Is medical detox necessary for someone who is ready to quit drugs or alcohol? This is a common question asked by both the addict and his or her family and friends. Many people are curious whether or not someone can detox on his or her own, and if they choose to do it alone, is it safe? The truth is, some people attempt to detox on their own, however, this can be dangerous depending on what substance they are detoxing from, how long they used the substance for, their health status, and what types of symptoms they experience during the detoxification process.
Why to Choose Medical Detox vs. Going it Alone
Detoxification is a popular term in our society, but detoxing from addictive substances is different than doing a cleanse and/or food detox. Cleansing the body from drugs and alcohol is a very involved process and does come with its own set of risks and stages. For instance, detoxing from alcohol can cause a variety of side effects, some which could be life threatening. Withdrawal symptoms can begin as fast as two hours after the last drink was consumed, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe depending on the user’s history. Sudden cessation from alcohol can cause convulsions, hallucinations, heart issues and seizures in certain individuals. These types of detox symptoms should be taken seriously and highlight the need for someone to consider medical detox.
Medical detoxification at a rehabilitation or hospital-based detox center is one of the safest and most effective choices an addict can make when he or she is ready to beat addiction. Detox in many cases is a two-phase process and many key factors in these stages are not available to someone who decides to detox at home. For instance, during the first phase of detoxification, medical professionals are ready and able to administer medication and different therapies to prevent and stop side effects if someone is in a medical detox facility. These treatments can help with common detox side effects such as anxiety, insomnia, nausea, heart failure, hallucinations, delirium tremens, vomiting, shakiness and more.
Before the rehabilitation process begins at a detoxification facility, a full medical history is taken, along with a physical exam and blood tests to determine any health issues and/or nutritional deficiencies. Having this baseline and history allows for the attending physician and other medical personnel to make a personalized detox protocol for the addict. During the initial phase of detox, staff and physicians will work with the patient to reduce immediate withdrawal symptoms, prevent any complications from occurring and to begin the second phase – long-term counseling and therapy in order to prevent relapse. While some symptoms may still occur during the second phase of detox, these are typically not life threatening. Over many weeks and months, the addict’s body will begin to regulate itself and body systems will begin to function normally again.
Seeking Help for Addiction
Detox from drugs or alcohol can seem like a frightening route, especially for those thinking about going it alone. A medical detox facility has trained professionals who are caring, compassionate and have specific knowledge about the detox process. These facilities not only offer addicts a safe, calming place to detox, but they also can increase the success rate of someone completing the detox process and sticking on the road to recovery.
Once detoxification has been successful, other therapies are typically introduced to help prevent relapse. These might include one-on-one and group counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, 12-Step Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and more. Let Providence Drug Treatment Centers be your primary recovery resource. Just give us a call today at (401) 227-1688.