It's not easy to struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, but going through medical detox is an important first step on the path to recovery. Not only does medical detox help individual patients withdraw from addictive substances, but it provides valuable benefits to society. Research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that each dollar spent on drug treatment programs results in a $4 to $7 reduction in drug-related crime.
A medical detox program followed by rehabilitation has been proven to help patients break the chemical dependency on a substance and begin a drug-free life. Learn more about drug treatment options when you contact Drug Rehab Columbia SC at (803) 234-4123.
Before rehab can begin, it's important to start with a drug-free system. The process of detoxification allows individuals to gradually wean off a drug or alcohol until they have rid their body of the substance. An addicted person should never try to stop drinking or taking a drug on their own.
The withdrawal symptoms for some substances can be dangerous and even deadly. A medically-supervised detox program takes a more measured approach to withdrawal, and provides patients with treatment medications that can lessen some discomforts of withdrawal. Detox centers closely monitor their patients' condition and provide nutritional support and extra hydration if necessary.
Many different symptoms can occur during withdrawal; a person's specific symptoms will depend on a number of factors. The severity of the addiction, the substance of abuse and the presence of any mental health disorders will all impact the withdrawal experience.
A few universal symptoms tend to occur for nearly all people going through withdrawal. Regardless of the substance of addiction, most people experience cravings, mood swings and sleep disturbances when they withdraw. Other classic symptoms include chills, shaking, nausea and vomiting.
Some withdrawal symptoms are specific to certain substances of abuse. Benzodiazepines and opiate painkillers are two commonly-abused prescription drugs that cause unpleasant symptoms during withdrawal: Seizures and hallucinations may occur when a person stops taking these medications.
While these symptoms are not usually dangerous, they can be intense and uncomfortable. Individuals who are withdrawing from heroin frequently experience uncontrollable shaking and muscle pain. Stimulants such as crystal meth and cocaine are known to trigger depression; patients who are withdrawing from these drugs are monitored closely for suicidal behavior.
During the first hours of detox, patients may battle physical and psychiatric issues. It's not unusual for an individual to experience suicidal thoughts, and some people also display psychotic behavior. If a patient is exhibiting violent behavior, they may need to be sedated or restrained for their own safety and the safety of the detox center's staff.
When the medical professionals at a detox center are certain that a patient is stable, they can focus on keeping the person comfortable during the remainder of the withdrawal process. Patients can be given pain relievers and other medications to ease their withdrawal symptoms, and they may be provided with prescription medications that can curb drug cravings.
Detoxification and drug rehabilitation may take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis. The right treatment setting for an individual will depend on multiple factors. Many patients can benefit from the constant supervision of care of an inpatient setting. The trigger-free environment of a residential program can also help patients avoid temptation and increase their chances of success.
Some substances of abuse can cause severe depression or psychotic episodes during withdrawal, so patients withdrawing from these drugs may be safer at a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility. An inpatient program may also be the preferred choice for patients with a difficult home environment or a history of suicidal behavior.