Drug detoxification (normally referred to simply
as 'detox') is the most important part of becoming free from addiction,
and for this reason, drug detox should be handled with great care.
Detox is a medical procedure, and should be handled in a medical
facility under great supervision.
The reason for this is that detox can be fatal.
What happens to the body when one becomes addicted is a chemical
change, and to take this chemical away from the body all at once
without proper care from the drug detox can turn from a positive
process to a fatal one.
The physical symptoms of detoxification vary
according to what type of drugs you are detoxing from. Because there
are thousands of chemical reactions that can occur in our body as a
result of the drugs, taking the drug away will affect those chemical
reactions. Symptoms range from cold sweats to shaking, to things as
serious as convulsions and heart palpitations. Here is what you can
expect from specific drugs:
Stimulants (eg. cocaine, amphetamines): These
drugs enhance nerve cell signaling. As a result, the nerve's native
signaling chemicals are depleted. This and sleep disturbance are the
neuro-biochemical reasons for the "come down" from cocaine and speed.
Benzodiazapenes (eg. Valium, Xanax, Ativan,
Ambien): Drugs in this category turn down the signal of nerve cells.
They make you sleepy and relaxed. When these drugs are stopped, the
nerves are sensitive to the smallest stimulation. Taking these drugs
out of your system will make you very jittery and shaky. You may have
trouble sleeping, and in severe cases, you could have convulsions.
Alcohol: An abrupt cessation of alcohol
consumption can cause seizures and even a heart attack. Hallucinations,
sleep disturbance, and anxiety can occur as well.
Opiates (eg. heroin, Vicodin): These drugs are
used as pain killers and are meant to soothe and calm the body.
Withdrawal from opiates can be particularly painful and severe. Expect
sweating, severe muscle aches, nausea, and intense cravings.
Because these symptoms are so painful, detoxing
from opiates often lead addicts to begin using again. Medical
technology has provided specific drugs that can help with
detoxification symptoms. While it sounds odd to take a drug in order to
get off a drug, because some of the symptoms are so severe, having
certain pain-killers available can be very important. Also, the drugs
used are generally not addictive, and when you are under the care of a
doctor, they will monitor your usage very carefully until you won't
have to take those drugs anymore.
Having said this, some detox centres are
explicitly non-medicated, meaning that they resist giving
pain-relieving drugs during the detox process. Even so, such facilities
have medical professionals constantly monitoring their patients, and
ready to respond to any medical emergency.
Detox is the first and necessary step in the
process of rehabilitation for drug addicts of all varieties. The
overall rehab process can take many months and even years, but it
begins with detox, and this process should not normally take longer
than about one week.
Methadone reduces the cravings associated with heroin use and bl...
Addiction To Drugs
Nowadays, we are familiar with the extremely addictive character of methamphetamine, cocaine and other...
Causes Of Drug Addiction
The causes of drug addiction are as varied as the amount of drugs...
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug that is snorted, sniffed, injected, or smoked. Crack is cocaine that has be...
Heroin addiction is a personal struggle that many descr...
Prolonged use of Vicodin can lead to addiction because ...
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that tobacco use remains the leading p...
Symptoms Of Drug Addiction
The most obvious sign of course is your loved-one's inability to resist t...
Lots of people believe that marijuana is not a harmful drug and that...
Heroin is an addictive drug that is processed from morp...
Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused drug in the United States...
Addiction To Prescription Drugs
Most people who take prescription medications use them respo...
Teen Drug Addiction
Drugs affect a teenager's body in different ways. Plus when persons are becoming addicted as teenagers,...
Heroin addiction is not a habit that can be picked up overnight; it is actually a habit ...
Drug Addiction Rehab
Drug rehab can take the form of behavioral (or 'cognitive') therapy, medication, or a combin...
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine, but has longer lasting ...
The Narconon Controversy
This form of treatment does not use any drugs of any type to ease the pain of withdrawal...
How To Help A Drug Addict
Most people who take prescription medications use them responsibly. However, the inappropriate or non-medic...