Medical detox is an important first step in recovery. It gives the body a starting point to begin coping with sobriety by medicating withdrawal symptoms and removing addictive substances. For drug and alcohol addicts, this treatment is needed before they begin a recovery treatment program in earnest.
This guide helps explain why medical detox is important, and how it works. To learn how you can get treatment, call us at Drug Treatment Centers Great Neck at (516) 283-5681 for answers.
Deep within the brain is a component known as the limbic system. This system connects to every other part of the brain, and offers emotional rewards or penalties in response to positive action. When a person works well, helps people or even works out, his brain’s limbic system stays in the loop.
It produces the neurotransmitter dopamine for two effects — it rewards these actions with positive feelings such as pride, satisfaction and joy, and also helps the brain learn a deep attachment to those actions. In this way, the brain learns positive habits.
Drugs and alcohol commandeer the limbic system and force it to produce dopamine on demand. Not only does this action result in a great deal of pleasure, it causes a deeply learned drug/alcohol habit. A person can no more overcome such habit or addiction on his own than he can learn to overcome his ability to feel pride or joy at achieving something.
Medical detox and rehabilitation are the only ways to escape addiction.
To be successful, a rehab treatment plan needs to follow the following steps:
Evaluation: At rehab, doctors with experience in dealing with dual diagnosis situations — drug or alcohol addictions with accompanying mental health problems — evaluate the patient to find out exactly where his addiction stands, and whether a mental health component is involved.
Detoxification: The first step to treating the patient is to help him cease substance abuse. This is achieved through detoxification. The patient is placed in an environment with no access to drugs or alcohol, and is closely monitored for adverse reactions.
Doctors watch out for severe tremors, headache, abdominal pain, seizures, and cardiac irregularities and so on, and offer medications to help, and to keep the patient safe. They may offer sedation or opioid agonists such as naltrexone to help the patient stay free of both withdrawal symptoms, and the temptation to do drugs.
At the end of this month-long process, the patient’s brain and body will have usually regained their balance, and will have begun to function normally. The cravings will have disappeared for the most part.
Rehabilitation: The medical detox process may help the patient free of free himself of his cravings and withdrawal symptoms for the most part. This is no guarantee of a return to normalcy, though. The mental illnesses or other psychological forces that forced the patient to turn to substance abuse probably still exist. It can take years of therapy to make sure that the patient has the skills needed to cope with his vulnerabilities.
Every substance with addictive capacity acts on the brain and body in slightly different ways. The withdrawal symptoms that they cause tend to be different, too. In general, patients tend to experience insomnia, nightmares, depression, fatigue, and obsession with suicide. Each type of substance does tend to cause a few unique withdrawal symptoms, too, though.
To all appearances, outpatient clinics may seem to offer the same level of care as residential ones. It’s important to remember, though, that patients only tend to stick with detoxification and rehabilitation courses that don’t challenge them too greatly. This is an important idea to keep in mind when you look for treatment centers.
Residential treatment simply demands far less of patients. Placed in a drug-free environment and offered constant medical care to ensure that withdrawal symptoms are kept to a minimum, they simply stand a greater chance of successfully making it through.
If you would like to discuss the medical detox options available to you or try to help a loved one, call us at Drug Treatment Centers Great Neck at (516) 283-5681