Drug Detox – Process & Symptoms

How To Detox Your Body from Drugs

Recommended as the best and safest way to deal with withdrawal symptoms, medical drug detox protects your body and gives you the best chance of a swift recovery. You will be treated with specific medication depending on what drug you are addicted to and your own particular physical state.

What are the various stages of a drug detox programme?

After the last drug use, the first 36 to 48 hrs is the most difficult period of drug detox. This is when withdrawal symptoms are at their utmost. Attending a drug detox clinic will ensure that you are given medications to help offset withdrawal symptoms to a comfortable level. Staff at the clinic will ensure you are given full medical supervision during this time, helping ensure your needs are met at this testing time.

The initial stages

The first stage of drug detox treatment is always the most intense. During this time the patient will experience the vast majority of withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and irritability are commonly associated with some of the more “hard-core” drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Even if withdrawal symptoms aren’t dangerous, they can still make the life of the patient very miserable.

Typically, in a residential drug detox clinic, the most urgent needs of the patient are addressed in the first few hours after the treatment has begun. Once the most severe withdrawal symptoms have subsided, the patient will eventually stabilise over time.

Inpatient drug detox Treatment

If an individual requires around the clock medical supervision to help them through their treatment, it’s recommended they opt for inpatient treatment. Inpatient detoxification is highly recommended because patients will always have medical assistance on standby in the case of an emergency. The vast majority of drug detox programs are inpatient.

Outpatient drug detox Treatment

Outpatient treatment is rarely recommended and only used when the case of addiction is not very severe. With outpatient treatment, the patient does not have immediate access to medical assistance. You will experience powerful cravings, and having access to drugs while you tolerate cravings is often too tempting for the majority of drug users

Furthermore, individuals who opt for outpatient treatment have a higher likelihood of cancelling appointments and ultimately failing to complete the treatment due to chronic relapses. On the other hand, patients who undergo inpatient  treatment receive care round the clock, thus preventing them from relapsing

What are the most common methods of drug detox?

Cold-Turkey drug detox

This can be the most challenging method of drug detox because it relies upon the willpower of the patient. No medication is given to assist with a cold-turkey detox thus the patient must ride out the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms until they pass. For some drugs, cold-turkey detox can be torturous because withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks on end. Other drugs aren’t so dangerous and can be weathered just fine without the aid of medication.

Medicated detox

During a medicated detoxification, the patient is given medicine to combat any withdrawal effects they may experience. During the initial stages, you may be offered prescription drugs such as Buprenorphine to ease withdrawal symptoms. Primarily, medical personnel will be on standby to provide the medicine the patient needs to make them as comfortable as possible.

What happens during an opiates detox?

Most people undergoing a drug detox will do so because they are addicted to opiates. Medications such as Subutex (buprenorphine) are given to act as a partial opiate agonist. This allows your body to slowly taper off opiates without experiencing highly discomforting withdrawal symptoms.

Opioid and opiate addiction rewires the brain to think that they are naturally occurring, necessary substances. The longer someone uses opioid medications or illicit opiates, the more the drug is built up in their system, making detoxification all the more complicated. At-home detox and cold-turkey strategies are never safe because withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating at best and deadly at worst

How long should drug detox treatment last?

The length of a drug detox treatment varies from person to person but generally speaking, the treatment will continue until all withdrawal symptoms subside. This can be anything from 10, 14 and up to 24 days, and will depend entirely on the nature of your addiction and your personal progress during your stay.

Will a drug detox be sufficient for long-term recovery?

For the greatest majority of people, merely undergoing a drug detox will not be enough preparation for long-term recovery. Addiction is predominately a psychological disease. Drug detox is intended to treat the physical symptoms of addiction but will not address the underlying psychological reasons for addiction.

In order to address the mental aspect of drug addiction, it is advisable for a person to continue their treatment at a drug rehab clinic after their detoxification is complete. Clients typically spend an additional fortnight in a drug rehab clinic to undertake a period of rehabilitation. All the rehab clinics we recommend offer therapy and counselling sessions.

Therapy sessions you will receive during this time include:

  • Family therapy sessions
  • One-to-one therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Holistic therapies
  • Life skills and relapse prevention

What are the benefits of residential drug detox?

The benefits of undergoing residential treatment are numerous.

  • Medical care during treatment
  • Personalised detox and therapy plan
  • Psychiatric assistance
  • Aftercare & relapse prevention
  • Drug addiction education

If you struggle with drug addiction, you must never give up even if rehabilitation seems hopeless. Keep trying no matter how many times it takes. That’s the only way you’ll free yourself from the grips of drug addiction.

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