Drug Detox Centers Provide Thorough Treatment
If you’ve never had any experience with drug detoxification, it can be a scary and dangerous process. Many people remember the iconic and disturbing ‘baby scene’ from Trainspotting as heroin addict Renton tries to detox at home. And while Renton survives the experience without the help of a drug detox center, not every addict is so lucky. Detoxing after extended drug abuse is both physically and mentally demanding, and can even be fatal. Previously, we looked at some of the dangers of withdrawal; in this post we’ll take a more in-depth look at drug detox and the benefits of attending a drug detox center.
What is the Medical Definition of Drug Detox?
In 2006, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a comprehensive document outlining the core concepts and issues surrounding the practice of detoxification. According to them, detoxification is “a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal”. It focuses on flushing drugs and toxins from the body, and does not include further treatment for the patient’s addiction (i.e. therapy or counseling). This may seem like a very narrow definition, but it’s actually made up of three steps.
The first phase is evaluation: a medical practitioner tests the patient to determine which drugs are present and in what concentration. The physician will also assess the patient’s current physical condition, and often perform a dual diagnosis with the help of a psychologist. With this information, the patient receives a tailored treatment plan that targets their specific detox and therapeutic needs.
Next is stabilization. Essentially, this is the detoxification stage where the patient is cleansed of the drugs in their system. However, there are a few different ways to do this, depending on the patient’s needs. Some addicts will have to go ‘cold turkey’ (stopping drug use completely and abruptly) whereas others will be weaned off the drug slowly. Some detox treatments also make use of supplementary medications that can help ease their withdrawal symptoms. The important part of this phase is that the patient becomes drug-free and medically stable enough to cope with further treatment.
The last step is preparing the patient for substance abuse treatment. During this phase, the patient is encouraged to attend further rehabilitation treatment – choosing either an inpatient or outpatient program.
Do I Need a Drug Detox Center?
Like Renton in Trainspotting, you could detox at home and survive. However, opting for a rehab or detox center gives you vital support during each of the three phases. You certainly can’t evaluate yourself, and will need the expertise of a doctor or health professional for this first step. A thorough evaluation can help alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal, and also help institute a long-term plan for clean living after the detox. The same goes for stabilization. While you might be able to manage detoxing by yourself, there are many risks involved, and you never know how your body is going to react. Successful stabilization is a necessity if you want to tackle your addiction. Finally, a detox center can also help you transition to treatment and therapy, either by recommending another facility or with their own in-house treatment programs. For this reason, a professional rehab center has much higher success rates for recovering addicts and much lower rates of relapse than those who DIY detox or do not seek psychological help after detoxing.
If you’re concerned about detoxing, or helping a loved one detox from drugs, contact Beachside Rehab for more information and advice.