Drug detoxification, or drug detox as it is popularly known, is the process of abstaining from the drugs while simultaneously managing withdrawal symptoms. Typically, withdrawal symptoms occur with sudden stoppage of the drug. Severe side effects are known to occur coupled with intense cravings for the substance of addiction. The length of time for which the withdrawal symptoms occur depend on factors such as the type of drug used, the general physical and mental health condition of the patient, etc., among others.
During the drug detox period, the body is given time to get rid of the drug residues accumulated in the system (many of which are toxic) due to long-term use. Drug detox is an unpleasant experience for the drug addict and is known to be one of the important reasons why addicts dread the detoxification process.
Drug Detox Programs
In this context, it is important to know that failing to choose a properly managed recovery program can lead to relapsing into drug abuse all over again. Family members and friends may not prove to be of much assistance to get the addict to quit the habit. A professionally managed drug detox program under medical supervision is the best way to go. A program under the care of a specialist will be geared to take care of both physical and psychological issues that come along with the process.
Both inpatient and outpatient facilities are available and which one a patient should undergo depends on the severity of the drug addiction. The consulting medical specialist makes a decision on this. The programs are conducted in facilities that can boast of comprehensive medical support as many medical emergencies can arise during the drug detox phase.
Withdrawal from tranquilizers and opiates cause symptoms such as trembling, sweating, chills, slowed down breathing, etc. Withdrawal from drugs such as ecstasy, marijuana and Cocaine withdrawal can cause depression, insomnia, paranoia and anxiety, among many other symptoms. Sudden stoppage of drugs is known to cause heart attacks and strokes in some addicts and a professional drug detox program can minimize such risks.
Drug Detox Stages
The acute stage is the first stage of withdrawal. This usually lasts for a few weeks and is then followed by the post-acute stage. During the acute stage more physical withdrawal symptoms come to the fore, whereas in the post-acute stage, the psychological symptoms are more evident and physical symptoms lessen. This is attributed to the conflict between the neural and hormonal systems that occur due to withdrawal of the drugs.
Withdrawal Symptoms Treatment
Cocaine and meth addiction is treated by using benzodiazepines. These drugs are by themselves addictive; therefore they are administered under strict medical supervision. Heroin addiction is treated with methadone. Some drug detox programs recommend quitting cold turkey. The physical suffering and pain on stopping the drugs can be immense.