Why Medical Detox is Needed
Detox is the process where drugs or alcohol are slowly weaned from a person’s body. The mind and body of an addict will struggle through the detox process as it tries to regain balance without the drug or alcohol, and this is the withdrawal phase. There are many different withdrawal symptoms depending on what the user was taking, for how long and at what dose, and each person experiences withdrawal differently. Withdrawal symptoms can be physical and psychological, and can be very uncomfortable to go through. There are medications to assist the addict in easing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms. Some symptoms can be very severe and include seizures, coma and death. During a medical detox, the addict is treated with medications to decrease the risk of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The addict is monitored 24/7 and is assisted by an experienced medical team to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible during detox.
To find out if you or a loved one is drug or alcohol dependent, you can ask your physician, psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. They are all able to asses your drug or alcohol dependence. Your physician will be able to help you arrange for a medical detox if he or she deems it is necessary. Anyone who is drug or alcohol dependent should be medically treated during detox for the safest, most effective outcome.
Substance Use Disorder
If you have a diagnosis of substance use disorder you will need medical assistance during the detox process. To find out if you have substance use disorder you can check The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders list (below). It you have four or more of the criteria on the list, you are positive for substance use disorder.
- You use drugs while actively engaging in potentially dangerous activities such as driving, swimming etc.
- You have built up a tolerance to the drug you take and find that you need more intake of it to achieve the same effects.
- Most of your time is spent using the drug, obtaining it or recovering from its effects.
- Your drug use has interfered with work, school or responsibilities.
- You experience strong cravings to use your drug of choice.
- Withdrawal symptoms begin when you are not using the drug and subside when you start to take it again.
- You will usually take more of the drug and spend more time using it than you initially intended.
- You neglect activities and responsibilities so you can use the drug.
- You want to cut down on your use of the drug or stop it completely, but you find that you are unable to do so.
- You continue using the drug even though it adversely affects physical or psychological problems.
- You continue using the drug even though it has caused you to have social, legal and interpersonal problems.
Get Help for Medical Detox
If you are positive for substance use disorder, you need professional help to get well. It you decide to enter a drug rehab facility that offers medical detox, you have made a good choice. Medications will be given to you during the detox process that will ease difficult withdrawal symptoms and also help to keep your body and mind stable. After you have successfully gone through the detox process you will need drug rehabilitation. Drug treatment programs are designed to help you re-orient your mind and body to live a sober life. You will learn why you became drug dependent and how to avoid relapse in the future. Individual and group therapy will give you the proper tools you need to stay well and also enjoy some socializing with other recovering addicts. Aftercare is a life-long process of continuing in a support group and also having one-on-one sessions with a certified therapist. There are many people that are willing and able to assist you; all you have to do is ask for help.