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Detoxification

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Many people who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol must go through detox before they are able to get started with a targeted treatment plan.

Generally speaking, detox is nothing more than the process of removing all the drugs and/or alcohol from a person’s system, allowing him or her to stabilize their body.

While some people believe that quitting “cold turkey” will be simple, this is not typically the case. In fact, it is suggested that detox takes place under the eye of an experienced, qualified, and knowledgeable medical professional.

Not only can detox be painful to the patient, but it can be quite dangerous due to the potential for side effects.

Common Side Effects of Detox

  • Nausea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nightmares
  • Clammy skin
  • Hand tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of nervousness
  • Depression
  • Convulsions
  • Sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Fever
  • State of confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting

How it Works

prescription-drug-abuseAs noted above, detoxification is the process of removing a harmful substance, such as alcohol or drugs, from a person’s body.

Since the body is dependent on this substance, it is common for the patient to face withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, if the detox process is completed under the eye of a medical professional, such as at a treatment center, there are prescription medications that can be prescribed to ease the pain.

In some cases, a doctor may decide to have the patient take a medical substitute for the drug, such as methadone for those with a heroin addiction.

Who goes to Detox

In most cases, detox is necessary for those who are “in too deep.” These people have no chance of beating the addiction on their own, and require medical attention to take the appropriate steps towards recovery.

If you are unsure if detox is the right answer, it would be in your best interest to consult with your doctor or a reputable treatment facility. Either way, you can speak with a medical professional who can help you decide if this is something you need to do.

From Detox to Recovery

Although detox is the first step in allowing a person to stay clean for the rest of his or her life, it is not the end of the road. As soon as the detox process is complete, the patient moves forward with the treatment and recovery phase. It is during this time that the person learns how to avoid the use of drugs and/or alcohol in the future.

Detox FAQs

If you have any questions surrounding the detox process, the best thing you can do is consult with a medical professional. Here are some of the most common questions regarding detox:

  • Will I experience any side effects? There is no definitive answer to this question, since every patient reacts differently, however, most face some symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Is detox necessary in my case? This is a question that only an experienced medical professional can answer, based on your personal situation.
  • How long does detox take? This is based on many factors, including the type of substance the patient is addicted to. The length of detoxification can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.
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How the helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the Withdrawal.org helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC), a paid advertiser on Withdrawal.org.

AAC representatives are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. These representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. This helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither Withdrawal.org nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit AmericanAddictionCenters.org. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.