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Created On Thursday, 04, February 2016
Modified On Friday, 23, October 2020

Information on Medical Detoxification for Opioids, Prescribed Medication and Other Drugs

This is a picture of the word Detox written in Green with a hand holding a penMedical detox is the first step taken when someone begins the rehabilitation process. The detoxification process is necessary to manage withdrawal cravings and symptoms. Medical detox is different from standard detox because it treats more serious cases of withdrawal. Drugs and alcohol create physical and psychological dependence, resulting in dangerous withdrawal cravings and symptoms. Medical detoxification provides a safe environment for withdrawal from drugs or alcohol under medical supervision. Medical detox programs use medication management, which is a process of administering medication to manage withdrawal cravings. Someone addicted to opioids would benefit from this process because of how dangerous withdrawal symptoms become.

Someone going through a medical detox would experience a wide range of withdrawal symptoms. For example, withdrawal symptoms include shaking, irregular heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, depression, hallucinations, and sweating. Medical detox centers provide proper medical supervision to help an addict detox in a comfortable environment. Withdrawing from drugs or alcohol is extremely difficult and dangerous due to cravings and life-threatening symptoms. A medical detoxification program is a safe and effective way to withdrawal from these substances. There are inpatient and outpatient medical detox programs—inpatient services are the most common. Outpatient medical detox is typically a medical professional providing off-site advice and supervision while the patient detoxes at home.

There are many benefits with medical detox, and the main benefits are being able to withdraw from drugs and alcohol safely. Most residential drug rehabilitation centers have the capability of offering medical detox. Other medical detox programs are private centers and separate from a drug rehabilitation program. Someone struggling with severe alcoholism would benefit from a medical detox. Alcohol withdrawal becomes dangerous, especially for lifelong alcoholics. The other benefits of medical detox include receiving 24/7 medical care and support and recovering in a drug and alcohol-free environment. Medical detox programs typically use medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Also, detox helps reduce the risk of overdose, relapse, and death.

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When to Consider Medical Detox

Substance abuse and addiction impact millions of Americans, and these problems become severe when the proper help is not gotten right away. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among people aged 12 or older, 60.1% used a substance in the past month. Approximately 50.8% drank alcohol in the past month, and 13% had used an illicit drug in the past month. Alcohol addiction is one of the most common addictions where medical detox is required. Among people aged 12 or older in 2019, 50.8% drank alcohol in the past month. The percentage of people consuming alcohol in 2019 was similar to the percentages from 2002 to 2004 and 2015 to 2018.

Severe alcoholism affects people from all age groups, and medical detox is effective. When the addiction becomes out of control, and the addict requires drugs or alcohol to manage their day-to-day life, this would be time to consider a medical detox. Severe alcoholism results in th