Addiction detox is often the first step taken after seeking help for an addiction to a controlled substance, and it can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Addictions to substances such as drugs and alcohol often require a detox period, especially since some drugs can have lasting effects for days at a time. Many individuals opt to undergo a medically managed addiction detox program, where the process is carried out in an inpatient or outpatient facility and is overseen by well-trained medical personnel.
It’s important to consider whether a medically managed detox setting is needed. While some addictions can be carried out in a rehabilitation facility without medical supervision, addictions ranging from moderate to extreme almost always necessitate the assistance of medical personnel.
Withdrawal from detox can begin as early as the day of abstinence from abuse. Depending on the drug, an individual can experience psychological discomfort, physical discomfort, or a combination of both. Detox from drugs such as heroin often produces intense physical withdrawal symptoms, including tremors, nausea, and severe headaches. Detox from cocaine is known to produce withdrawal symptoms more on the psychological side, such as extreme depression, anxiety, and irritability, although physical symptoms can also be experienced.
It can be hard to gauge how severe addiction is in many cases; choosing a medically managed detox can often be viewed as a “better safe than sorry” situation. Some addictions absolutely require medical assistance in a detox process in order to assure an individual’s safety. Detox from heroin and serious alcoholism requires a gradual reduction in the substance over a period of time to ensure that the individual does not experience hazardous side effects such as seizures or cardiac arrest. These two addictions can result in death if detox is attempted through the cold turkey approach, and gradual reduction of the substance can only be accurately accomplished through the help of medical personnel.
Though detox from other drugs such as meth, cocaine, and marijuana does not pose high risks of death, medically managed detox can be highly beneficial regardless. More often than not, the combination of psychological and physical withdrawals can be confusing, upsetting, and very uncomfortable. When utilizing a medically managed detoxification program, medical personnel can administer medicine to help ease physical pain and help manage irrational and incoherent thinking. It is common that the withdrawal symptoms experienced can bring about negative thoughts, fears, and problems to the surface of attention; some instances even involve individuals becoming violent. The many side effects and negative probabilities brought on by the initial abstinence of drug or alcohol abuse are better handled with professional guidance and surveillance, which is essentially unavailable in other addiction detox programs.
It is more certain that an individual will receive effective and helpful guidance in a medically managed addiction detox process. As the first week of sobriety is experienced during this period, it can make or break the success of an individual in a rehabilitation program, considering whether or not they receive the essential and correct form of support, advice, and reassurance that qualified medical personnel can provide.