What is Drug Detox?
Detoxification is the process in which the body is purged of drugs and alcohol as part of the beginning steps to the process of recovery. To receive proper treatment and counseling for a substance use disorder, all of the toxins from drugs must be removed from the body. During this time, the physical symptoms of withdrawal will manifest.
These symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
The Three Stages
This is when tests are performed on the patient to determine the amount of and which substances are in their system. Clinical staff will also evaluate the patient to determine if they are suffering from any co-occurring disorders, such as mental illness or eating disorders.
The patient begins to feel physical symptoms of detoxification. This can be done with or without medication, but more often with.
The third step in the detox process is preparing the patient to be treated in a rehabilitation program. This goes beyond treating the physical symptoms and gets into the underlying triggers of the disease of addiction, mentally and emotionally speaking.
There are various types of detox methods, “Cold Turkey” where the use of all substances is ceased without any medication for assistance. Depending on the substance, this can be particularly taxing for the patient. Short-term or long-term medicated detox involves the use of medications to help alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms that are caused by stopping the use of substances. The duration of detox will depend on the half-life of the drugs in the patient’s system as well as their physical and mental stability. The process of detox is necessary to prepare the patient for the road ahead to recovery.
Why You Shouldn’t Try to Detox at Home
As with any severe disease or condition, when you’re detoxing from drugs or alcohol you should do so under the care and supervision of a medically trained professional. As we’ve discussed above, the health of someone in detox is at high risk for many different complications; some are even life-threatening. Being supported by a team of trained addiction professionals, doctors, and therapists ensures that you are kept safe, stable, and as comfortable as possible throughout the detox process.