Drug and Alcohol Detox: The First Step to Sobriety

Millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse disorder on a daily basis. It’s a problem that can significantly impact their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Relationships, work and school can all suffer when you’re dealing with a serious addiction to drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, most people have to hit rock bottom before they even realize that they have a problem. However, once you do realize you have a serious substance abuse disorder, you can take that first big step toward recovery. Acknowledging the problem is the first step. The next step is finding a rehabilitation facility that can help you to go through the drug or alcohol detox process.

What is Detox?

detox can help you to eliminate the dangerous substances from your body. Whether your substance of choice is drugs or alcohol – or a combination of both – it is the process that works to remove the object of your addiction safely in a way that works for you. Depending on your level of addiction and the substances that you abuse, there may be more intensive methods used. You are given certain types of medications to help cleanse your body of the drugs and alcohol and are supervised by medical professionals.

What is Medically Supervised Detox?

Medically supervised detox is a detox treatment that involves specific medications administered by a medical professional to eliminate the dangerous substances from your system. Before you undergo your detox, you are evaluated to determine whether there might be any risks of withdrawal or complications. Medical professionals will also determine what type of extra treatment you might need if your withdrawal is particularly serious. You are assessed to determine which medications would benefit you the best during the detox process. Those medications are chosen based on the level of your addiction and whether you have a higher risk of going through severe withdrawal. Although you might initially fear the idea of going through withdrawal, it’s important to know that it’s a normal part of the detox process. You may have symptoms that include shaking, shivering, nausea and vomiting. While those symptoms may range from uncomfortable to severe, they are worth it in the long run when you end up regaining your sobriety.

How Can Medications Help with Detox?

Medications given during the detox process can help in more than one way. Of course, they can help to remove the drugs and alcohol from your system. Additionally, they can help you to avoid a relapse and stick to your newfound sobriety. Whether you choose to enter inpatient or outpatient rehab, once you go into the detox process, medication can be used as part of your treatment. Your dosages can be adjusted throughout your treatment to ensure that you get the appropriate level of medication. The following medications are often used during detox:

  • Antidepressants: These medications work to balance the chemicals in your brain to regulate them once the drugs and alcohol you’ve abused are out of your body. You are able to have that feeling of happiness without continuing your substance abuse disorder. Once your brain can achieve the right chemicals to bring you that feeling naturally again, you are weaned off of the antidepressant.
  • Benzodiazepines: These medications are used to reduce common symptoms of withdrawal that you experience such as anxiety. If you have abused hard drugs like heroin or cocaine, you will probably be given benzodiazepines as part of your detox. They are also effective at relieving withdrawal from alcohol addiction. However, these are addictive medications, so doctors use them with great care.
  • Clonidine: This medication is used when you have treatment for alcohol or opiates. It can relieve certain withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating and shaking.
  • Methadone: This is a common medication that is used to treat severe addiction to opiates. It’s used with caution due to its addictive ability for some people.
  • Buprenorphine: This medication is an alternative to methadone but is less addictive. It can even be used at home instead of in a facility for detox.
  • Naltrexone: This is a medication that’s used to treat alcohol addiction and addiction to opiates. It eases the urge to take the abused substance by regulating the brain.

While it might seem scary to go through withdrawal symptoms, it means your detox is working. Once you regain your sobriety, it’s all worth it. If you’re ready to start the detox process and get clean again, call today at 833-497-3812.