Medically assisted detox regimes are often administered prior to rehabilitation, with a range of medications prescribed to reduce withdrawal symptoms and stabilize patients. Medical detox is the process and experience of drug withdrawal in a safe medically supervised setting, including dedicated detox clinics, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. Medical detox is normally recommended for substances that produce physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use, including alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines. While detox is still an important process for people struggling with psychological dependence issues, medical intervention may not be required. If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug or alcohol problem, there is a program in Orangetown to help.
The Stages of Medical Detox
Medically supervised detoxification can be divided into three separate stages: initial evaluation, medical stabilization, and consultation. The initial stage of treatment involves a number of physical and mental tests prior to treatment itself, including blood tests and psychological examinations. This is important for many reasons: helping to identify currently circulating substances, helping to identify co-existing mental health disorders, and helping to examine whether the client is a threat to themselves or others. The second stage of medical detox attempts to stabilize the patient with appropriate medication support, with different drugs used depending on the substance and extent of addiction. While it is possible to stabilize patients without medication support, this can be dangerous when physical withdrawal symptoms are present. The third and final stage of detox involves a detailed consultation process, with therapists helping clients to recognize the importance of rehab and find appropriate rehabilitation programs.
Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox
Alcohol dependence is a serious medical problem that often requires professional medical intervention and support. Regular exposure to alcohol can lead to dependence and addiction over time, with tolerance developing slowly and physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms likely upon cessation of use. Typical withdrawal symptoms from alcoholism include excessive sweating, headaches, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, depression, seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. These symptoms range in intensity from mild physical disturbances through to serious medical complications, with medication treatment often needed to reduce the severity of symptoms before they lead to additional problems. Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including brand name drugs such as Librium, Serax, and Valium. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system (CNS) depressants and sedatives, with these drugs often used in to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
Sedative Withdrawal and Detox
Sedative drugs include barbiturates and benzodiazepines, both of which are addictive CNS depressants. People get addicted to sedative medications in two main ways, with some people abusing drugs for recreational purposes and others becoming dependent on existing psychiatric medications due to misuse or overuse. Sedative dependence is a physical condition, with specific and potentially severe physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms likely upon cessation of use. A medical detox period is advised for people addicted to sedative drugs, with long half-life benzos often prescribed to reduce withdrawal symptoms as dosage levels are reduced slowly over time. Sedative withdrawal symptoms are similar to those for alcohol dependence, with medications needed to reduce the chance of patients developing seizures and delirium tremens.
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