process, this method is preferred over at-home detox. With medical detox, patients overcome addiction by careful oversight of the detox process by medical professionals.
The symptoms of withdrawal that can be so discomforting are managed with medications at a high-quality in-patient facility such as Roots Through Recovery. Physicians can prescribe anti-anxiety medications to calm patients and treat tremors. Other medicines are available to help patients through detox, a few of which include:
- Suboxone for opioid addiction. It blocks opioid receptors that block pain.
- Naltrexone helps prevent the effects of opiates and decreases the desire for taking opioids; it also reduces the pleasure received from drinking
- Acamprosate reduces cravings for alcohol
- Disulfiram induces sick feelings in the abdomen when drinking
Medical detox is agreed upon by most doctors to be the most successful path to withdrawal and eventual lasting sobriety.
Rehab and detox facilities like Roots Through Recovery have programs that can help you combat addiction as well as any co-occurring conditions. Roots Through Recovery facility in Long Beach is easily accessible via South Bay, Catalina Island, and Orange County. Visit 3939 Atlantic Ave, Suite 102 Long Beach, CA 90807 or call (866) 766-8776.