WHAT IS DETOXIFICATION FROM DRUGS & ALCOHOL?
Why Is Detox Needed When Going To Rehab?
Even though the first step for an addict to start their recovery process is acceptance, the actual physical step towards getting better is detoxification, also known as detox. It is a stage where the individual is at their most vulnerable to relapse as the body removes any traces of alcohol or drugs from its system. Because of this the patient undergoes serious withdrawal symptoms.
The time it takes for a complete Detox of the body depends on two factors:
- The type of drug and the length of time for which it was used
- The period of time and the amount of alcohol consumed
Depending on the above factors, each patient experiences detox in a different way. For some it takes a month or so without needing medications, whereas for some it is severe to an extent that they not only need months but a medically managed detox program under the supervision of experienced medical professionals.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ALCOHOL WITHDRAWALS
“Wait I Can Withdraw From Alcohol?” – Said Most People
When a person drinks alcohol, the dopamine levels start to rise in the brain, giving the drinker increased self-confidence, mood elevation and pleasant feelings that lower inhibitions. However, once the body starts to flush the alcohol from the body, these feelings start to decrease.
For heavy or regular drinkers, this can be a bad sign as the brain becomes more dependent on the alcohol. This is where the body starts craving alcohol and if it does not get it, the person may start suffering from withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms come in both emotional and physical forms. These signs and symptoms may start to manifest from anywhere between eight hours to a day, they include:
- High Blood Pressure
In more severe cases, also known as Delirium Tremens (DT), these signs and symptoms can start as early as a few hours after the last drink or a couple days after the last drink and may include the following:
- Extreme Agitation and Panic Attacks
- Seizures and Tremors
- Fever and Cold Sweats
- A sense of numbness, burning or itching all over the body, also called Tactile Hallucination
- Visual and Auditory Hallucinations
If you have a loved one going through something like this then you need to call medical emergency services immediately!
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DRUG WITHDRAWALS?
Most Drugs Will Cause Withdrawal Symptoms, And Some Can Kill You. Keep Reading.
Just like with alcohol, the person on drugs will feel the mental and physical boost when they ingest the drug. The brain becomes accustomed to the drug’s effects and if the person stops taking them, the withdrawal symptoms start manifesting.
Because there are numerous drugs out there, each has its own withdrawal symptom and timeframe for detox. However, the three most common drugs are:
Opioids are drugs that reduce pain while giving the feelings of pleasure. The most famous drug in this category is heroin while others include morphine, methadone and prescription opiates. These are among the most addictive drugs in the world, making the person taking them most prone to abuse.
Withdrawing from opioids produces symptoms and side effects that are both physiological and physical. These include:
- Running nose, as in mimicking the flu
- Muscle aches and sweating
- Anxiety and agitation
More severe side effects and symptoms include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
- Dilated pupils
- Goose bumps and chills
Benzos, or Benzodiazepines, are a form of prescription drugs that are given to patients suffering from seizures, anxiety disorders and panic attacks. These may also be prescribed to individuals as sleep aids and muscle relaxants. Once the brain gets used to the effects of these drugs, withdrawing can have a rebound effect. Because of this the early stages of withdrawal can show signs of increased anxiety and insomnia levels. However, for those who have been on these drugs for long will have the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Panic Attacks
- Muscle Stiffness and Pain
- Heart Palpitation
- Disturbed Sleep
- Short Term Memory Loss with Difficulty Concentrating
- Irritability and Headaches
More serious cases include:
The most common drug among stimulants is cocaine. Even though it leaves the body quickly, the extreme euphoria and energy levels it gives often results in its abusive use. With stimulants, the withdrawal symptoms and side effects occur in the three stages:
- The Initial Crash – Increase in appetite, agitated, depressed and sleepiness
- Acute Withdrawal – fatigue, insomnia, increased depression and cravings for stimulants
- Extinction Period – Increased cravings for stimulants, potentially suicidal!
Stimulants have the least number of symptoms and side effects but the few that they do have can be life threatening as the patient may have suicidal thoughts for months. This requires the patient undergo psychotherapy by a mental health professional.
WHY IT’S DANGEROUS TO QUIT COLD TURKEY
It Can Be Deadly To Quit Drugs On Your Own. Let Us Help.
Even though just simply quitting and turning a new page in your life might sound awesome, it is actually quite risky. This is especially true if the alcohol or drug had been use in large amounts for long periods of time.
Going cold turkey leaves the individual vulnerable to go head to head with the extreme withdrawal symptoms. This is something that can be life threatening and must be avoided at all costs! As bad as you may want your loved one to quit, it’s crucial that this is done safely.
If your loved one is attempting to do something like this, you need to stop them and make sure that they go through a proper, medically monitored detoxification program!
HOW OUR DETOX IN PALM BEACH, FLORIDA CAN HELP YOU START YOUR LIFE OVER
A quality detox involves patients not only undergoing withdrawal but also receiving psychotherapy and medications to help them fight through this difficult period. This way the patient remains comfortable as the alcohol and drugs are flushed from the body.
A quality detox process includes:
- Evaluation – A complete mental and physical screening of the patient. Blood tests to determine the level of detox time, medications and therapy required.
- Stabilization – Working through the withdrawal symptoms with treatment medications and psychological therapy. Protecting the patient from physical, emotional and mental harm.
- Finalization – The doctors continue with the detox process while monitoring the patient’s progress. Offering inpatient rehab for a complete and successful recovery after detox.
As mentioned earlier, the time it takes for a complete detox depends on the two factors at the start of this page.