You’ve heard of rehab. You’ve heard of detox. Do you really know what they are in regards to drug or alcohol abuse? If you’re checking for yourself or a loved one, you really should know what they are and where to find help.
Substance use disorder (SUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are huge issues that affect millions of adults every day. Because they are so complicated, these problems need a variety of medical supports. If you try to define the meaning of “rehabilitation,” you have to consider the steps that are involved in helping an individual overcome substance abuse.
Detoxification is defined as the metabolic (life-sustaining chemical reactions) process that removes toxins (poisons) from the body. It is the way that the body rids itself of the waste products that can harm us. The purpose is to clean away the internal impurities that can cause disease and deterioration.
Detox is the first step of treatment that an addict takes on the road to recovery. The length of detox can vary based on the length and type of the addiction and each person’s individual treatment program. It is usually medically monitored in an inpatient setting.
The Washington Circle Group (WCG), a group of experts organized to improve the quality and effectiveness of substance abuse treatment, described three necessary components to detox that may happen all at once or in steps:
This evaluation is the basis for the treatment plan after withdrawal is completed.
This includes medical and social methods that help the person through the intoxication and withdrawal process to become medically stable and substance-free. While this includes medication in some cases, it also includes getting the person familiar with what to expect in treatment and what their part in treatment and recovery will be.
Part 3 involves preparing the individual for entry into a treatment program. This step emphasizes the importance of following through with the complete course of treatment.
Withdrawal happens because your brain works like a spring regarding addiction. Drugs and alcohol are brain depressants that push down the spring. They curb the brain’s production of neurotransmitters (carry messages in the brain) like noradrenaline.When you stop using the substance, it’s like lifting the weight off the spring. The brain rebounds by producing a surge of adrenaline that causes withdrawal symptoms.
Because every drug is different, some produce significant physical withdrawal such as:
Some produce little physical withdrawal, but more emotional withdrawal symptoms such as:
Each person’s physical withdrawal pattern is different too. You might experience a small amount of physical withdrawal but that doesn’t mean that you’re not addicted. Instead of physical symptoms, you may have more emotional withdrawal symptoms.
Following are two lists of drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The first list is the emotional withdrawal symptoms caused by all drugs. You can have these whether or not you have physical withdrawal symptoms. Second is the list of physical withdrawal symptoms that usually occur with alcohol, opiates, and tranquilizers.
Tranquilizers and alcohol cause the most dangerous physical withdrawal. Stopping tranquilizers or alcohol suddenly can lead to serious conditions in high risk patients. A medically supervised detox can reduce your withdrawal symptoms and risk of dangerous complications. Some dangerous withdrawal symptoms include:
Withdrawal from opiates like heroin and oxycontin is intensely uncomfortable. But not usually life-threatening unless they are combined with other drugs. Heroin withdrawal on its own doesn’t cause seizures, heart attack, stroke, or DTs. Detox and withdrawal is a serious issue and Coastal Detox rehab center in Stuart, Florida is experienced and specializes in helping clients through the risky process of detox and withdrawal.
Treatment for withdrawal symptoms includes:
Combined, these can prevent possible complications and ease symptoms. People can stop their abuse suddenly and manage their withdrawal symptoms on their own with some substances.
For example, a person may be able to quit caffeine without assistance and be able to deal with the unpleasant symptoms until they subside. However, suddenly quitting substances such as benzodiazepines or alcohol can be dangerous. A medically-assisted withdrawal can make sure that you’re safe and help reduce many uncomfortable symptoms.
The medications prescribed to help relieve symptoms will vary depending on the type of substance you were using. Some of the medications used to treat different types of withdrawal include:
There are other medications that might also be used for specific withdrawal symptoms. These include:
The national Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has stated that, in most cases, the symptoms caused by drug withdrawal are easy to treat with medications that reduce or remove the discomfort. But treating withdrawal is not the same as treating the dependence or the addiction. Our rehab center in Stuart, Florida is expert at preparing our clients to enter treatment programs after detox.
Recognizing an addiction problem in yourself or someone you know can be more difficult than it seems. Addiction is defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as a chronic disease that affects the reward, motivation and memory functions of the brain. A person with an addiction will crave a substance or a behavioral habit. They frequently ignore other parts of their life to support their addiction.
All of these signs are commonly connected. But the degree of intensity for each sign might depend on how long the addiction has been going on.
Healthy people can usually recognize a negative behavior and get rid of it. This is not true of someone with an addiction. Instead of admitting the problem exists, they tend to find ways to justify and continue the behavior.
During the early stages of addiction, a person might not show the signs of a full-blown addiction. Particularly if the individual is going to great lengths to hide it. Some early clues are:
When looking at common social behaviors like drinking or smoking, it can be difficult to tell if there’s an addiction problem. Something that appears to be an addiction might just be an experimental phase or form of stress management. Nevertheless, real addiction, if untreated, can become a crippling habit or increased illness risk.
After a person goes past experimentation, they’ll probably show some major personality changes:
It’s important to rule out any medical reasons for someone’s decline in health. But remember that someone with an addiction will almost always play down the seriousness of their condition.
If there’s no other explanation, then there’s an increased possibility of an addiction problem.
While in the middle and later stages of addiction, the negative effects will become more permanent or cause more long-term consequences. A person with a serious addiction might ignore it or make it seem unimportant in favor of continuing their habit.
Some possible long-term consequences include:
Although these things can occur to someone who doesn’t have an addiction problem, they become more common when an addiction is present.
Whether you’re the individual with the addiction, or it’s a member of your family, or a good friend, it’s important to recognize the true danger of the illness, and to understand the risks of not treating it. In the end, it is up to the addict to recognize their disorder and be ready to address their addiction before recovery can begin.
The addiction specialists at Coastal Detox can get you or your loved one off to a good start to your recovery in our Stuart, Florida drug rehab. We are located on the beautiful Treasure Coast of Florida, a serene and soothing place to clear your mind and body. Don’t put it off. Let us help you with that all-important first step. Contact us today.