The Importance of Medically Supervised Detox
When an addiction sufferer realizes they have a drug or alcohol problem, the decision to stop using is a tremendous first step. However, for a number of reasons sufferers may choose to attempt the detoxification process by themselves.
Drug or alcohol addicts may be ashamed of their use, afraid to share their addiction, or simply may not know where to turn. Unfortunately going through detoxification alone may be more detrimental to the long-term health of the sufferer than not coming clean in the first place.
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Physical Withdrawal from Drugs or Alcohol
The sickness and physical pain caused by withdrawal symptoms often get the better of those attempting to self-detox. The body has become accustomed to functioning with the addictive substance. Organs and the brain have figured out ways to accommodate and flush toxic chemicals from the body.
But, once the addictive substance has been removed, the body doesn’t adjust as quickly. This results in unpleasant physical side effects including:
- Stomach Pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling lightheaded
In the most severe cases, seizures, heart palpitations, and other life-threatening conditions can occur. The possibility of withdrawal resulting in permanent health issues or even death should be reason enough to see medically supervised detox.
With medical supervision and intervention, physicians may be able to introduce medications which can assist in reducing physical symptoms. Fear of replacing one drug with another should be eased. Medically supervised detox can require daily or even weekly supervision. Thus reducing the unlikely development of a secondary addiction.
Mental Obstacles in Detox from Drugs
Patients seeking to detox should not only seek out medical solutions but, mental and therapeutic support. While the physical discomfort of withdrawal can be severe, in some instances the mental anguish associated with withdrawal can become too much to bear for some individuals.
During the detox process, suffers can experience mental symptoms including:
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Intense desire to use again
Detoxifying can be a psychologically taking ordeal. Having access to the proper level of both medical and mental therapeutic support significantly increase the chances for success.
The Benefits of Medically Supervised Detox
The detox process is similar to other medical treatments. First, the addiction is identified and evaluated. Once understood, the proper treatment plan can be put in place. Finally, and perhaps most important, follow up treatment and assessments help ensure a successful recovery.
Medically supervised detox provides the same benefits as other treatments, such as physical therapy or surgery including:
- Professional medical and therapeutic staff
- Clean, safe, and supportive environments
- Expert symptom relief
Physicians and nurses specially trained in addiction-related treatments can alleviate withdrawal symptoms. They also know when to intervene in an emergency or when to change course if outcomes are not meeting expectations.
Rehabilitation and recovery centers provide a safe environment for sufferers. Surrounded by knowledgeable staff at all levels, comfort and privacy are provided for even the most vulnerable moments of the detox process.
What to Expect During Detox
One of the first questions asked is how long an average detox program can last. There are several factors which determine how long addiction sufferers may spend in a program:
- Frequency of use
- Underlying medical conditions
- Use of single or multiple substances
- How long drugs or alcohol have been abused
Typical stays last from a few days to a couple weeks. Keep in mind this is only the inpatient treatment portion of the program. Participants will be expected to make regular physician visits and are encouraged to commit to therapy sessions or support groups.
During the time at the rehabilitation center, expect to be surrounded by around the clock care from doctors, nurses, and therapists. Upon entering the center, physicians will establish a medical baseline of health and uncover any medical conditions you may have.
With around the clock monitoring, vitals are checked on a regular basis. As much rest as needed is provided. Each day medications are adjusted appropriately to assist in the detox process. Ultimately the goal is to get addicted suffers back to being themselves as soon as possible.
In most instances, it is recommended clients seek continued monitoring. In addition to returning home with the support of friends and family, after detox treatment programs greatly reduce the chance of relapse.
As supportive as friends and family may be, trained professionals can help with unique physical and mental after-effects addiction sufferers may experience. The support in treatment programs provides a source of comfort while adjusting to sober living.
The importance of medical supervision during the detox process cannot be stressed enough. Medically supervised detox is the safest and best step anyone can take to rescue their life from addiction. If you or someone you know requires detox, there are many organizations including Desert Cove Recovery who can provide the best possible detox options.