The process of quitting substances can be extremely difficult. When you leave or taper off a substance on which you have become dependent, your body usually begins to change. You may also encounter issues with reusing impulses. This is known as the withdrawal and detoxification process, also known as “detox.” The detox process cleanses the body of addictive chemicals, allowing patients to stabilize their physical and mental health before transitioning to either an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.
During detox, the patient prevents using the substance or substances to which they are addicted and gradually reduces their dose (known as tapering) under the doctor’s supervision. Most patients who are addicted to particularly strong substances, such as prescription Opioids or Benzodiazepines, are gradually weaned off the drug so that the body is not completely shocked. You should Keep in mind that everyone’s experience is unique. You should be aware of these facts in order to detox safely.
How Does the Detox Process Work?
The exact detox procedure will differ significantly between patients. Factors that influence detox include:
- Which substances the patient is addicted to
- How long the patient has been addicted
- The severity of the addiction
- Underlying mental health conditions
- Any additional medical problems
- Drug allergies
- Local laws
- Facility-specific policies and procedures
- Patient age
- The amount of support the patient has
- Motivation level
There are some broad similarities too. A typical detox process will follow these general stages:
Symptoms are usually mild in the first few hours. However, as the number of drugs in the body decreases, they break down quickly. They usually reach peak levels within a day or two. At this point, medication is not usually required, though it may be prescribed proactively. At this point, initial patient assessments are frequently performed.
The first few days of detox are the most stressful. This is when symptoms are at their most severe and are at their peak. All or most of the drugs have left the patient’s body at this point, rendering it unable to function properly. The symptoms that appear at this point are mostly caused by the body’s attempt to cope with the loss of the drugs. Relapse is common during this stage for many patients, as they struggle to cope with the cravings. Medication use is most common at this point, as it helps to greatly reduce the withdrawal symptoms that may occur. Patients are less likely to relapse if withdrawal symptoms are reduced. You will also see some other forms of treatment at this stage, depending on the patient’s condition and ability.
Detox usually lasts 5 to 14 days for most patients. By this time, the patient’s symptoms have subsided, and he or she may be ready to leave the detox facility. Depending on a variety of factors, treatment providers may recommend outpatient or inpatient rehab. Some patients may develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), in which certain withdrawal symptoms persist for up to a year, usually in a weakened form. As the mind and body begin to heal, detox medications are usually discontinued, and patients become much more involved in treatments like therapy and 12-step groups.
CO-OCCURRING CONDITIONS AND UNDERLYING MEDICAL ISSUES DURING DETOX:
Medical and mental health issues can worsen and complicate drug withdrawal symptoms. Because addiction causes behavioral and emotional symptoms, having other illnesses that trigger them can make diagnosis and treatment more difficult. If you have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as depression or anxiety, you must develop an appropriate treatment plan. Both disorders must be treated separately because they feed off of one another. Not treating one can worsen the other or lead to relapses.
Read Also: Detox from Alcohol and its benefits
Any physical problems or concerns you have will have an impact on how withdrawal symptoms arise. Allergies can affect the medication that should be used for detox, potentially intensifying withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms and treatment will be influenced by any prescription medication you’re taking. Medical detox is particularly important because of these factors. Your treatment plan will be created by medically trained professionals who will take into account your background and keep you safe during withdrawal.
Why Can’t I Detox on My Own?
There are two main reasons why detoxing without supervision is extremely dangerous. It’s risky, uncomfortable, and less productive, and it lowers the chances of the patient trying detox again.
Detox has a real risk attached to it. Some symptoms, such as hallucinations, can cause the patient to act in unpredictable and dangerous ways, putting him or her in danger. Seizures associated with delirium tremens, for example, can be fatal. Medical supervision keeps the patient safe by constantly monitoring their vital signs and symptoms. This can also help relieve the anxiety and panic that patients experience when they first start withdrawing. They may feel safer and less concerned about potential complications if they know their vitals are being closely monitored.
Detoxification can be a very painful and unpleasant experience. Medical supervision and intervention, such as the use of specific medications or specially designed equipment, can significantly reduce the severity of these negative consequences. The comfort associated with supervised detox benefits most patients greatly, both in their ability to get through withdrawal and in their mental state once they begin other treatments.
Do You or A Family Member Need Detox?
Alcoholism and substance abuse can have devastating consequences for addicts and their families. The torment caused by withdrawal symptoms can be equally devastating. Medically supervised detox, on the other hand, can greatly reduce the severity of withdrawal and make it a much more bearable experience. More importantly, detox is an essential step in transitioning from a life of addiction to a life of purpose and passion. Contact us at crestonedetox right away if you or someone you know requires detox to begin the journey to sobriety. We offer comprehensive medical care and prioritize the discharge coordination process to ensure a seamless transition for every client.