A drug detox program helps an individual flush out the drugs still in their system, cope with their withdrawal symptoms, and prepare both physically and mentally for the treatment process ahead.

Why is a drug detox necessary?

Long-term drug use alters the way the brain functions and processes emotions, thoughts, and situations. Even when the drug is no longer being actively consumed, these processes may remain impaired. With time, these changes may become permanent interfering with the natural flow of chemicals in the brain and disrupting the way an individual connects with their inner self.

A drug detox program provides the individual with an opportunity to get used to the absence of the drug while giving the brain the time to heal and relearn to function and process emotions, thoughts and situations as they are. It also allows the brain and the body to connect with the inner self making the process of recovery fulfilling.

What are drug withdrawal symptoms?

There is no set list for drug withdrawal symptoms. These can vary in each individual depending on various factors such as the duration, dosage, rate, type of use, etc.  While most of the withdrawal symptoms are treated with medication during inpatient drug detox, the most common ones include:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Mental health problems
  • Violent or aggressive behavior
  • Thoughts of suicide

Why does form of drug decide the detox type?

Drug dependence is both mental and physical. In the case of certain drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine, the dependence is psychological. Withdrawal symptoms of these drugs include depression and suicidal tendencies. It is therefore, imperative to manage the initial cravings through medications and therapies. On the other hand, in the case of alcohol, the dependence is more physical, which translates into withdrawal symptoms like seizures and hallucinations. These are managed with the help of medications.

The type of drug also determines the duration of the detox. It may take longer to eliminate the presence of some drugs, like methadone and buprenorphine, from the body and this is because the half-life of these drugs is comparatively longer. Detoxing from drugs like heroin and benzodiazepines is difficult and usually requires medical intervention.

What are rapid drug detox programs?

In a rapid drug detox program, a patient is administered the medicines that mimics the effects of the drug of abuse while they are sedated. This ensures that the individual does not have to face the painful withdrawal symptoms and that the toxins are able to leave the body faster.

Rapid detox is expensive and may be dangerous. In spite of the shortened duration of the drug detox treatment, experts feel that the risks far outweigh the benefits.

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