Medical detox is the process and experience of withdrawal under medical supervision. Medications and medical support are both integral to the medical detox process as doctors and clinicians need to prescribe drugs and observe patients during recovery. Depending on the substance of abuse and extent of addiction, various medications may be used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and manage the transition towards rehab. Examples of treatment drugs used in medical detox include benzodiazepines, prescription opioids and opioid antagonists. Doctors have to be aware of cross-tolerant drug relationships to avoid medical complications during the medical detox process. To find more information about available treatments and rehabs, call Raleigh Drug Treatment Centers for help with your search at (877) 804-1531.
The process of detoxification is designed to rid the body of toxic and harmful substances. While additional drugs are often introduced in the case of substance addiction, medical detox provides patients with an opportunity to stop using the primary problematic drug. The detoxification period differs widely depending on the nature of addiction, with some drugs producing a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome and others producing an emotional-motivational withdrawal syndrome. Physical symptoms can cause medical complications, with doctors needing to prescribe drugs in order to alleviate symptoms and smooth out the recovery process. Detoxification is typically followed by rehabilitation. Psychotherapy and counseling are initiated to address the underlying causes of drug addiction.
A slow and steady residential detox process is normally recommended, with patients only being able to access medications and medical support at specialized treatment centers. While it is possible to detox at home in some situations, it can be dangerous and is not advised. Rapid detoxification programs are also ill-advised in most situations, with some rapid programs having resulted in deaths. Generally used for severe heroin addictions, rapid naltrexone therapy uses a combination of sedation and opioid antagonist medication in a practice that is ineffective and extremely dangerous. If you or anyone you know needs to access medical detox services, a slow and steady residential program is always the best choice.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are three steps in every detoxification process. The first step is known as evaluation where physical and mental tests are performed to evaluate the patient prior to treatment. Blood tests may be performed to see which psychoactive substances are currently circulating in the patient's bloodstream, with mental tests also undertaken for behavioral issues and dual diagnosis conditions. The second step of detox is known as stabilization, with medications normally used during this phase to stabilize the patient prior to psychotherapy treatment. While it is possible to stabilize the patient through discontinuation and support alone, drugs are normally prescribed. The third step of the detox process involves guiding the patient towards further treatment, with behavioral therapy and counseling required to address the precedents of abuse and addiction.
Alcohol discontinuation causes a potentially severe physical withdrawal syndrome, with medications often prescribed to alleviate symptoms and manage recovery. Typical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include sweating, nausea, vomiting, shakes, hand tremors, anxiety, insomnia, agitation, tonic-clonic seizures, hallucinations and delirium tremens. Benzodiazepines drugs are widely prescribed to treat these symptoms, with chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, lorazepam and oxazepam the most commonly used drugs. Known by their trade names of Librium, Valium, Ativan and Serax respectively, these medications may be taken periodically during the withdrawal syndrome or deferred until symptoms occur. There are currently four approved medications for alcoholism in the United States: disulfiram, two forms of naltrexone, and acamprosate. Nitrous oxide may also be used to alleviate symptoms, with intravenous vitamins also taken in some situations. If you're considering addiction treatment and need help with your search call Raleigh Drug Treatment Centers at (877) 804-1531.