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Medical Detox

Addiction treatment is a process that begins with withdrawing from an addictive substance. Withdrawal causes a variety of physical and psychological symptoms that are unpleasant and can even be dangerous to an individual. Many addiction facilities in Rhode Island offer medical detox, which provides medications to reduce the severity of physical symptoms, as well as lessen the intense cravings that arise.

Detoxing From Alcohol or Drugs

Addiction occurs when the brain chemistry becomes altered due to the use of the substance. The normal neurotransmitter chemicals produced by the brain that regulate mood and feelings of pleasure are inhibited, and the person must rely on the substance to prevent the discomfort that occurs. In detox, the substance is withheld so that the brain can begin to return to normal function. Medical detox helps to reduce these effects. Without the withdrawal process, the person will continue to crave the substance and successful treatment cannot be accomplished.

What Happens in Medical Detox?

During detoxification, the substance gradually leaves the individual’s body. As it does this, the brain’s inability to produce the normal chemicals become evident, leaving the individual with a variety of negative sensations that can often drive them back to substance use to relieve the discomfort. Medical detox can help to reduce these negative sensations, so that the individual can continue the treatment process.

Detoxing At Home

The concept of detoxification is deceptively simple, and many people attempt to detox on their own at home. However, the unpleasant physical effects often drive them back to substance use to relieve the symptoms. In addition, withdrawal can also produce sudden medical emergencies, such as seizures or heart rate irregularities that can be dangerous, and may require a trip to the emergency room. For this reason, detox is best accomplished in an inpatient treatment center in Rhode Island that can provide medications to relieve symptoms and medical help, when necessary.

Types of Medical Detox Programs

Detox programs can be medical or non-medical. In medical programs, medications that are appropriate for the type of substance, are administered to assist the individual through withdrawal. Non-medical detox does not offer medications, but may provide other soothing therapies, such as vitamins, massage, and yoga.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Various Substances

  • Alcohol withdrawal – After discontinuing drinking, individuals may experience headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, tremors and hallucinations.
  • Meth withdrawal – Withdrawal from meth causes anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, aggression, and psychotic reactions.
  • OxyContin withdrawal – OxyContin withdrawal, like other opiate medications, produces withdrawals symptoms of muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and joint pain. Seizures can also occur.
  • Heroin withdrawal – Individuals withdrawing from heroin, experience nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, confusion, fatigue and seizures.

Medications Used To Help Detox

  • Suboxone – This drug is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, and is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings in individuals addicted to opiates, such as heroin and prescription pain pills.
  • Methadone – Methadone has been used for decades to help prevent cravings for those addicted to heroin. It replaces the appropriate brain chemicals without producing the high of the substance.
  • Naltrexone – This medication is used to reduce the cravings from opiate addiction. It is also used for alcohol dependence.
  • Antabuse – This drug is used to prevent alcoholics from relapsing by making them physically ill if they use alcohol while taking it.
  • Neurontin – This anti-convulsive medication has been found to be effective in helping individuals addicted to alcohol or cocaine to achieve lasting recovery.
  • Bupropion – Bupropion is an antidepressant used in opiate, methamphetamine, and cocaine addiction treatment to reduce cravings

Benefits of Medical Detox

The use of medications to reduce the discomfort of withdrawal, can help patients through the initial difficult period, so that they can fully participate in the treatment program.

If fear about the unpleasant effects of withdrawal is keeping you from getting the treatment you need, contact an addiction facility in Rhode Island today to learn more about the benefits of medical detox.