Therapy is the cornerstone of the addiction recovery process. Here, people learn how to change their habits and preferences so their lives are less amenable to the call of drugs and alcohol. Each therapy session is intensely valuable, but people must be sober in order to participate. For some, that’s simply impossible without the help of a medical drug detox program.
In a program like this, people have the opportunity to break free from drugs of addiction like alcohol, cocaine, and opiates like heroin and prescription drugs. Withdrawal symptoms, both physical and psychological, are monitored and soothed by consulting medical professionals, allowing people to make a smooth transition between intoxication and sobriety, so they can begin the hard work of therapy.
Drug Detox Help: What Is Drug Detox?
A drug detox describes the process that your body goes through as it breaks its physical dependence upon and tolerance of your drug of choice. When you stop taking the drug, your body automatically begins to detox. However, within a few hours of your last dose, you will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. Some compare a drug detox to a severe bout of the flu.
Depending upon your drug of choice, how long you have been taking the drug and the dose you are at when you want to quit, the symptoms and their intensity will vary. With a medical drug detox, you can limit the severity of these withdrawal symptoms and, in some cases, decrease the length of the overall detox. At Michael’s House, we help you detox off of your drug of choice with as few negative physical effects as possible.
Drugs of abuse can cause serious medical complications during withdrawal, including symptoms that attack the digestive system, nervous system and cardiovascular system. All of these medical concerns are under close monitoring, in a medical detox program that is supervised by consulting physicians.
The withdrawal symptoms patients experience manifest differently depending upon:
- Drug of choice for the patient
- Customary dose the patient took before detox began
- Length of time spent living with addiction
- Patient’s physical health status
During detox, the consulting doctor may provide medication to minimize those symptoms. For example, patients might be given sleep aids or anti-nausea medications. Some patients are even provided with medications that operate on the same receptors used by addictive drugs, allowing them to bypass the bulk of almost all withdrawal symptoms.
The idea of entering a facility and enduring medical monitoring can be a little overwhelming for some people, but it’s not advisable for people to attempt to detox at home without supervision. Some drugs of abuse can cause nasty side effects during withdrawal, and medication is the best way to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Additionally, some people have underlying medical conditions that have gone undiagnosed due to chronic drug addiction. These may cause problems during detox, even when the person never anticipated having a problem with the process. Medical supervision could be vital here, as quick therapy could ameliorate distress.
Medical detox is also a recommended course of action simply because most people who try at-home detox don’t get through the process safely, and if they do, they relapse almost immediately. In a study of the issue in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers found that 58 percent of addicted people had tried to detox previously, and they made an average of 3.6 attempts to get sober. Fewer than half of these people were able to stay sober for at least 24 hours.
This sort of relapse is less likely in a medical detox setting, as therapies can soothe the distress that often leads to a relapse. In addition, there are no substances of abuse available in a detox facility, so obtaining a high just isn’t possible.
Medical drug detox facilities also offer a smooth transition into rehab programs that can provide the tools needed for lasting sobriety. In a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers found that only 24 percent of people who weren’t provided with an escort or an incentive to enter rehab after detox chose to do so, while 76 percent of those who were given incentives and sober escorts successfully began addiction therapy. At-home treatments just can’t provide this level of care.
Drug Detox at Michael’s House
If you’re ready to change your life and start over again without drugs and alcohol, it starts with a drug detox. Michael’s House can help you with that. At Michael’s House, we offer a social model detox option in collaboration with consulting medical professionals. Contact us today for more information.