One of the most important aspects of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction is detoxification. For addicts, the process of removing addictive substances from the body can be painful, frightening, and even deadly. Professionals recommend proper medical detox in a recovery treatment facility to minimize discomfort, to avoid dangerous health conditions, and to prevent a future relapse.
Drug Treatment Centers Amherst can direct you to a reputable alcohol and drug treatment facility that offers medical detox. Dial (716) 217-4122 to speak with our addiction specialists.
Detoxification is a process where the body readjusts to not having alcohol or drugs in its system. A person who has been addicted for a long time has had the physical chemistry altered.
The body will resist attempts to abstain from intoxicants and will cause cravings that are accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, nausea and other pains. A recovering addict may also experience emotional and mental symptoms like anxiety or hallucinations.
Medical detox can help reduce these symptoms. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The time is largely dependent on the amount of time a patient has been using and the amount of drugs or alcohol they used. Medication to treat health problems caused by extended drug abuse or to treat symptoms of withdrawal may be prescribed.
Medications are chosen based on the substance the person is addicted to, the health condition of the addict and the side effects most commonly associated with withdrawal.
Patients with an opiate addiction (morphine, heroin, OxyContin, etc.) have a number of options to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. A popular option is Suboxone. Medications prescribed for opiate abuse often inhibit the sensation produced in the brain in response to the substance being abused. If the person attempts to use the drug, he or she will find no pleasure in it.
Other medications reduce the symptoms such as depression for alcoholics. A medical provider may prescribe an anti-depressant such as Valium or Ativan to help avoid depression during detox.
In severe cases, a person may be anesthetized during detox to protect him or her from the dangerous side effects. This is most commonly seen in people who have other health issues that make detoxing life-threatening. Medications may be given to speed up the detox process and reduce the timeline to hours instead of days.
Many addicts attempt to detox by themselves at home. However, the success rates of these attempts are almost non-existent. The potential access to drugs or alcohol and the risk of health complications is too high for home detox to be a viable solution. Patients should have adequate medical care and health monitoring to watch for symptoms of dangerous health conditions.
Alcohol has the highest risk factor during detox. During withdrawal, alcoholics can suffer from body tremors, insomnia, hallucinations, and seizures. Constant nausea and vomiting can cause severe dehydration. Heart palpitations, cirrhosis of the liver, and pancreatic cancer may also need treatment in cases of years of extreme alcohol abuse.