The first step toward sobriety is often detoxifying the body of any traces of drugs or alcohol to break one’s physical dependence. Some drugs, like alcohol and opioids, create such strong physical dependence that it is necessary for one to 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, as withdrawal can cause potentially lethal side effects. 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 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, 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. It is important to keep in mind that detox is only one step on the journey of recovery. It is imperative to follow up detox with a strong recovery program designed to address the psychological aspects of the addiction. Recovery is about healing the mind, body, and spirit, and detox is the first step on the road to sobriety.
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, is 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: (877) 279-1777