Drug Detoxification – What is It?
What is drug detoxification? It is the process of removing an individual’s dependence on alcohol or other drugs, by carefully removing the drug from the body. It is a process that many individuals struggle with, as it involves the removal of an addictive substance and can cause serious side effects. This process must be performed safely and under professional supervision to minimize the possibility of danger. Detoxification can also refer to the withdrawal of a person from drug-based therapies such as alcohol or drug detox programs.
Drug detoxification differs slightly from the withdrawal experience in that the first step is not necessarily the admission into a drug rehabilitation facility. In most cases, the first step involves a visit to a health care professional or an emergency room, where doctors determine the suitability of a drug detox program based upon various factors. These factors may include the patient’s history of addiction, medical background, physical health, and current mental health. There are a few circumstances in which a patient may need immediate medical care. Failure to seek timely treatment may increase the chances of developing complications during the drug detoxification process.
A number of treatment options exist for those who are addicted to drugs and find themselves at the brink of a drug detox. The most common of these options are inpatient programs, residential programs, and outpatient treatment facilities. An inpatient treatment facility is an environment in which an individual is given inpatient care. While inpatient care, the patient maintains his or her own schedule, and is responsible for making their own decisions regarding substance use. Outpatient treatment options involve the use of community-based services, which provide assistance with chores, while the patient is away from home and has fewer restrictions regarding substance use.
Those seeking drug detoxification may feel some relief if they do not plan to become addicted to drugs. However, it is important to realize that even those who believe they do not have a dependency problem may still develop withdrawal symptoms when detox is due. If this is the case, it is vital that treatment options are available to help alleviate the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. This can include counseling, medication use, or a combination of these options. Those who are addicted may need to consult a substance abuse counselor or a therapist to discuss their addiction and options for treatment.
Alternative medicine, including detoxification, is also becoming more popular. Some individuals have turned to naturopathic treatments, herbal medicine, and various supplements for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Other alternative medicine includes colon hydrotherapy, oxygen therapies, magnetic therapy, reflexology, and yoga. In some cases, acupuncture and/or hypnosis may provide relief from withdrawal symptoms and allow patients to better deal with the physical cravings for certain substances.
Detox can be performed under both inpatient and outpatient care, depending on the severity of the addiction, and desired outcome. In most cases, individuals undergoing detox remain free from drugs and alcohol for approximately two weeks. During this period, they will be closely observed by counselors and can be periodically monitored by their treatment team in order to observe how they are healing and adjust their behaviors to avoid relapse. Detox can be a difficult process, but it is important to carefully consider all of the options before deciding if detox is right for you.