When you undertake a drug detox because of an addiction, you undertake a medically-assisted process in which drugs are cleansed and flushed out of your body.
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Because of the way drugs impact on chemical reactions in the brain, withdrawal symptoms can occur, although this will depend on the severity of your addiction and the kinds of drugs you are taking. You may be offered medications such as Buprenorphine and Naltrexone to ease withdrawal symptoms.
In the example of being addicted to opiate drugs, a partial opiate called Subutex may be administered in order to combat severe withdrawal symptoms that are related to muscular cramps and spasms. It is possible to detox without any additional medications, but this can prove more difficult and uncomfortable.
The early stages of a detox programme, especially the first two days, can be very challenging as your cravings will be at a high level as your body craves drugs and struggles to cope without them. You will be offered medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, as you may feel generally unwell. You will be monitored by staff closely, especially when you first begin detox, to see how your body reacts to treatment. Some drugs are only psychologically addictive, meaning that you will not experience any physical withdrawal symptoms. Others, such as opiates, are physically addictive and can result in withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, headaches, shakes and sweats.
You can undertake a drug detox in an in-patient or out-patient setting. As an in-patient, you will be admitted to a rehab clinic where you will live during your treatment. The benefit to this is that you will receive continuous compassion, support and care from the staff at the rehab centre. It also offers an opportunity to break free from your previous living situation, which will likely limit temptation.
An out-patient detox programme means that you will continue living at home while receiving treatment at certain times when you can travel to a rehab clinic. This method is less successful in comparison to in-patient therapy because patients are not removed from their original drug-taking environment, making cravings harder to deal with.
Drug Withdrawal And Detox Symptoms
Common withdrawal symptoms associated with a drug detox include:
- • Fatigue
- • Mood swings
- • Agitation
- • Paranoia
- • Anxiety
- • Feeling cold
- • Sweats
- • Shaking
- • Watery eyes and nose
- • Feeling sick
- • Cravings (for drugs)
- • Bone or joint pain
- • Stomach and digestive issues
You may find that you experience only some of these symptoms. The symptoms you feel when undertaking a drug detox will depend on the substance you were previously taking. It is always important to undertake a detox in a controlled and safe environment.
What Happens When I Detox From Opiate Drugs?
If you are addicted to an opiate drug such as heroin, it is important to consider detoxing as an in-patient in a medically-controlled environment. As part of an opiate drug detox, opiate substitutes such as buprenorphine are administered to help patients cope with painful withdrawal symptoms.
The detox should last up to 14 days, although this will depend on the severity of your addiction. In some cases, heroin addicts receive doses of methadone, before then being detoxed off of it. This can be a lengthy process, depending on how much you are dependent on the drug.
What Are My Drug Detox Options?
There are three main routes a person can take in pursuing a drug detox:
The cold turkey method: This is where a person suddenly stops taking drugs, removing them from their system rapidly, without taking any medications to ease their withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms using this method can be very uncomfortable and even life-threatening in extreme cases.
The short-term drug detox: This method involves a stint in rehab for up to a week, following a medically assessed detox programme. After this, most people leave rehab without following the full rehabilitation programme.
The long-term detox: This method is known to be more effective and can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 28 days. A patient typically follows a detox under medical supervision, before entering rehabilitation therapy to help them tackle the emotional and psychological issues related to their addiction.
If you need help deciding on the kind of detox you require, contact us today at Action Rehab on [phone].
Drug Detox At Home
Many people have fears or concerns about checking into a residential rehab facility, preferring to have a home drug detox instead. Generally speaking, many doctors and medical professionals advise against home detoxing and going ‘cold turkey’, and will not prescribe medications that will allow you to detox from home.
Doing a drug detox from home can be very dangerous because of the impact withdrawal symptoms could have on your body. If the symptoms are severe, you are more likely to want to take greater amounts of drugs to ease the symptoms, thereby further increasing your risk of overdose.
The benefits of a drug detox in a controlled medical facility include:
- • Personalised medical care
- • Safe and comforting surroundings
- • Assisted detox and rehabilitation programmes
- • Mindfulness activities
- • Family therapy
- • Personal 1:1 counselling
- • Self-care and drug awareness workshops
- • Increased chance of successful detox and recovery
- • Aftercare plan
Whether you are thinking of entering rehab yourself for a drug detox, or are reading this because you are concerned about the welfare of someone you love, we can help at Action Rehab.
We work with rehab clinics across the UK to help patients find detox and rehab services for drug addiction. Get in touch with us today to see how we can find detox services that are suitable for you.