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Alcohol and drug detox is the process by which a person withdraws from a dependence upon drugs or alcohol. Because addiction causes a person to become physically dependent upon a substance, stopping its use can cause uncomfortable symptoms. A medical detox program can support a person in his or her quest to become sober.
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Medical detox works by providing medications and therapeutic support to help a person get through the early and later stages associated with detox. The medications administered depend upon the type of substance abused.
Examples of drugs administered in a medical detox facility include:
The existence of these medications is an example of why it is important to detox at a medical treatment facility. The withdrawal process does not have to be as severe, and a person does not have to go through it alone. Once the detox process is over, the person is then at a safe place to continue the recovery process.
Detox programs are often directed at the specific drug abused and then on either a residential or outpatient basis. Residential programs can involve a 30-day stay or more at a treatment facility. While outpatient programs allow a person to stay at home and receive treatment during the day, this many not be an intense enough program to support a person going through withdrawals.
The detox process can cause withdrawal symptoms that range in severity. Because a person cannot predict how he or she will respond to the detox process, it is best approached in a treatment facility rather than at home. Examples of drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
Why Should a Person Seek a Residential Treatment Center for Detox?
Going through the withdrawal and detox can be a scary process. A person may strongly desire to overcome his or her addiction, yet the body causes intense cravings that can increase the risks for relapse.
While the most noticeable symptoms last up to a week, a person may still experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings long after. This is why providing services at a residential rehab facility can help: people can receive therapy and cognitive-behavioral support to help them overcome the risks for relapse.
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