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Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be serious and even life-threatening. Although some people try to withdraw on their own, many experts advise that anyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol seek a medical detox program to safely detox.
In order to get clean from drugs or alcohol, the addict first needs to clear the abused substance from the body. When drug detox occurs in a medical setting or under medical supervision, it is referred to as medical detox. Supervised detoxification is preferred by most experts because of the unpredictable nature of withdrawal symptoms.
Dependence on drugs or alcohol means that the body goes into a type of shock when the abused substance is taken away, or withdrawn. As the substance leaves the body, the body reacts, often negatively. Although some people experience only mild detox symptoms like headaches, nausea, and vomiting, others may experience more serious, even life threatening symptoms like seizures, heart failure, and even death. For this reason, anyone addicted to drugs or alcohol should detox under medical supervision. Call Bristol Drug Treatment Centers at 860-516-2414 to find out more about our medical detox programs.
At best, withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is uncomfortable. Functions of the body that were suppressed during drug use return in a big way, which sometimes has dangerous consequences. No one can predict exactly how the body will react during detox. At worst, withdrawal can be deadly. Because withdrawal can be dangerous, especially in long-term drug or alcohol users, it is never safe to detox at home or alone. A medical professional can help manage the symptoms of withdrawal so that the body detoxifies slowly, reducing the likelihood of serious medical consequences. The management of withdrawal may include medications designed to support the body as it withdraws from the substance. Medications like methadone, suboxone, and Antabuse are among those used during the detoxification process.
Another reason it is advisable to seek the help of a medical professional for detox is because different drugs may be subject to different withdrawal reactions and may require specific treatments to support the withdrawal process. For instance, withdrawing from narcotics may be very different from withdrawing from amphetamines.
Long-term methamphetamine abuse actually changes the way the brain works. Withdrawing from meth can be very difficult because of these changes. Unlike with some drugs, there are no specific medications that can help combat the effects of meth use or help users stay off the drug, but because of the widespread use of meth, researchers are conducting studies designed to develop these medications as soon as possible. There are three primary factors that experts worry about during meth withdrawal: depression, fatigue, and changes in heart rhythm. Because meth is a stimulant, the body becomes dependent on it for energy. Withdrawal can cause depression and fatigue. Stimulants also cause the heart to beat faster. Without the drug, the heart rhythm changes, and serious consequences may occur.
Because detox is so uncomfortable, users, even those with intentions of quitting drugs, use again just to avoid becoming sick from withdrawal. Detox professionals who are trained in medical detox can help the user withdrawal slowly and as comfortable as possible in a setting the offers no opportunity for drug use. Slow detoxification offers the best chance at long-term success because the body is slowly weaned off the drug, becoming more and more comfortable as the process continues. A slow detoxification may be an important key to preventing relapse.
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