Alcohol and drug detox is a first important step in addiction recovery. Because detoxification from certain drugs can be dangerous and even life-threatening, it’s critical that the process takes place in a medical setting with supervision by trained professionals. These detox specialists can ensure the process is as comfortable as possible and provide the support needed to help people with addictions adequately prepare for and stay motivated to enter the next phase of treatment.
Detoxification from drugs and alcohol is different for each individual and depends on a number of factors such as the type of substance that has been abused, the amount of time it’s been abused and the physical and mental make-up of the person who’s been abusing it. Depending on the circumstances, the detox period can last anywhere from 2-10 days and withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe.
When drugs are abused to the point that a person’s body gets used to them and physical or psychological dependence develops, discontinuing their use can be traumatic for the mind and body. This is why most medical professionals do not recommend self-detox or quitting “cold turkey” and instead suggest undergoing this process with the supervision of medical staff that can monitor vital signs, administer medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, and intervene should any life-threatening symptoms arise.
Withdrawal symptoms vary by person and substance, but could include the following:
In addition to easing physical symptoms of alcohol or drug withdrawal, an effective medical detox program will also promote mental, emotional and spiritual healing. Whether people have entered alcohol or drug detox on their own accord or external circumstances have led them there, addiction professionals can help them accept they have a problem that is unmanageable, begin exploring the underlying reasons that led them to this point, and motivate them to move forward with treatment that will support long-term recovery.
The Elements Behavioral Health family of addiction and mental health treatment centers offers a range of medical detox programs that provide all the ingredients for a safe, comfortable drug detox experience. With caring, expertly trained physicians, psychiatrists, therapists and 24/7 nursing staffs as well as home-like, restorative settings and the latest evidence-based approaches and medications, clients begin restoring physical and mental health and are well-prepared for the next stage in addiction treatment.
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