Medical detox is the process in which alcohol or another drug is cleared from the body under the supervision of trained health care professionals. Medical detox uses prescription medications to slow the rate of withdrawal and thus prevent life-threatening symptoms from arising. Medical detox is the safest way to wean off of an addictive substance, and is done in a safe, comfortable, and medically-equipped environment.
During this process, medications may be administered to limit and control the symptoms of withdrawal. This helps to reduce physical pain and discomfort, as well as to help patients overcome the acute temptation to drink or use drugs. In many cases, medical detox is necessary to give the body time to recover as the drug leaves the system and thus helps to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms that can lead to injury or even death. By lessening the side effects of acute withdrawal, detox helps to increase the chances of a successful recovery. To find out more about the detox options call Alcohol Treatment Centers New York, at (646) 918-5955.
The symptoms of withdrawal vary in type and intensity, depending on the drug of abuse. Alcohol withdrawal is by far one of the most dangerous, and requires medical supervision.
Alcohol blunts the nervous system and reduces its activity. The nervous system responds by becoming more sensitive. When alcohol is suddenly withdrawn, the amped-up nervous system is hyper-reactive until it can lower its sensitivity again. During this period of hyper-reactivity, individuals can suffer hallucinations, dangerously high blood pressure, seizures, and even stroke. Additionally, the symptoms of withdrawal can be so severe and the cravings so intense that detox without medical assistance can actually trigger relapse. Attempts to detox at home often lead to “the shakes,” which prompt individuals to drink to relieve symptoms. The result is a worsening cycle of addiction.
Withdrawal symptoms differ based on the substance of abuse. Here are the withdrawal symptoms for several commonly abused drugs. Note that withdrawal symptoms are generally the opposite of the effects of a drug.
Opiates (e.g. heroin, OxyContin, Vicodin, and morphine) bind to receptors in the CNS and digestive tract to decrease pain response, lower breathing rates, cause euphoria (happiness), and reduce GI motility (e.g. constipation, reduced appetite). They can even cause hallucinations. Withdrawal is characterized then by increased pain response, rapid breathing, depression, and diarrhea.
Meth withdrawal is characterized by irritability, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and inability to concentrate. Hallucinations are not uncommon and people generally feel “achy.” Other symptoms include difficulties with sleep, thinking, and memory.
Alcohol withdrawal is characterized by sweating, tremors, anxiety, and muscle cramps. In severe cases, withdrawal leads to seizures, hallucinations, and psychosis. Withdrawal from alcohol can be life threatening and should always be treated in a medical facility.
Prescription medications can be used to ease withdrawal symptoms and to control cravings. Medications that reduce cravings are an important aspect of relapse prevention. Here are the medications most commonly used to treat addiction.
The essence of residential treatment is that addiction is a serious disorder that requires serious medical and psychological treatment. Complex conditions require a team of professionals to cover the range of expertise necessary for successful treatment. Call Alcohol Treatment Centers New York today for more information on treatment options. Dial (646) 918-5955.