Many people who are combatting drug or alcohol addiction may not know what the best way to detox is because it is a complex process.
Detoxification, known as “detox” for short, is the “…physiological or medicinal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body, which is mainly carried out by the liver.” The reason addicts undergo this process is because it is the safest way to manage withdrawal symptoms they may experience after abstaining from drugs or alcohol. It is important to note that everyone experiences detox differently; the type of drug and the length of usage impacts how this process will turn out.
Continue reading to learn why professional guidance is crucial when it comes to detoxification.
Understanding the Detoxification Process
Since there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to detox, everyone who goes to a treatment center receives personalized treatment. Generally, this process involves three steps:
The Evaluation Period
First, medical professionals screen new patients to identify physical and mental health issues. Doctors rely on blood tests to measure the amount of drugs or alcohol in a person’s system; this helps determine the level of medications a person will need. Moreover, the professionals will conduct a comprehensive review of a person’s medical, psychiatric, and drug histories. It is crucial to take note of this information to set up the basis for the patient’s long-term treatment options.
The Stabilization Period
Next, the team of medical professionals will need to stabilize the patient with medical and psychological therapy. The purpose of this step is to prevent all types of harm to the patient. The doctors may prescribe addiction treatment medications to keep complications at bay and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
The Preparation Period
The final step in the detoxification period is to prepare a patient for a treatment program. Doctors can help a patient familiarize themselves with the treatment process so that they know what to expect. Inpatient rehab centers can provide a person with the best shot of success once they complete detox.
Of course, detoxification is far from easy, and it is certainly not a process we recommend anyone to take on alone at home. Since this process can be painful or even deadly, we cannot stress the importance of medical detoxification.
What Are the Side Effects of Detox?
When a person detoxifies under medical supervision, they will be cleaning their system in a safe, supportive environment. Even though medical detox limits the side effects of withdrawal, some of them are unavoidable. Common symptoms include the following:
- Intense feelings of nervousness and anxiety
- Body discomfort
- Disrupted sleep
- Mood swings
- Inability to concentrate
There is no way to avoid some of the side effects of detox completely, but being monitored by a team of certified experts can help reduce their impact. Unfortunately, some rehab centers tout having a “rapid detox” program, which people should avoid at all costs.
What is the Ultra-Rapid Detox Method?
Rapid detox is a method of removing illicit substances from a person’s system faster than regular detox. Some rehab centers claim that it is the fastest, safest way to remove drugs from a person’s body while preventing painful withdrawal symptoms. Although it may be the fastest method, it is certainly not the safest.
Typically, a doctor will put a patient under anesthesia for approximately six hours while opioid antagonist drugs “kick out” the opioid drugs, such as pain killers, out of a patient’s system. The goal is for the drugs to be flushed out of a patient’s system by the time they wake up. The patient is then monitored overnight before they are released.
Although this method may sound appealing to individuals who do not understand the full scope of addiction, it is not necessarily a “one and done” method. Detox is not a cure for mental illness or addiction, and this method does not support long-term recovery. Moreover, most treatment providers and medical experts agree that this is not an effective form of detoxification.
The risks of rapid detox programs far outweigh the benefits. Here are a few of the side effects:
- Heart attack
- High body temperature
A person can complete an ultra-rapid detox program in as little as a few hours; however, 1 in 500 people die from this method for unknown reasons, according to the Coleman Institute. Furthermore, these programs cost over $10,000 and are generally not covered by any insurance providers. It is also worth noting that individuals who choose this method are less likely to continue receiving treatment and support from an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, so they are less likely to work on relapse prevention. Sadly, this means they are more likely to experience a relapse episode compared to individuals who stay at a treatment center for weeks or months.
Although detox is necessary, it is not sufficient to help a person maintain long-term sobriety. Inpatient treatment centers are the best way to detox for a person who is fighting addiction.
Why Treatment Centers Are the Best Option to Help People with Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Detoxification is a critical first step in the journey to sobriety, but it only addresses the physical dimension of addiction. For most people, it takes months for their brains to return to normal functioning and successfully manage cravings. Professionals in the field of addiction are in near-unanimous agreement that detox should only take place in specialized detoxification facilities. Staying in a medically supervised detox facility can help a patient with the following:
- Combat cravings, as care is supervised, and medications will be available to help with drug abuse impulses.
- Receive medications to help with the uncomfortable (and sometimes severe) effects of withdrawal.
- Offer a support system that consists of professionals and individuals going through a similar experience, which can act as a soothing mental balm for the emotional and psychological complications that often go hand in hand in detoxification.
The best treatment centers welcome people of all backgrounds with open arms and promote a holistic approach to soothe a patient’s mind, body, and soul.
Ardu Recovery Center Can Provide Patients with a Holistic Recovery Approach
Although the detox process is different for everyone, the best way to detox is staying at an inpatient treatment center that offers a holistic approach. At Ardu Recovery Center, we know that medical treatment alone does not always treat the root causes of addiction. We believe that our residents are best off when we focus on nourishing both their body and mind.
We are located in beautiful Provo, Utah. Reach out to us today with any questions you may have.