The process of detoxification, or “detox” for short, is an advantageous beginning to a process of rehabilitation. Detox takes place in a clinical and sanitary environment and is overseen by qualified clinical staff. Drug withdrawal is often painful, even excruciating, but professional physicians can minimize the negative symptoms and ensure the patient’s stability and health. Detox gives patients the confidence boost and the purified system they need to excel during rehab.
When a person abuses drugs or alcohol for a long period of time, drug residues build up inside their organs and tissues. These can complicate the person’s recovery and continue to toxify their body even after they stop using their drug of choice. Second, the constant presence of drugs or alcohol in the patient’s system creates tolerance with the body’s systems—the human body becomes accustomed to having the drugs around. When the person stops using, their body returns to its former equilibrium, and the abruptness of the process causes the drastic and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Detox allows a patient as long as they need—days or weeks—for their body to naturally rid itself of these drug residues and recover from withdrawal. Detox clinicians help to ease the rigor of withdrawal symptoms and ensure the patient’s safety.
The Gradual Approach to Detoxification
As one may readily imagine, detoxification works best when the process is performed slowly and gradually. The body must be allowed to re-learn how to function without the individual’s drug of choice at its own pace. The procedure can’t be rushed. Fast detox endangers the patient’s safety and amplifies cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Slow detox and approved medications are intended to minimize the sweating, nausea, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, aches, pains, and other unpleasant side effects. If a detox is rushed, then these symptoms are magnified tenfold.
- Paranoiac behavior
- Neuroses or psychotic breaks
- Depression, manic-depressive disorder, bipolarity
- Fatigue or constant exhaustion
- Aches and pains
- Elevated body temperature
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
- Horrendous muscle and abdominal pains
- Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
Detox as a Gateway to Rehabilitation
Detox is not a complete regimen of treatment. It merely shatters a drug’s physical hold on the person. A schedule of counseling and therapeutic treatment is necessary to remove cravings and psychological addiction from the individual’s mind.