Medical detox normally takes place at the outset of the drug treatment process, with medications and professional support staff on hand to assist with drug discontinuation. While an extensive medication period is not always required, medications are often needed to treat physical drug addictions.
Medical detox is the experience and process of drug withdrawal, with different psychoactive substances producing different withdrawal symptoms. Medications are typically used to alleviate potentially dangerous symptoms and help stabilize patients prior to psychotherapy treatment. The medical detox process often takes place at dedicated detox clinics, some of which are attached to rehabilitation centers.
To find medical detox treatment, call Drug Treatment Centers Union City at (201) 751-0607.
Psychoactive drugs are often categorized according to the type of addiction they cause, with some substances producing a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation and others producing an emotional-motivational withdrawal syndrome. Physical addictions are more likely to require medical detox, with medications often administered to alleviate and manage the withdrawal syndrome.
Physically addictive narcotics include heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, methadone, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and many more. Generally speaking, physical addictions are caused by drugs that act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Psychologically addictive drugs include marijuana, methamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, and prescription stimulants like Adderall and Concerta.
Alcohol dependence produces a physical withdrawal syndrome, with potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms experienced when drinking is stopped. Possible symptoms include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, sweating, seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. These symptoms range from mild to potentially life-threatening, with medications often administered to manage the withdrawal syndrome.
Benzodiazepine drugs such as Librium, Valium and Serax are widely used during alcohol detox, with these drugs able to suppress dangerous symptoms and help stabilize patients. Long-acting benzos are generally preferred to short-acting benzos, with different treatment patterns used depending on the length and extent of dependence.
Librium is the trade name for chlordiazepoxide, the first benzodiazepine drug to be synthesized back in the 1950s. Along with Valium, Librium is the most widely used medication during alcohol detox. While this narcotic is widely believed to be safe for short-term use when used under medical supervision, it is possible to replace an alcohol addiction with a benzo addiction unless care is taken.
Common side effects of Librium include confusion, nausea, drowsiness, constipation, lack of coordination, and liver problems. The chronic use of Librium does lead to tolerance and dependence, with a gradual dose reduction of this drug typically applied once the patient is sober and enrolled in a rehab program.
Methadone is an opioid drug often taken during heroin and opioid detox to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is also used on a long-term basis during opioid replacement therapy, which is also known as opioid substitution therapy or methadone therapy. While methadone is available on a residential and out-patient basis, out-patient programs need to be certified by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Buprenorphine is often substituted for methadone during detox and maintenance medication programs, with buprenorphine having the advantage of being a partial opioid antagonist.
While detox is an important part of the alcohol and drug treatment process, it does very little to address the issues surrounding abuse and addiction. Patients are always advised to enter a rehab program, with a range of behavioral therapies applied to treat the precedents of drug dependence. Relapse prevention and aftercare support also play an important role in the treatment process, with patients learning how to integrate what they have learned during treatment and move on with their lives.
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