In cases of serious addiction the safest place to detoxify is in a residential rehab center because the effects can be severe, or in extreme cases, even fatal. Alcohol Treatment Centers Sacramento offers medical detox for those who need to overcome their physical addiction to drugs and alcohol.
In medical detox, the person is admitted as an inpatient and has no access to the addictive substance, and has access to constant medical supervision. The body begins to detoxify naturally. As the toxin leaves the system, the brain makes changes to compensate for the absence of the poison. These changes produce serious cravings and other effects that make the addict uncomfortable. In medical detox, medicines are prescribed to reduce the severity of these symptoms. To find out more about the treatment protocols offered at Alcohol Treatment Centers Sacramento, call (530) 204-5366.
Symptoms experienced during medical detox vary with the drug of addiction. In general the symptoms include serious cravings for the drug, anxiety, sleep disturbances, sweating, and depression. Heroin withdrawal can produce pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms in alcohol withdrawal include hallucinations that become progressively more real and frightening, seizures, and potentially fatal conditions such as delirium tremens and rapid drop in blood pressure. In withdrawal from OxyContin symptoms can include coughing, runny nose, vomiting, and aching limbs.
If the symptoms of withdrawal are left untreated they can become so unpleasant that the addict may begin to think a return to drinking or taking drugs is preferable to continuing with the withdrawal. Medical detox reduces the severity of the symptoms, and so lessens the likelihood of relapsing and returning to the drug.
The body is able to remove toxins naturally, mainly through the liver and kidneys, but in addiction these organs have often become overwhelmed by the amount of toxin in the system. The liver can suffer serious damage leading to fatty liver and cirrhosis and, like the kidneys, works less effectively if too much of the toxic substance is present. Detox works by ensuring no more toxins are consumed and by medically assisting the body to do its work and helping the patient to cope with the withdrawal symptoms.
Detoxifying the body is a gradual process and if done too rapidly can cause serious problems such as a rapid reduction in blood pressure or seizures. This is why it is important not to try to detoxify at home.
Some of the medicines used in medical detox, such as tranquillizers and anti-nausea drugs, are given to alleviate general symptoms occurring during withdrawal. Other medications are prescribed for the particular drug of addiction. For example, Antabuse is often prescribed for alcohol addicts since it produces extremely unpleasant symptoms for up to two weeks after it is taken if alcohol is consumed. The drug does not help with withdrawal symptoms but it does reduce the likelihood of a relapse and return to drinking simply because drinking produces nausea, vomiting, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Suboxone is often prescribed for people recovering from opiate addiction. It relieves cravings for the drug of addiction without producing the “high” the addict seeks. Another drug often prescribed in addiction to heroin and other opiates is methadone, which acts on the same receptors on the brain and so reduces the cravings.
All the drugs prescribed during detox are gradually tapered off, but this process may take several weeks or months. During this time the patient takes part in a range of therapies aimed at helping them learn to live a balanced life without needing to return to their drug of addiction. Following treatment, entering a residential drug rehab program with behavioral therapy, counseling for the family, and relapse prevention resources is suggested.
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