Detox is one of the first steps toward a life of sobriety. It is the process of detoxifying the body of all traces of drugs or alcohol. Chronic drug and alcohol use can lead to physical dependence, and if we are to recover from addiction we must go through the process of detox, no matter how discomforting it may be. Treatment facilities are often equipped to assist an individual going through detox in order to make the process as comfortable as possible and minimize the symptoms of withdrawal. Some people, however, feel that they would prefer to detox at home, unaided by detox professionals. Detoxing at home can be extremely dangerous and potentially lethal. Withdrawal from certain drugs, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can cause fatal heart attacks and seizures. People withdrawing from these substances require detox medications and monitoring to ensure that they are safe. Medications such as benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, beta blockers, and alpha-adrenergic agonists such as clonidine are often used in cases of severe alcohol withdrawal to control the symptoms of delirium tremens, rapid heartbeat, and high blood pressure. Delirium Tremens is a serious medical complication that can arise from alcohol withdrawal. According to the National Institute of Health, “Death and disability may result from DTs or seizures without medical care. Several factors are related to severity of alcohol withdrawal: high amounts of alcohol being consumed in the weeks prior to treatment, the severity of the last withdrawal episodes, and the number of previously treated or untreated withdrawal episodes. Other factors such as increasing age; the patient’s general health, including nutritional status; the presence of co-occurring medical, surgical, and psychiatric disorders; and the use of medications (prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal) also can amplify severity of withdrawal symptoms. Early proper medical management of alcohol withdrawal reduces the probability of these complications, assuming early recognition.” Opioid detox, although not life-threatening, also requires medical management. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include, but are not limited to, increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle pain. The NIH explains, “Even mild levels of opioid use commonly produce uncomfortable levels of withdrawal symptomatology. Management of this syndrome without medications can produce needless suffering in a population that tends to have limited tolerance for physical pain.” Therefore, medications such as buprenorphine and clonidine are often used to ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Without these medications, it is unlikely that an individual will get through the process of detoxing once the symptoms begin increasing in intensity.
Detox does not have to be painful or life-threatening. Medically assisted detox can effectively manage symptoms and put you on the road to recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate detox professionals dedicated to making the process as comfortable as possible. For more information about Detox and other treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777