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Medical Detox

Medical detoxification is a medically-supervised withdrawal from addictive drugs. There are several different types of medical detox programs available in Ohio, which may differ depending on the type of drug being taken.

How Does Medical Detox Work?

The detox process involves withdrawing from substances of addiction under carefully monitored conditions. Medical detox in Ohio is designed to treat the immediate physical effects of stopping drug use, and alleviate the worst of any withdrawal symptoms.

Why Is It Dangerous to Detox At Home?

It is common for many addicts to attempt to detox at home. They prepare themselves for the onslaught of withdrawal symptoms and believe they will come out the other side, instantly cured.

However, withdrawing from any substance addiction can cause potentially life-threatening symptoms, including seizures, heart attack, and coma that could require emergency medical attention.

Detoxing from certain types of drugs can also cause profound depression, resulting in suicidal thoughts that can risk the person’s safety if left unmonitored.  Withdrawing from these types of drugs may also trigger psychotic behavior, resulting in extremely aggressive outbursts that put the recovering person, and those around them, at risk.

How Detox Triggers Relapse

Many people assume that recovering from drug addiction, is as simple as stopping drug abuse with a bit of willpower. They wrongly believe they will quit ‘cold turkey,’ go through a period of withdrawal, and then miraculously be cured.

In reality, the detox process can trigger gruesome withdrawal symptoms that can be physically and psychologically severe enough for the user to risk anything to make it stop. In many cases, addicts will simply relapse to a pattern of addictive drug use to avoid the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

Another massively underestimated symptom of withdrawal from addictive drugs, is the overwhelming cravings. Abusing any psychoactive drug will change the brain’s chemistry, and when intake of the drug stops, the brain is unable to adapt. This results in intensely powerful cravings to take more drugs

Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Medical Detox

The actual withdrawal symptoms experienced during the medical detox process will differ depending on the type of drug being used, and the severity of the addiction. Common symptoms include:

Meth withdrawal: many people believe that meth does not cause withdrawal symptoms. In reality, the physical symptoms may be relatively mild in comparison to some other drugs, but the psychological symptoms can be severe. These can include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Increased appetite
  • Vivid dreams and nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Violent behavior
  • Profound depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies

Heroin withdrawal: detoxing from heroin can induce terrible withdrawal symptoms that include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Runny nose
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Profuse sweating
  • Depression

OxyContin withdrawal: the primary ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, which is almost identical to heroin on a molecular level. As the half-life of oxycodone is longer than heroin, it is likely that detox will last for a longer period of time.

The withdrawal symptoms associated with detoxing from OxyContin are the same as withdrawing from heroin, along with the following:

  • Fierce cravings
  • Sedation
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures

Alcohol withdrawal: withdrawing from alcohol is perhaps the most dangerous addictive substance to detox from. The detox process can trigger potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that require emergency medical assistance.

Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Tremors and shakes
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Types of Detox Programs

There are several different types of detox programs available, which include:

Natural Detox: detoxing naturally is commonly known as, ‘going cold turkey’. The problem with natural detox is that the body is shocked into abrupt withdrawal, which can increase the risk of relapse, and induce adverse withdrawal symptoms.

Medical Detox: the medical detox process involves the use of addiction treatment medications that are slowly tapered down over a period of time. The intention behind medical detox programs, is to allow the person to withdraw from addictive substances safely, which reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms. At the end of the process, the person is free from the drug of addiction and the treatment medication.

Outpatient Detox Programs: outpatient programs do not require the person to be admitted into a treatment facility. Instead, the person must check in daily to receive treatment medications until the detox process is complete.

Rapid Detox: in some instances, rapid detox programs may be used under anesthesia in a hospital setting. A person being treated for opioid addiction is given opiate blocker medication while asleep under anesthesia, which induces withdrawal very quickly. While the person is asleep, the distress of opiate withdrawal is removed.

Detox Treatment Medications

There are a variety of detox treatment medications available for people being treated in Ohio. For those being treated for opiate addiction, medications may include Suboxone or methadone. Naltrexone is an opiate blocker medication that may also be given to counteract the effects of opioid drugs.

People recovering from alcohol addiction, may be treated with Antabuse disulfiram. The medication causes extremely unpleasant side effects when mixed with even small amounts of alcohol, which reduces the risk of relapse.

Other medications that may be prescribed include Neurontin, which is an anticonvulsant medication to treat seizures. Bupropion may also be given to treat any symptoms of depression that may arise during the detox process.

Benefits of Medical Detox

There are several benefits to choosing medical detox treatments over attempting to quit cold turkey. Using treatment medications allows the recovering person to detox slowly under controlled conditions and medical supervision. Another benefit includes, reducing the physical and psychological stress associated with severe withdrawal symptoms.

Of course, the leading benefit to seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, is recovery from such an insidious disease. Detox is the first step towards living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Addiction is a dangerous illness, and people who are affected by it no longer have to face it on their own. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it is important to reach out to qualified rehabilitation centers in Ohio today to learn more about medical detox and further treatment.