When addiction to alcohol or drugs makes somebody physically dependent on them, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms if the substance is stopped at once. In such a scenario, detoxification helps diminish the craving for drugs and deal with the withdrawal symptoms.
Detoxification can also be an effective tool to remove toxins left in the body as a result of the chemicals found in drugs and/or alcohol. It systematically and safely helps people withdraw from drugs and covers all aspects of purification from the abusive substance. Though the process can be performed both on outpatient and inpatient basis, the latter is usually preferred as it allows therapists to closely monitor the patients to expedite the detox process.
Alcohol consumption causes physical and emotional changes, putting the health of an alcoholic at risk and endangering his life. Even a small amount of alcohol can have an adverse effect on the body as it is absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed to the other organs of the body. The long-term effects of alcohol abuse take a terrible toll on the patient’s life.
However, it needs to be understood that detox is just the initial step toward the long path of treatment. Patients may experience an array of withdrawal symptoms – ranging from a mild headache to the severe delirium tremens (DT) – depending upon the frequency of alcohol use, during the initial seven to 10 days of the detox procedure.
Once the patient is through with the initial process of cleansing, he or she may have to undergo a tougher procedure of medication and therapy, without which, relapse is more likely. Whether an inpatient or an outpatient program, detox works best to remove the alcohol from the system. But it may not do enough to help the patient confront the desire for alcohol that still lingers with the patient.
Physicians usually prescribe medications to reduce cravings, along with other nutrients, such as vitamin B1 supplements and folic acid, to boost the overall health. Many rehabs also offer therapies that are designed to help patients deal with psychological problems related with alcoholism.
As quitting alcohol may have emotional repercussions, it is important to know what triggers alcohol cravings and what are the healthier ways to cope with these triggers. During the process, the patient may experience a range of mental problems, including depression, anxiety, mood swings and fatigue, which need to be effectively addressed.
Significant changes in social habits can affect addicts in many different ways. In rehabs, therapy sessions motivate patients to develop social skills and help them find ways to avoid situations which could trigger a relapse.
Path to recovery
Drug cravings are impossible to resist, with psychological and social factors acting as common triggers that force an addict to start using drugs once again. Ideally, detoxification must include various procedures to assist an individual’s withdrawal and purification from drugs. A detox therapy uses medications and counseling to improve the chance of successful recovery in addicts. Drugs like buprenorphine and naltrexone can help patients stay on the road to recovery, under the care of professional medical personnel who supervise the detox process. This process takes place in an inpatient rehab center with the help of adequate medical intervention.
Addiction is a major problem in the country. However, getting over it is not difficult under the right guidance. If you or your loved one is dependent on drugs or alcohol, get in touch with any Detox Helpline in your area.