The first step toward sobriety is often detoxifying the body of any traces of drugs or alcohol. This is done in order to break one’s physical dependence and pave the way for rehab treatment. Some drugs, like alcohol and opioids, create such strong physical dependence that one must receive medical support throughout the process to treat the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol and benzodiazepines are two classes of drugs that absolutely require medically assisted detox. Why? Because withdrawal can cause potentially lethal side effects.
What is Medically Assisted Detox?
Medically assisted detox is a form of addiction treatment used to help patients withdraw from drugs or alcohol in a safe and supervised environment. It involves the use of medications, such as benzodiazepines, that can reduce cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms while allowing the body to adjust to sobriety. Medication-assisted detox can be administered in a hospital or inpatient clinic and is often followed by behavioral therapy, group therapy, and other forms of addiction treatment. With the help of this treatment, patients can begin their journey to long-term recovery.
Determining what medications to use during the detoxification process depends on the severity of one’s addiction. For example, a person may need to taper off of opioids because immediate cessation, or quitting “cold turkey,” could cause potential health risks. In this case, buprenorphine may be used in continuously lower amounts before cessation. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that delivers milder opioid effects to decrease cravings and suppress symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
Other Medications Used
Other medications may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and increased blood pressure. In the case of alcohol detox, anti-seizure medication may be used to reduce the risk of potentially fatal seizures. Other medications, such as benzodiazepines (benzos), may be used to address the symptoms of anxiety and increased heart rate and blood pressure. Typical treatment of alcohol detox involves monitoring blood pressure, intravenous fluids and medications, and, in some cases, sedation until the withdrawal process is complete. In the case of benzodiazepine withdrawal, it is necessary to taper a person off of the drug, as withdrawal symptoms can be fatal.
Benzodiazepine addiction is well-known for the intense withdrawal symptoms it produces, including insomnia, agitation, hallucination, and seizures. Medical professionals will be able to determine the proper way to address the detox process based on the severity of the benzodiazepine addiction, as well as the half-life of the benzodiazepines being abused.
Get Detox Help Today From Oceanfront Recovery
Medications used in medication-assisted detox can have side effects and should be taken only under the supervision of medical professionals. Patients may also be monitored for any changes in their mental or physical health while they are being detoxed. It’s important to remember that medication-assisted detox is only the beginning of the recovery process.
Recovery is about healing the mind, body, and spirit, and detox is the first step on the road to sobriety. In fact, long-term support and counseling is necessary to address the underlying causes of addiction and prevent relapse. Rehab treatment typically includes psychological counseling and behavioral therapy. Both help individuals address the root causes of their addiction and establish healthier patterns of behavior.
Your life doesn’t have to be controlled by addiction. You can change your story and find a happy, joyous, and free life in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach. We are staffed with compassionate detox professionals dedicated to making the process as comfortable as possible. For more information about individualized treatment options, including Detox and Residential Treatment, please call today at (877) 296-7477.