People with substance use disorder require detoxification and rehabilitation as treatment. Nonetheless, the effective use of the two methods is critical to ensure a lasting recovery.
Typically, detoxification is the process of removing drugs in the body and safely managing the withdrawal symptoms. The detox experience largely depends on the drugs abused and the period of abuse.
Some drugs take weeks and even months to exit the body system, especially if the addiction was severe. Other factors that determine the detox period include the method of abuse, medical or mental health condition, genes, and family history.
Detox Based on the Type of Addiction
Detox is not easy for some people depending on the drug they abused. The withdrawal symptoms can manifest either more mentally or physically.
For instance, heroin withdrawal is psychological, so detoxification involves the control of anxiety and cravings. But withdrawal symptoms associated with alcoholism are physical and sometimes manifest in seizures.
Detox medications often mimic the effects of the abused substance to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. They can also target discomfort and addiction-associated disorders.
The Difference between a Detox and a Rehab Program
The terms detox and rehab are interchanged more often than not, but they mean entirely different things. Rehabilitation for substance abuse is a group of continuous services whose objective is to psychologically and socially rehabilitate an individual struggling with drug abuse.
On the other hand, medical detox centers such as https://www.gallusdetox.com/ use medical methods to stabilize patients and reduce withdrawal symptoms and their harmful effects. In this case, detox is a medical intervention to reduce or eliminate acute symptoms associated with the body trying to adjust from the substance it relied on to produce a good feeling.
Qualified medical professionals supervise the detox process. Your doctor will refer you to a detox center after a medical assessment. This is because it is the first recovery phase.
Detox programs help patients safely transition to rehab programs or other types of continued care.
Does Drug Detox Have any Side Effects?
Side effects of drug withdrawal can sometimes occur with drug detox. Even though side effects depend on the drug abuse, there are few shared ones. They include mood changes such as agitation, depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Patients undergoing detox can have cravings for the substance they are trying to quit and body changes such as nausea and vomiting.
Rapid detox is the process of removing addictive substances from the body faster than standard detox. Some proponents say that rapid detox is one of the most effective methods with no withdrawal symptoms. But in most cases, the risks outweigh the benefits.
The process involves sedation and the administration of the medication that replaces the addictive substance taken. Rapid detox was initially developed for people addicted to painkillers and opioids. Risks usually include paranoia, heart attack, high body temperature, vomiting, nausea, infection, choking, and aspiration. In the worst-case scenario, the method can cause death.
While the traditional detox programs can take up to three days, ultra-rapid detox only needs as little as a couple of hours but with increased risks. Traditional programs take longer. But they are safer. There are other shortcomings of rapid detox. People taking the rapid and ultra-rapid may report a continuation of the withdrawal symptoms long after the treatment. Patients that receive ultra-rapid detox are less likely to continue with rehab and may not work on co-occurring mental health conditions, relapse prevention, and life planning.
Typically, detox is not the only addiction treatment, but a part of it. Patients also need treatment for the psychological part as well, which is the work of rehab programs, support groups, and counseling.