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Medical Detox


Removing toxins from the body after prolonged drug or alcohol abuse is known as the detoxification process and it is typically the first step in treatment. A medical detox is administered once an assessment of substances has been conducted. Many facilities in New York are available to provide a professional medical detoxification for you or a loved one if you find yourself to be bound by the illness.

An alcohol or drug medical detox is needed to prevent health and safety risks that can develop during withdrawal. Attempting to detox without health care oversight commonly leads to a painful and possibly life-threatening situation. The professional assistance provided during a medical detox is one of the only ways to avoid the dangerous risks associated with the withdrawal process.

Withdrawing without the use of any professionally distributed medication medications can lead to great pain and discomfort during detoxification. A medical detox allows the addict to be more comfortable by dispensing medications that imitate illicit drugs and alcohol by filling the same brain receptors the illicit substances did. This process slowly weans the person off their substance of abuse and eases them through stages where they may experience intense cravings. These cravings are often so intense that they lead addicts to relapse simply to alleviate the discomfort.


Withdrawal Symptoms without Medical Help

When people attempt to cause using drugs or alcohol once they are addicted serious withdrawal symptoms will likely occur. Seizures, convulsions, tremors and agitation are all typically seen in heavy users. Hallucinations and the DTs (delirium tremens) are also known to develop in certain cases and may cause coma or be lethal.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms develop when an addict stops taking the substance cold turkey, meaning they do not ease themselves off the drug. Prescribed medications given in a detox replace heroin by filling the brain’s opioid receptors. Heroin withdrawal symptoms may include perspiration, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, agitation, anxiety, panic and possibly death.

Meth withdrawal symptoms will depend on the level and length of time a person has abused meth. Withdrawal symptoms include severe fatigue, acute depression, hunger, high anxiety, paranoia, restlessness, heightened aggressiveness and thoughts of suicide. In many cases, symptoms will not be fatal, but if abuse has been over long periods of time, or other drugs were used frequently, further complications could create a potentially fatal outcome without medical supervision.


Detox and Treatment Medications

  • Suboxone is a prescription drug containing buprenorphine and naloxone. It’s used as a prescription maintenance drug for opioid and opiate addictions.
  • Methadone relieves withdrawal syndrome due to opiate and opioid drug addiction withdrawal. It’s also used a maintenance medication once people leave treatment to prevent relapsing back to opiates or opioids substance use.
  • Naltrexone aids abstinence, reduces relapse rates and decreases alcohol intake in the event of a relapse.
  • Antabuse is given to encourage people to avoid alcohol by causing negative reactions if the person drinks. It could result in intense hangovers in reaction to liquor consumption.
  • Neurontin is used with other medications to prevent and control seizures that may occur during detoxification.
  • Bupropion is used to treat depression, a common symptom of different types of detox, commonly seen in alcohol and meth detoxes.


Follow-up Treatment after Detox

Medical detoxification, even if undergone at some of the best New York treatment facilities, can still end up in a relapse if follow-up treatment is not provided, or is disregarded. Medical detox removes the substance of abuse from the body, while avoiding severe or fatal complications. After detox, further treatment needs to continue with behavioral therapies, counseling and nutritional supplementation. If not, it is highly likely that relapse will occur shortly afterwards. If substance abuse is severe, inpatient or partial hospitalization programs are recommended.


Home Detox – Dangers and Pitfalls

An in-home detox will not provide the medical personnel, nor the professionally administered medications that are offered during an inpatient program. The danger lies in unpredictable and sudden medical emergencies that would need immediate medical attention that is absent in an in-home detoxification. If a person loses consciousness and is alone and unable to summon help, serious complications may result. Seek help from professionals at a New York treatment center, it could mean the difference between life and death.