What Is Medical Detox?
Someone with a severe drug addiction problem may not be able to stop using drugs on their own. Fortunately, there are options for people with addictions like this.
Medical detox is a monitored recovery process. Medical detoxification programs are for people struggling with the more extreme end of substance abuse problems. An inpatient medical detox allows the patient to be treated carefully during acute physical withdrawal, which is often the most difficult part of recovery. The withdrawal phase occurs immediately after the patient stops using drugs, and is extremely uncomfortable.
Physical withdrawals are commonly seen from drugs such as opiates (heroin, Oxycontin,) benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax) and alcohol, and can include symptoms such as:
- Crawling skin
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Cold sweats
These are just a few of the symptoms commonly associated with various forms of withdrawal. Oftentimes, the combination of these symptoms is too much for the addict to handle without medical treatment. The rate of relapse for drug addicts who attempt to quit without medical treatment is quite high.
Detoxification is the first process in the journey towards recovery. Medical detox attempts to ensure that addicts can complete this first step without relapsing.
Is Medical Detox Necessary?
Drug addiction can be very stressful – not just for the addict, but for friends, family, or anyone close to the user. Drug addiction can cause a whole slew of unpleasant situations.
- Hospital visits can be caused by overdoses or improper use of drugs.
- Police contact can occur when a drug user is arrested, or when they’re involved in a situation that requires them to give a statement
- Violence is fairly common in the drug scene. People going through withdrawals will resort to violence to get another fix. Drug debt that cannot be paid financially is also often dealt with by injuring the person in debt.
These tough situations can make it hard to hope for a stable future.
While these external situations can be very difficult, medical detox plays another important role. During addiction to chemical drugs, the brain becomes reliant on the constant influx of certain chemicals. This constant influx causes neurological changes – since the brain is receiving a flood of neurotransmitters from elsewhere, it will begin to produce less neurotransmitters on its own.
Helping the brain learn how to efficiently produce its own neurotransmitters is one of the main goals of medical detox. Part of the withdrawal process is the brain learning to cope with a minimal amount of certain key neurotransmitters as it struggles to produce them on its own.
If you, or someone that you love, is starting to feel like it’s time to give up, then maybe it’s time to consider medical detox.
Does Los Angeles Have Resources For Medical Detox?
The state of California has been home to some of the best detox facilities in the United States. There are all sorts of different facilities available to treat addicts. California’s drug policy is one of the best across the entire United States. As a result, California’s citizens have some of the most reliable access to drug treatment programs in the country, and these programs are known to provide some of the most effective recoveries.
California’s medical detox facilities are all staffed by certified professionals. They can help guide an addict through the process of detox with assisted therapy, medication, and supervision.
To enroll in a medical detox, the patient will be admitted into a facility for the duration of their withdrawal period. During that period, they will receive careful medical attention that will be tailored to their particular needs. The addict may receive:
- Medication such as Ativan or Xanax. These medications,while addictive in their own right, can ease the withdrawal symptoms for drugs like heroin and alcohol. For withdrawal from Ativan or Xanax, patients may be given Gabapentin or another similar substance.
- Therapy is often given after the acute withdrawal phase, to help a patient reintegrate back into a sober mindset.
- Nutritional supplementation is necessary to help an addict restore a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals. Nutritional deficiency is hugely overlooked and plays a big part in extending the recovery period.
Anything else that the medical staff deem necessary for their recovery can be provided at the facility.