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Medical Detox

One of the greatest fears people with an addiction have is the withdrawal symptoms that set in once they stop their drug use. Many of the withdrawal symptoms can be severe especially when a person has used excessive amounts of the drug over an extended period. Medical detox programs such as the ones that rehab centers in Florida offer can help an individual safely make it through their detox.

 

Medical detox – what is it?

The process of a medical detox aims to safely and systematically detoxify individuals from dangerous, addictive drugs and alcohol. It is done under the supervision and care of nurses and clinicians. They make use of various medications to help counter the effects of withdrawal, shorten to length of the procedure and help to prevent future relapse. It is done in order to avoid possible health risks and complications that can occur due to prior medical conditions and severe physical dependencies.

 

Is it dangerous to detox alone?

Substance such as alcohol can be the most dangerous to detox from alone at home if the addiction was severe. Withdrawals symptoms such as delirium tremens can cause a person to experience intense hallucinations and confusion. It can also cause seizures and in some cases, comas. Going through this alone without the help of certified clinicians in Florida can be dangerous because once the withdrawal symptoms peak, it will be near impossible to find help if the person needs it. Medical detox centers in Florida have experience and expertise in dealing with all types of detoxifications from drugs and alcohol.

Another reason why self-detox can be dangerous is the risk of relapse due to the intense cravings that a person feels. Going through multiple failed detoxifications can lead to further medical complications later on.

 

What are some of the expected withdrawal symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms can vary based on factors such as the type of drug and the frequency of use. Each drug has some unique symptoms of withdrawal that the user will experience. The following looks at what to expect during detox based on the substance:

Alcohol – Early symptoms of alcohol detox include vomiting, nausea, mild anxiety, insomnia, headaches and shakiness in the hands. As the symptoms progress, delirium tremens begin, usually after around 48 to 72 hours, that include symptoms such as disorientation, severe anxiety, confusion, seizures, profuse sweating, tremors and a mild fever.

Heroin – A person going through heroin withdrawal usually experiences flu-like symptoms often described as the worst flu ever experienced. The physical symptoms include bone and muscle pain, cold flashes, diarrhea, insomnia and severe abdominal cramping. Depression and anxiety are also symptoms as well as suicidal behavior.

Methamphetamine- Severe depression is common with meth withdrawal as well as intense cravings. A person grinds their teeth, has decreased energy and weight-loss. Anhedonia, suicidal behavior, irritability and a tendency to sleep more than usual are additional symptoms that a person experiences during meth withdrawal.

 

Detox medications

Several medications can be effective during a detox treatment for substance dependence. For each type of substance, different medication has been approved based on scientific findings over the years.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are usually treated with anti-anxiety medication such as Valium. Clinicians also use other medications such as lorazepam and Chlordiazepoxide to help a person going through detox.

Opiates such as prescription pain-killers and heroin are treated with the use of methadone, naltrexone, clonidine and buprenorphine. Methadone is usually reserved with intravenous users to help them to cope and buprenorphine can be used to shorten the duration of the detox. Naltrexone can help to prevent relapse as the medication blocks some of the effects of opiates.