Top 5 Benefits of Medical Drug Detox
Medical drug detox is an acceptable, appropriate, and humane way of detoxing from drugs to alleviate withdrawal symptoms that can be painful, unpleasant, and sometimes, dangerous. The benefits of medical detox include:
Some drug withdrawals pose a greater threat to the safety of the addict than others, but, anyone can suffer unexpected difficulties due to underlying physical or psychological health conditions, long term use, or lack of support during this process. Safety involves 24 hour observation of symptom manifestations that may require medical, psychiatric, or other support interventions and the ability to address them quickly.
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“Cold turkey” detoxes are often unsuccessful because they are lacking one crucial element or another. The person may immediately relapse after they think they are well, making the next detox attempt more difficult. In a medical detox, there is no access to substances other than those provided by the providers who know what to use, when, and how much.
Once the person’s health improves and they are stabilized physically and mentally, they are more amenable to continuing recovery efforts and can be introduced to ongoing treatment. This is, perhaps, the best opportunities a person will have to enter treatment, while the consequences and their suffering are fresh in their mind and they realize that the fear of withdrawals are past.
According to the SAMHSA’s TIP #45,”A successful detoxification process can be measured, in part, by whether an individual who is substance dependent enters and remains in some form of substance abuse treatment/rehabilitation after detoxification.”
Some medical drug detoxes only require the use of OTC medications to alleviate pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or insomnia. Others require the use of sedatives or anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, to keep the person calmer, help them rest, or prevent seizures and other complications.
Medications may be used to control psychiatric issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, psychosis, or hallucinations, or other psychotic behaviors, as well as agonists and partial agonists to minimize the withdrawal effects. An example would be for cases of opioid and methadone withdrawals, methadone or buprenorpine doses can help to ensure the addict’s comfort with gradual dosage reductions over the span of several days. Other drugs that may require a gradual tapering or replacement therapy are benzodiazepines.
Physical Health Improvements
Drugs take a toll on physical health and medical drug detox can help improve physical health by addressing the needs for medical interventions, nutrition, hydration, and vitamin deficiencies that can impact or slow down recovery.
Psychological Health Improvements
Comfort, guidance, pharmacological interventions, psychosocial interventions, and improved physical health can help to reestablish positive thoughts, attitudes, and emotions. In order to stay strong in abstinence improved psychological health goes a long way.