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Tag Archive: medical detox

Risks of Getting Sober Without Rehab

Rehab can be a bit of a hurdle for someone who has never gone before. The time commitment involved, as well as the financial concerns, lead many people to decide to get sober without actually going to rehab.

 

While this is certainly possible, it can be quite a bit more difficult. One of the things that you’re paying for when you attend rehab is peace of mind, knowledge, and communication with people who specialize in addiction recovery.

 

If you are, however, determined to get sober without going to rehab, there are a few things to consider.

Safety and Health Concerns

The first and foremost thing that you will want to consider is your safety and health. The primary concern is that of withdrawal symptoms.

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Various Phases of Drug Rehabilitation

Drug rehabilitation is a slow process; it is not something that happens overnight. It is also a process that needs to be tailored for each person. It is not a one size fits all. Drug rehabilitation requires a series of stages an individual must complete to give them the best chance for avoiding relapse. Understanding these phases, and ensuring they are fully followed is the most important component for an addict hoping to recover from his or her disease.

The first stage of drug rehabilitation is withdrawal. This is often present in those people who have become chemically dependent on their substance of choice. The pain of withdrawal is the reason many people are not able to quit using a substance on their own.  At a drug rehabilitation center, medical detox is used to treat withdrawal. The process can last one to two weeks depending on the substance in use. Detox is one of the most difficult stages of drug rehabilitation. Once the patient makes it through detox, he or she is finally able to begin feeling better.

 

To start, patients will not be allowed to use their cell phones. The goal is to have full focus on completely detoxing from the substance of choice. As patients make it through the inpatient medical detox program, they will slowly begin earning privileges back. In addition, they will attend groups and meetings focused on anger management, healthy lifestyles, and learning what unhealthy patterns they have created for themselves that have led to drug dependence. This inpatient treatment often lasts a few months and is followed by a couple of years of outpatient treatment.

The ultimate goal of drug rehabilitation is to completely clear the drug from the patient’s body and have the patient return to everyday life as soon as possible. It is almost impossible for a person addicted to substances to do this on his or her own. Routine is a significant part of drug rehabilitation. This is the reason patients are encouraged to continue with intensive outpatient care following their inpatient care. Drug rehabilitation sets the tone for the rest of the patient’s life when dealing with addiction issues. Because substance abuse is such a complicated disease, holistic treatments are typically the most effective. By taking a look at the person’s overall life, and understanding all the factors that have led to drug dependence, professionals have a better chance of helping the patient remain drug and alcohol-free.

Drug rehabilitation is no easy feat. It requires a strong support system and a team of professionals to allow for the best results. Each person has a different story. Therefore, each person’s treatment plan will look a little bit different. While there are differences, there are also certain steps that are necessary for drug rehabilitation. Ridding the body of the substance tends to be the most difficult part, and is the time the patient is most likely to relapse. Once medical detox is completed, scheduled meetings, sponsors, and lifestyle changes are the best way to help a person suffering from addiction stay drug and alcohol-free.

Is Medical Detox Necessary?

Medical detox is a necessary part of addiction treatment. It is the only way those suffering from addiction problems can return to a normal life without long term inpatient treatment. It is also the most important part of addiction recovery. Medical detox is the first step to recovery and is always supervised by medical professionals. Once medical detox is completed, the patient can begin the rest of the hard work on the road to recovery.

Medical detox is necessary because patients typically enter rehabilitation at a time when their drug use is at an all-time high. With drugs still active in their system, medical detox is necessary before taking any other steps. In many cases, addicts continue to use because the feeling of going through detox seems impossible to deal with. This is where medical professionals come into play. By getting help through medical detox, patients are allowed access to medications that can help lessen the symptoms of detox, and allow the patient to complete the process of detox, before continuing with his or her recovery.

 

Overcoming urge is one of the most challenging parts of addiction recovery. It is also one of the main reasons medical detox is necessary. Many people attempt to detox on their own. However, the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal typically result in relapse. Having medical professionals who use medications to alleviate those symptoms is key to making it through the first week of detox. These medications act on the brain in the same way drugs and alcohol do. This tricks the brain into allowing the body to detox, without as many unpleasant feelings as withdrawal on its own would normally cause.

After substances are entirely out of a person’s body, he or she is finally ready to begin the journey to recovery. Starting detox in a medical facility allows the patient access to mental health professionals, along with those who are helping with the physical symptoms of addiction. Addiction requires just as much psychological work as it does physical work. In addition to medical detox, counseling and therapy are equally as important in ensuring a successful recovery.

Medical detox allows for a safe withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. Normal withdrawal side effects include nausea, vomiting, shaking, diarrhea, bone or muscle pain, and seizures. In some cases, withdrawal can lead to death. For this reason, it is important to have the help of a medical professional. Surprisingly, alcohol can be one of the worst substances to detox from. The painful and unpleasant side effects of withdrawal often lead the patient to relapse. Fortunately, with the help of a medical team, full detox is possible, which allows the patient to continue on his or her road to recovery. With the physical state playing such a significant role, the mental state of a person addicted to substances is often forgotten about. Ensuring a strong support system of medical professionals, friends, and family is key in the road to recovery. Detoxification can seem like a very daunting process to go through alone. Fortunately, medical aid is available to help patients through the process.

Methods of Drug Detox

There are various types of drug detox programs depending upon the drug or substance of use. These methods can be very effective if chosen for the right condition. In addition to the type of the drug of abuse, other factors that play a role include the dose taken at the time the patient starts detox, the duration of addiction, and if there is polysubstance abuse determine the most appropriate type of detox. Some of the detox methods include “Cold-Turkey” detox, short-term medicated detox, long-term medicated detox, etc.

The “cold turkey” detox method entails stopping the use of all drugs with no pharmacologic assistance and with only medical care available for emergency situations. These patients experience the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms with no help from supportive therapy. That makes it a feasible option for less intense addictions but for the rest, the cold turkey detox is not suitable and can be counterproductive, in fact dangerous.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed
Medical detox, on the other hand, is different because patients who opt for medical detox stop taking their substance of use but as they experience withdrawal symptoms, they are able to take certain medications for a limited period of time to ease discomfort. This is why this program is better tolerated and can handle slightly more intense forms of addictions. It is important to note that the medications administered/prescribed in this program are primarily for symptomatic relief, such as non-addictive sleep medication for insomnia or anxiety. The main idea is to minimize the degree of discomfort as these patients are detoxing.

If an alcoholic is undergoing medical detox, they are commonly given benzodiazepines to alleviate anxiety, jitteriness, insomnia, and to treat or prevent seizures, and they have a cross-tolerance with alcohol. However, in order to treat the use of opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids, these medications have to be taken longer-term, especially partial agonists, such as methadone or the drug combination buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone). But over time, as the detox continues, they’ll often require lower doses of medication until they’re eventually drug-free.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed, then the right type of detox program is chosen. Regardless of the type of detox program chosen, it has to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Both these detox types can be carried out with the patient being at home, but it may not be the best option. The reasons for that are that it may not be entirely safe, given the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms or relapse with an overdose. It is also less effective given the higher chance of noncompliance. Overall, professional detox is safer, better tolerated and more effective in the end. Choosing the right professional detox is key, however. And at Pacificbayrecovery.com, we provide highly professional, evidence-based care to these patients.