The Importance of Drug Detox

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The cycle of drug addiction and chemical dependency is a vicious one that can start with an innocent experiment or a prescription. Addiction can sneak up on a high-school child who tries drugs because of peer pressure, or it can viciously attack a vulnerable person who turns to a drug for emotional comfort or stability. The cycle begins when the person ingests the drug and experiences the positive feelings associated with it. The person’s reaction will depend on the type of drug that he or she takes. Examples of the most commonly abused drugs are:

  •     Opiate painkillers
  •     Heroin
  •     Cocaine
  •     Benzodiazepines
  •     Alcohol
  •     Methamphetamine
  •     Crack
  •     Ecstasy
  •     LSD
  •     Marijuana

Each drug affects different receptors in the brain and causes chemical changes to occur. Some of the most common positive effects that drugs have on the brain are as follows:

  •     Feeling of extreme well-being (euphoria)
  •     Lack of pain
  •     False courage
  •     Assertiveness
  •     Energy
  •     Creativity
  •     Heightened passion

Once the person experiences the pleasant feelings, he or she may want to reuse the substance to obtain the same feelings. Eventually, that person’s body will become accustomed to using the substance, and it will require more of it to produce the same “high.” In other words, the person will develop a tolerance for a certain amount of the drug. For example, an alcohol-dependent person may need two cans of beer to feel a “buzz” instead of one. A heroin-dependent person may need two bags of heroin to receive the same feeling that he or she received initially from one bag.

From Tolerance to Dependence to Addiction

Tolerance is the first stage of dependence, and dependence is the first stage of addiction. Dependence can be physical, emotional or psychological. When a person’s body, mind and heart craves a drug, then that person will start to act out-of-character and perform drug-seeking activities. The drug-seeking activities can affect many aspects of the person’s life. Romantic relationships and close family relationships will suffer. Work life may suffer because the person starts showing up late and calling off. Social circles may change to include people who influence the person negatively by encouraging drug-seeking activities.

Additionally, an addicted person’s health may suffer. When drug addiction strikes, the person will need a professional facility to help him or her to break the cycle. An inpatient facility is the best facility for drug addiction because it provides members with a secure, supervised drug-free environment.

Understanding the Process

Drug detoxification is the second step in recovering from drug addiction. The first step is admitting the addiction and taking a step toward a facility. Detoxification is a process that involves cleansing the body of the impure substances that plague it. The body will go through withdrawal symptoms as it cleanses itself. The symptoms may be mild or severe depending on the potency of the drug and the length of the time the addicted person used it.

  •     Nausea
  •     Vomiting
  •     Diarrhea
  •     Restless leg syndrome
  •     Anxiety
  •     Depression
  •     Psychological cravings

Detox can take 72 hours to several weeks to complete. Being surrounded by a compassionate and helpful rehabilitation center staff will help the addicted person get past the withdrawal period. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

Why Drug Detox Is Important

Detox is important because it alleviates the person’s physical dependence on the drug. After the person is no longer physically dependent, he or she can then progress to different stages of recovery. Recovery has several stages, and an addicted person cannot progress until he or she completes detox.

What Happens Next?

The recovery facility can provide a wealth of supportive services to a person who has just gone through detox. Counseling is one service that a rehab center might offer. Several types of counseling exist. Individualized counseling focuses on the cause of the person’s addiction and the various environmental components that may have contributed to it. Group counseling helps addicted persons to meet like individuals. They can share addiction strategies, hopes, dreams aspirations and more. Group counseling can open the doors for moral support after the program ends, as well. Some facilities may offer alternative therapies that go outside the realm of traditional treatment.

How to Get Started

To find the best facility, an addicted person or concerned family member will have to search and perform comparisons. A referral hotline can help someone to obtain a list of local facilities. An insurance company may offer a few names. A doctor or mental health specialist can connect someone with an addiction facility.

Alternatively, the party could conduct a generic Internet search for a local facility. The person can receive help by asking for it. The facility will schedule an initial interview and perhaps a walk-through. If the addicted person feels comfortable with the facility, then the treatment can begin.

Author Bio:

Marilyn Kegley works with Choices Recovery to educate individuals about the effects, dangers and treatment of abuse problems involving substances such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol, painkillers, and many others. After watching numerous loved ones struggle with substance abuse, her goal is to help as many people as possible win their battles with addiction.  For more information please visit: http://choices-recovery.org/detoxification-without-treatment-recipe-failure/

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Written by Miriam Slozberg

Miriam Slozberg

Miriam Slozberg is an author, mom, blogger, depression advocate and social media consultant. Connect with her on the social media links below.

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