Detox is short for detoxification, the removal of toxins from the body. This is the first step in the recovery process. An individual who is addicted to drugs and alcohol have developed both a physical and emotional dependence on the drug. The physical dependence is what the detox process addresses. An effective detox process will allow the individual to transition from the dependence of the drug to a more physically stable state. The detox process helps to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and monitor the individual’s overall health. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, and in some cases dangerous.
There are three phases of the detox process. The first is evaluation. This is where a medical or assessment professional gathers the important information about the addict. This includes what drug the individual is addicted to, the length and severity of the abuse and physical and mental state. The second phase of the detox process is stabilization. This is when the individual is assisted through the intoxication, withdrawal and eventually sober state. Once the individual is deemed physical and emotionally stable the third phase of preparation for further treatment begins. This is a crucial phase in the detox process. Once the individual has successfully completed the detox process it is imperative that they receive further assistance to achieve recovery. Individuals often enter an inpatient facility, outpatient facility or sober living at this point.
Yes. Not all drug withdrawals have the potential to cause death but some do. There are two drugs that should never be quit suddenly without medical supervision, these drugs are: alcohol and benzodiazepines. In addition to alcohol, and benzodiazepines, if an individual is suffering from medical conditions beyond the addiction, there can be complications that can occur during the withdrawal that can lead to death.
Alcohol: long-term alcohol abuse can lead to withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal. Withdrawal from alcohol must be done under direct medical supervision. Appropriate medication and monitoring is used to ensure a safe detox process.
Benzodiazepines: some commonly abused benzodiazepines are: Xanax, valium and Ativan. If an individual has been abusing any of the drugs that fall in the benzodiazepam category, it is important that the detox process is under direct medical supervision. This detox process often entails the individual being given a tapering dose of the drug, over a period of time, in order to ensure a safe detox.
– Emergency Room: if the withdrawal symptoms are severe or the addict seems to be in any state of distress, an emergency room can assist you immediately
– Physician: your general practitioner can assist during this process, and if unable to perform the necessary services they can refer you to someone who can help.
– Detox Clinic: there are freestanding detox clinics
– Inpatient Treatment Facility: there are freestanding drug and alcohol abuse treatment facilities that offer detox programs
– Intensive Outpatient Facilities: there are freestanding intensive outpatient facilities that offer detox programs
– Psychiatric Hospitals: if the individual seems to be in emotional distress or are a threat to themselves of others, a psychiatric hospital offers detox programs.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious issue. The detox process is a critical step on the road to recovery. While the withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepine may be life threating, it is suggested that all detox processes be under some form of medical supervision. If you or someone you know needs help from addiction or you would like more information, do not hesitate to contact us at (888)357-7577.