The Truth Behind How Detox Programs Prepare You for Going to Treatment Afterward



  September 11, 2018    

Drug addiction has no upside. Once you start, it’s downhill all the way. The momentary pleasure you get comes at a huge cost to your health and life. If you are someone who has decided to seek help – whether for yourself or for a loved one — you need no discourse on how it can ravage a person’s life. The consequences of substance abuse have been well-documented. There are countless examples of good people who have been destroyed by their addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

Home remedies and alternative solutions do not work

All hope is not lost if you are a drug addict, though. No matter what stage of addiction you are in, you can be cured with a well-planned and well-executed medically assisted detox program. But, if you are thinking of trying those “amazing” home remedies and alternative solutions that you have heard about, then you are in for a nasty surprise. They do not work. They have no structure and do not focus on the real problem. You will soon find yourself back where you were before you started.

Detox is the only guaranteed way to cleanse the body

What you need to know about drug and alcohol addiction is it’s not like an electric light that you can switch off at will. You cannot begin the treatment process without cleaning the body. The patient’s body must be free of any trace of drugs before treatment can begin. So, a detoxification program involves weaning the patient away from drugs using medications, such as Suboxone, methadone, and Naltrexone (for alcohol), in gradually decreasing quantities. Addiction recovery programs work because they focus on the real problem, which is how to manage the withdrawal symptoms.

How detox prepares the patient for treatment

Like all good programs, detox programs in NJ have one common objective and that is to put the patient firmly on the road to a full recovery. The program has three steps: detox, therapy, and aftercare.

Each step has a specific purpose. The purpose of detox is to remove all traces of the drug (or alcohol) from a person’s system. So, detox is the process of purging and cleansing the body. The purpose of therapy is to treat the physical and psychological disorders resulting from the addiction. The purpose of aftercare is to make sure the patient will never go back to taking drugs.

Therapy doesn’t work when the patient’s mind and body are contaminated with drugs and alcohol. So, the first step is to cleanse his or her system of pollutants. Once all traces of drugs and alcohol are removed, he or she can be cured of all the illnesses resulting from addiction. Thus, detox prepares the patient for treatment.

Detox suppresses withdrawal symptoms

The biggest obstacle for a drug or alcohol addict on the road to recovery is the withdrawal symptoms. They begin soon after he or she stops taking the drug and can only be reduced by proper medication. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the withdrawal symptoms can be divided into the following groups:

• Mild symptoms: Craving for drug/alcohol, abdominal cramps, nausea, runny nose, sweats, watering eyes, frequent yawning, chills, and bone and muscle aches.

• Moderate symptoms: Craving for drug/alcohol, vomiting, restlessness, agitation, diarrhea, goosebumps, tremors, fatigue, and trouble concentrating.

• Severe symptoms: Craving for drug/alcohol, anxiety, depression, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, muscle spasm, impaired respiration, and difficulty feeling pleasure.

While rarely fatal, these symptoms can make life unbearable. If the craving for the drug is not suppressed, then it will not take long for the patient to relapse. This is why natural detox or self-detox is not recommended.

Medication is an essential part of the detox process

The detox process begins as soon as the patient checks into a detox center in NJ. The process has two primary goals. The first is to keep the withdrawal symptoms under control and the second is to prepare the patient for the treatment.

The process begins with the formulation of a tapering plan, which involves giving the patient a substitute drug in decreasing quantities until he or she no longer has cravings for the drug. The plan can last from a week to a few months depending upon the severity of the addiction and the patient’s general condition. As soon as the patient exhibits the first sign of withdrawal, he or she is given a curtained predetermined dose of a substitute drug. The dose is reduced by a certain amount every day.

At the same time, the patient is given nutritious food and drinks to replenish the minerals and vitamins he or she has lost and to expedite the detox process. The patient is also told to rest so his or her body gets plenty of time to recover from the damage caused by the drug.

Drugs used to treat addictions

The drug used for detoxification depends on the type of addiction. Suboxone and methadone are used for opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are used for alcohol addiction. Baclofen and desipramine are used for addiction to stimulants, such as nicotine, cocaine, and methamphetamine or meth. Meth is one of the most popular illegal stimulants among drug addicts. This extremely addictive drug destroys brain tissue and causes brain damage.

• Suboxone: Given to patients with opiate addiction, Suboxone is a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opiate agonist, which means it behaves like an opiate drug but to a much lesser degree. Naloxone is an opiate antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opiates. This drug reduces a patient’s craving for a drug while preventing the risk of an overdose, and is, therefore, used in a tapering plan.

• Naltrexone: Naltrexone is a medication used to treat patients with an opioid or alcohol addiction. It is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effect of opiates and decreases the craving for the drug. In patients with an alcohol addiction, it helps them drink less or stop drinking. It is used as part of a complete drug abuse treatment program and is not given to patients who are currently taking opiates.

• Disulfiram: This drug is used to treat chronic alcoholism. It produces an acute sensitivity to ethanol and makes the patient very ill even if he or she consumes a small amount of alcohol. It is also used to treat cocaine addiction.

• Baclofen: Baclofen is a central nervous system depressant that can be used to treat cocaine addiction. It is a GABA-receptor antagonist, which means it inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine. It works by reducing the feeling of pleasure produced by cocaine.

Desipramine: This is a tricyclic antidepressant that can be used to treat cocaine addiction. It has been found to help maintain abstinence to cocaine addiction, but not to initiate the abstinence.

Detox prepares the body for treatment

Detox prepares the body for going to treatment afterward. It is only after a successful detoxification in a NJ detox center that a patient becomes satisfactorily receptive to treatment. Most patients come to grips with their substance use disorder during the detoxification process and begin to cooperate with the medical professionals involved in their treatment. Thus, detox is helpful in stabilizing a patient emotionally, which is essential for further treatment.

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