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Medical Detox


How Does Medical Detox Work?

When a person suffers from a substance abuse addiction, he or she is not only mentally addicted to a substance, but also physically addicted. Because of this, a person wishing to become sober often requires medical detox services.

Medical detox services are those where a person can withdraw from a substance under the care of a professional medical facility and personnel. In some instances, treatment medications are available that can help a person minimize withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings as much as possible.

Why Is It Dangerous to Medical Detox at Home?

Detox often involves a slow and steady approach to treatment instead of abruptly shocking the body by going “cold turkey.” Not only does this at-home approach rarely work for those struggling with abuse, it also increases their risk for relapse. A person may also be less willing to try again to become sober with each ensuing relapse episode.

Types of Medical Detox Programs

A variety of detox programs are available to treat a number of addictions. These include treatments for illegal and legal drugs, such as prescription medications as well as alcohol.

Each addiction is associated with unique withdrawal symptoms. A Massachusetts drug treatment facility is well-versed in these symptoms and can help a person navigate detox symptoms in a safe and confidential environment.

Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Medical Detox

Examples of common withdrawal symptoms associated with detox include:

Meth Withdrawal: Examples of symptoms associated with meth withdrawal include excessive fatigue, high anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, increased appetite and significant depression that can lead a person to experience suicidal thoughts.

OxyContin Withdrawal: OxyContin withdrawals are associated with causing intense cravings for the medication. In addition to these symptoms, a person may also experience significant nausea/vomiting, stomach pain, rapid heartbeat, sweating, anxiety, agitation, dilated pupils, diarrhea, runny nose, coughing fits and restless legs. These symptoms are often similar to those of other opiate withdrawals, such as from heroin.

Alcohol Withdrawal: Alcohol withdrawal symptoms often appear after about 24 hours after a person takes his or her last drink. Examples of these symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, nightmares, difficulty thinking clearly, nausea, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremors, agitation, dehydration, fever, rapid heart rate and abnormal heart rhythms.

If possible, doctors will administer treatment medications to minimize physical withdrawal symptoms. For example, medications called Suboxone and methadone are available to treat opiate addictions by reducing cravings and the euphoric “high” a person experiences when using the medicine.

Another medication, known as Antabuse, is available for those suffering from alcohol addiction to take. This medication will make a person feel ill if he or she drinks alcohol again.

Why Should People Seek a Residential Treatment Center for Detox?

The medical detox process is in no way an easy one and has physical and mental implications on a person. If a person is going to undertake the effort to get clean and sober, he or she will want the treatment to be effective. Seeking a residential treatment center can give a person the best chance for overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction by providing medical support for physical and mental health problems.

In the short-term, a medical detox program in Massachusetts can help a person get sober. In the long-term, the program can help him or her develop the needed mental “tools” and behaviors to overcome the urge to return to drug or alcohol abuse. Medical detox professionals can also refer a person to addiction aftercare programs following treatment that can help him or her stay sober long-term. In addition to the long-term benefit of being sober, stopping drug and/or alcohol abuse can be life-saving, preventing potential overdose and long-term health implications.