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Explained: Basics of detoxification

Explained: Basics of detoxification

Detoxification is a necessary step in the process of recovery from addiction or dependence on substances like alcohol and drugs. Also known as withdrawal management, detox is a part of rehabilitation programs that helps people recover from drug or alcohol addiction. When somebody decides to go sober and lead a healthy life, he or she first undergoes detoxification as the initial step.

Detox is often misunderstood for various reasons. Painful withdrawal symptoms, initial side effects and, at times, failed attempts to give up addiction may give a different perceptive about the process. But detox is important as it cleans the body of all the toxins (drugs or alcohol) and prepares it to go ahead with the rehabilitation process. Here is a list of things about detox that one should know:

1) It is a must-go-through step before rehab: The purpose of detox is to remove the toxins from the body that have accumulated due to substance abuse. It takes care of the physical aspects of long-term addiction and without detox the likelihood of complete recovery from an addiction is quite less. For addiction treatments to be effective, the human system must be free of toxins.

2) It is not a complete treatment for addiction: An addiction is always physical and psychological. Detox addresses only the physical dependence on substances, thus, it is only a part of a comprehensive recovery program. A recovery program can take time to show its effect.

3) It requires professional supervision: When detox readies an addict for the recovery program, the person can exhibit a number of complications, including withdrawal symptoms. Medical supervision throughout the process ensures that no relapse occurs or there is least chance of relapses.

4) Duration may vary: The length of detox varies from person to person, depending on the person’s history of substance abuse, type of substance(s) abused, physical condition, as well as the underlying psychological condition.

5) It is not easy, especially after relapse: During the detox phase, addicts often exhibit strong cravings, withdrawal symptoms and at times self-destructive behaviors. There is likelihood of relapses in due course and with every relapse, addicts become more tolerant and dependent on the substance of abuse which can challenge the detox.

6) Multiple attempts may be needed: Although it is advisable to get free of addiction at one detox attempt, there may be instances when an addict may require to undergo detoxification more than once for complete recovery.

Choosing appropriate detox method

It is best to consult medical professionals before going ahead with detoxification. There are aspects involved in the process that require constant supervision by the consulting physician. Detox can be done either on an outpatient basis or at an inpatient rehab center. Depending on the types of substances of

abuse and the range of withdrawal symptoms exhibited by a patient, the right type of detox requirement is determined.

An outpatient detox program is recommended when the case of addiction is relatively less severe, where regular appointments with the treatment team and prescribed medications are adequate to address the case. This is relatively less expensive and moreover, if a patient wishes to continue going to work or be present at home, then the outpatient option works best for him. In case of an inpatient detox program, a patient has to be monitored in a residential treatment center to manage relapses.

If a loved one has decided to go sober, you should seek professional help for detox. An expert will suggest you the right treatment method by assessing the case. You may connect with the Colorado Detox Helpline to speak with addiction experts who can guide you with the required information on detox centers in Colorado. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-730-5807 or chat online to know about evidence-based detox therapies or about the detoxification treatment centers in Colorado.


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