Medical detox is the process and experience of a withdrawal syndrome under medical supervision. Medications are often used during the detoxification process to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and manage long-term recovery. Depending on the substance of abuse, medical detox can last for a period of days or weeks, with behavioral therapy and relapse prevention following the completion of this process. Medical detox is useful for a range of substance use disorders, especially for those with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome.
The process of detoxification enables people to cease drug intake under medical supervision. By treating the withdrawal syndrome specifically, medical professionals and clinicians can help the patient to become clean before directing them on to further treatment. While medical detox allows patients to cease drug intake in a safe and comfortable environment, it does not address the precedents of addiction or attempt to discover the underlying psychological causes. For a full and sustainable recovery, patients also need to be guided into further treatment so as to avoid the possibility of relapse. To learn more about the medical detox protocol, call drug treatment Centers Tallahassee, at (850) 460-3170.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there should be three steps in any drug detoxification process. The first step takes place as soon as the patient enters the treatment facility, and marks the start of formal detoxification. This step involves a range of evaluation procedures, with doctors testing patients to see which substance are currently in their bloodstream and evaluating them for possible co-occurring disorders. These tests need to take place before medication is prescribed, in order to avoid the dangers associated with cross-tolerant drug relationships. After receiving a physical check-up, patients will also be evaluated for the existence of secondary addictions, dual diagnosis and mental issues.
The second step of the detoxification process involves stabilizing the patient. While this can take place either with or without medications, some form of medicine is required in most situations. Depending on the drug of dependence and extent of addiction, this could be as simple as over-the-counter pain relief pills or as extensive as long-term opiate replacement therapy. Drugs are prescribed to manage and speed up the withdrawal syndrome, especially in cases of physical dependence. The third step in the detoxification process involves guiding the patient into further treatment, with behavioral therapy and counseling programs, generally used to address the underlying causes of drug addiction.
A withdrawal syndrome is the experience and process of detoxification, with different drugs of dependence producing a range of symptoms when their intake in stopped. A potentially dangerous physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome is experienced with some substances, including alcohol, heroin and benzodiazepines. Addiction to these substances often requires an extensive detox period, with medications administered to manage and speed up the withdrawal process. An emotional-motivational withdrawal syndrome is also possible, with this response taking place with drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms are similar in many ways, with all addictive stimuli being both positively reinforcing and intrinsically rewarding. Because drugs activate specific reward pathways in the brain, they are perceived to be more and more positive with repeated exposure. Once drug intake is stopped, however, the brain is no longer able to make the same connections. The withdrawal syndrome is a reaction to this situation, with altered neuroplasticity in the brain causing physical effects with some substances and psychological effects with others. The withdrawal process is best managed at a specialized drug treatment center, where patients can access medical professionals and medication in a safe and secure setting.