Medical detox is the process and experience of withdrawal under medical supervision, with prescription drugs often used to manage the withdrawal syndrome and medical staff on hand at all times to support the process. Medical detox is often needed to enable drug discontinuation prior to psychotherapy and drug rehab. A large range of substance use disorders can benefit from a medical detox period, especially those that produce physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use.
The process of medical detox enables drug dependent people to stop drug use in a safe environment. Quitting drugs can be an incredibly difficult process, with all addictions based on brain adaptations that respond to ongoing substance use.
While it is possible to go through detox at home under some circumstances, it is much safer and more effective to enroll in a professional detox treatment service. Successful detox requires time, support and medication, with access to prescription drugs and trained medical staff. Call Cleveland Drug Treatment Centers today to learn about drug rehab centers that can supply you with medical detox and other treatment options. Dial (877) 804-1531.zzzz
In the vast majority of cases, patients are advised to go through a slow and steady detoxification regime, with the medical staff at specialized treatment facilities able to evaluate patients at every stage of the process. The time line for drug detox depends greatly on the substance of abuse, with symptoms typically starting within 24 hours of the last dose and lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. A protracted withdrawal phase is also possible in some cases, with ongoing medication and psychotherapy support sometimes required for months or years following drug cessation.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are three steps in every drug detox process. The first step is known as evaluation, with patients tested physically for the existence of circulating substances and evaluated mentally for possible mental health disorders. This step is integral to the detox process, because it helps doctors and clinicians to avoid cross-tolerant drug relationships and other medical complications. The second step involves stabilizing the patient, with medications typically administered during this phase of treatment. While it is often possible to stabilize the patient without any medication whatsoever, drugs are often used to enhance detox and support recovery. The third phase of detox involves guiding the patient towards ongoing treatment, including counseling and behavioral therapy programs.
The medications used during detox depend greatly on the substance and extent of addiction, with some addictions requiring long-term medication therapy and others only administered during the acute phase of detox. Some medications have proved useful across a range of conditions, however, with opioids, benzodiazepines and opioid antagonists all used to manage and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Opiate drugs are often used during the detox phase of treatment, usually in the context of pain relief. Opiate replacement therapy is also administered to long-term heroin addicts, with drugs like methadone and buprenorphine given to addicts to reduce illegal drug cravings. Benzodiazepine medications such as Valium and Serax have also proved useful during drug detox, with these substances given to alcoholics and benzodiazepine addicts in the context of dose reduction.