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What is Detoxification?

Generally called detox, the detoxification process helps the body to get rid of all traces of the drugs from it. The process is often the initial phase of every kind of drug treatment program. Its main purpose is to manage the withdrawal symptoms when an addict gives up drugs or alcohol.

Every addict who undergoes detox has a different kind of experience. The type of drug and for how long it has been used impacts the effects of detox. Over the counter, prescription medications are also generally used that ease out the withdrawal symptoms and make the detoxification process quite comfortable for the user.

There are various factors that affect the time span of the detoxification process includes:

  • The form of the substance that caused the addiction
  • Time the drug has been used
  • Addiction severity
  • The way the drug is taken i.e. by smoking, injecting or swallowing
  • The quantity of substance taken
  • The medical as well as mental health conditions of the addict

Detoxification at Home

Some people choose to detoxify at home. But, this can be really deadly as you can face serious issues like seizures and severe dehydration.

Therefore, inpatient or outpatient treatment is often recommended to prevent dangerous complications. You can go with an inpatient treatment program if you have been suffering from a long term addiction as the symptoms can be fatal. And continuous monitoring is also included in it. Outpatient rehab is a good option for you if your symptoms are not much severe, and your addiction is just moderate.

Detoxification at home is generally not recommended as the process needs professional support and monitoring to ease the symptoms.

The Process

Detoxification needs differ from person to person. It helps the individual’s addiction to be cured in a personalized way. Commonly the procedure involves:

  • Evaluation – In this step, the medical team at the facility thoroughly screens the addict for every kind of health and/or mental problem he suffers.  The physicians make use of blood tests to calculate the quantity of drugs present in the body of the individual. This actually helps to know the level of medication he would require in the process.
  • Stabilization – In this step, medical as well as psychological therapy is used on the addicted individual to stabilize him. The main goal of this step is to prevent the individual from any harm. In this step, the medical team supervising the patient prescribes him with certain medications that can help to avoid any complications and also reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  • Preparing Entry into Treatment – In this step, the team of doctors educates the individuals about the next steps of the drug treatment program and what all can they expect from it.

Side Effects

As the detoxification procedure is quite painful and dangerous, it requires medical supervision. This allows the addict to be in a safe and comfortable environment. The medications although limit the withdrawal symptoms, but often leads to various side effects that include nervousness, insomnia, mood swings, concentration problems, and various others.