Drug Detox Rehab and Program

Drug Detox

Drug detox is a process in which the body is allowed to rid itself of a drug. During this period of drug detox, the symptoms of withdrawal are also treated. Detoxification is the first step in any drug treatment program, and is used as the initial phase in treating alcohol, heroin, inhalant, sedative, prescription drugs and hypnotic addictions.

When individuals are physically dependent on a substance, they experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms vary with each drug of abuse, but can be severe, and even dangerous. Many times people addicted to benzodiazepines or alcohol requires a medically supervised drug detox. People who want to overcome their dependence with long term recovery need help managing the withdrawal symptoms. The person's medical team strives to get the patient off a substance on which he or she is physically dependent, while treating the withdrawal symptoms. The same is done for those not needing a medical detox in the facility they choose for rehab. The qualified staff will get them through their withdrawal as comfortable as possible.

Pregnant women cannot be detoxified from opiates (also called narcotics, including morphine, heroin, Lortab, Vicodin and similar drugs) because strict detoxification can increase the risk of spontaneous abortion or premature birth. Methadone is used as an alternative. Methadone will act as a replacement for the heroin in the woman's body without the "high" that the heroin provides. In addition, methadone is safer for the fetus than heroin.

For the first step of treatment to be effective, drug detox must be an individualized process because patients have varying needs due to the different substances they have become addicted to.

The body will detoxify itself through its normal metabolic processes to rid itself of drugs and alcohol. The withdrawal symptoms are treated during this process so that the patient will be comfortable while the body detoxifies itself.

The first step in any drug detox, regardless of the substance, is a physical exam and history taken by a physician. Having this information from the exam will help the treatment team assess the patient's overall health. In general, the healthier the patient is, the better the chances are that the patient will experience a detoxification without serious or life-threatening complications.

A successful drug detox will increase the persons’ ability when returning to their life to stay drug and alcohol free and apply the skills they have acquired from their rehab of choice. It will be dependent on the type of rehab the person chooses if they will be using drug replacement therapy such as methadone or antabuse or they will be taking nothing due to having done a “drug free” rehab. Either way, successful drug detox is vital for successful long term recovery.