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Detoxification With or Without Medication: Which is better?


There has been a lot of debate in the world today about whether medical detoxification is the best option for addicts in treatment. Each option comes with its own sets of benefits but they also both have their drawbacks that each person should be aware of before they begin the journey toward their sobriety.

Detoxification with or without medication can help the individual to clear their system of the drug, but which one is better than the other is?

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Advantages of Medical Detoxification


Medication makes it easier to get through the withdrawal process so you can focus on the next step of recovery.

Suboxone and methadone are the most commonly used drugs for a detox, as they will ease the harsh symptoms of withdrawal for the addict. According to Harvard University, many studies have shown that patients who use methadone are less prone to depression, criminal activity, and HIV or hepatitis and instead become more likely to hold a job and keep a healthy family life.

Oftentimes, addicts will try to quit their drugs only to relapse shortly after the withdrawal symptoms hit due to the severity of them. These relapses occur because the person will figure it is easier to continue their drug than seek treatment or endure the symptoms.

These safer substitute drugs help addicts to become less physically dependent on their current substance addiction. This is because unlike their street drugs, the medication is taken in a controlled environment that has medical supervision and if anything should go wrong, there will be experienced personnel there for immediate attention. Call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to learn more about the services offered.

Many doctors believe that the substitute drug is good mentally for the addict as well because it gives them a sense of accomplishment because they overcame the withdrawal process, which encourages them to pursue the next step.

Disadvantages of Medical Detox

Medical detoxification is only the first step in the treatment of addiction and does not help with long-term drug use. In order to remain sober, the individual needs to understand that the medication will not do the work for them and that they will require help with their psychological dependency on a substance.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy is needed in order to learn how to cope with stressful situations without the drug in order for the detox to be considered successful.

There is also a slight chance the addict will abuse the substitute drug when they begin their outpatient program. Some patients are allowed to go home and take the drug in order to maintain their recovery. However, most treatment centers will make patients who are on higher doses return to the facility daily in order to get their dosages.

Detoxification without medication also exposes the addict to the raw symptoms of withdrawal, which can make the process more difficult. Some addicts do try this method on their own and are successful but the vast majority will relapse due to the withdrawal symptoms of the drug. With medical help however, the individual could endure the withdrawal symptoms without medication and still feel strong for overcoming their natural detoxification.

Detox can be successful with or without medication but it depends on the addict and their ability to withstand the withdrawal symptoms. With medication, these symptoms are dulled, giving the individual a better chance of cleansing their body of the drug, but they can also cause a relapse if they are not taken with cognitive-behavioral therapy to ensure the sobriety is maintained.

It is a good idea for the addict to seek residential treatment during detox to avoid any life threatening or uncomfortable symptoms that may require immediate medical attention.

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak with a professional who can assist you.

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