What Happens in Detox Centers?


What Happens in Detox Centers? thumbnail

Detox Centers help people with addictions detoxify from the toxic chemicals and byproducts of drug and alcohol use. Completely detoxifying your body can take months or years, but the first few hours and days of abstinence are the most challenging. The symptoms of withdrawal are overwhelming and in some cases, dangerous. Detox centers provide medical care in a safe and comforting environment, followed by therapy, counseling and education.

Coping with Symptoms of Withdrawal

    Your withdrawal symptoms are dependent on your addiction. Alcoholics experience

    nausea, tremors, excessive perspiration, seizures, a rapid heartbeat and trouble sleeping. The first few days after ceasing opiate use are more intense than alcohol. Detoxification symptoms include intestinal spasms, diarrhea, backaches, body-wide pain, vomiting, and hot and cold flashes. Medication is often used to help both alcohol and drug addicts through the initial stages of detoxification. Prescriptions like Valium, Vistaril, Librium and Inderal ease many of the symptoms of alcohol and opiate withdraw. Suboxone is prescribed to help with opiate withdrawal. Coping with benzodiazepine withdrawal is complex and can be dangerous without medical supervision. Withdrawal is tapered to avoid a convulsive reaction.

Types of Detox

    Your addiction determines the type of detoxification you need. When choosing a center, pick one that specializes in your type of addiction. They will have the experience and tools necessary to treat you effectively. There are detoxification programs that provide treatment for alcohol, heroin, oxycontin, methadone, opiate, cocaine, methamphetamine and other prescription drug addiction. In addition to the addiction you face, your personal goals and beliefs play a role in choosing the right detox center. There are programs that are religious, holistic, alternatives to jail, designed for adolescents or based in psychological theories. Believing in your treatment is the first and most important step to recovery.

Rapid Detox

    Rapid detox programs are an intense way of removing drugs from the body. It is not available for all addictions and utilizes a combination of anesthesia and medicine to clean the body of drugs in a day or two, or even hours. Rapid detox has health risks, but is effective for those who continue using drugs because they are terrified of the feeling of ordinary withdrawal. Rapid detox is rarely covered by insurance and does not treat the causes of the addiction, so continued treatment is still needed.

Ongoing Recovery

    Following the detoxification period, addicts engage in continued treatment enabling them to cope with their addiction. There are several philosophies concerning recovery ranging from the holistic approach to the 12-step approach to counseling for dual diagnoses. Knowing how to avoid alcohol and drugs may not be enough for a person suffering from addiction. Counseling and treatment for depression, bi-polar disorder or anxiety may also be required. Addiction specialists agree that treating the body is not enough and that healing the intellect and emotions is also necessary. Detox centers offering ongoing therapy provide group support, individual counseling, art therapy, 12-step education and other treatment methods for controlling your addiction.

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