January 10, 2019

What is Medically Assisted Detox?

What is Detox Like?

When a person is ready to get sober from drugs or alcohol, one of the first things they will experience once they’ve entered treatment is the detoxification process. The good news is, medically assisted detox is available to help make it easier. Detox is the process of the body getting rid of the addictive substances in it’s system.

When a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol, the brain becomes “re-wired” to become dependent on the substance, and ultimately require it in order to function. The beginning stages of detox can be known as being “dope sick”, which causes people to go to extreme lengths in order to ease the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that are coming on.

When the substance is no longer being supplied to the body, the brain sends distress signals and people experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms until the substance has completely left the body. Once the brain becomes re-wired again to not need drugs in order to function, the withdrawal symptoms subside and the emotional, psychological work begins. Depending on the length and the severity of the addiction, this process can take anywhere from 3-14 days.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Excessive yawning
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Muscle aches
  • Watery eyes
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Advantages of Medically Assisted Detox

Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, and in some cases, they can be very dangerous. Alcohol withdrawal, in particular, can often be fatal. In order to safely detox from drugs or alcohol, medically assisted detox options and medical supervision are extremely important.

It can save your life

When medication is administered during detox, your body is relieved of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and you are able to better focus on therapy. In addition, medication can be provided to help you kick any cravings. One of the most popular medications to help with this is Vivitrol.

According to their website, Vivitrol is considered an antagonist, which attach to opioid receptors but do not cause the release of dopamine. Vivitrol is non-addictive and does not lead to physical dependence. Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain for one month at a time, helping patients to prevent relapse to opioid dependence following detox while they focus on counseling.

Aside from medically assisted detox, there is also medication such as Zipitrol. This helps to prevent clients from getting high, even if they take drugs or alcohol upon leaving treatment. It is an extra added cushion to help people along with their sobriety.

Better chances of recovery

Medication is especially important to take advantage of because relapse happens most within the first 90 days of becoming sober. This also includes the first 90 days at a treatment center, not just upon completion of the program. People often decide they want to “give up” and they manipulate their families to let them come back home, sneak substances into the facility, or just get up and leave one day in order to use and then come back. If you are able to get through this tough period of extreme cravings with the help of medication, then your chances of staying sober for the long-term are much better.

In addition to the physical comfort that medically assisted detox provides, it also provides a lot of emotional comfort. One of the major reasons people do not want to enter treatment for drugs or alcohol is because they do not want to experience these uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. If the option of not experiencing these is presented, you or a loved one might be more inclined to enter treatment.

Dangers of Detoxing Alone

Many people try to become sober on their own and ultimately fail. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely powerful and uncomfortable and if someone does not have assistance, they might be too tempted to go back to using drugs to stop the withdrawal symptoms. If someone remains in the same environment and doesn’t treat the underlying cause of their addiction, then it will eventually come around again and relapse is very likely.

Withdrawal symptoms can also be scary, damaging and fatal. In extreme cases, hallucinations may drive people to act out. In addition, seizures are very common. If someone is alone during a seizure, this can be extremely problematic to their health with lifelong consequences to deal with. In cases of severe alcohol withdrawal, delirium tremens may occur. Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal. It involves sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes, and can be fatal.

About Pinelands Recovery Center

Living a life free of drugs and alcohol is possible, and we are here to help you every step along the way – including the uncomfortable detox process. You may have tried to detox in the past but found it too difficult. We are here to show you that it is possible, and it can be done a better way with medically assisted detox.

Upon entering Pinelands Recovery Center, clients will meet with medical and psychiatry providers during intake to discuss their medication options. Nurses will meet with clients a few times a week and discuss medication options with clients throughout the rest of their stay. This is to ensure they are feeling well, to see where they’re at in the process and to make sure the medications are effective. We also assist you with keeping up with this treatment during aftercare, ensuring you’re on the right path to sobriety.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and a 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com

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About Jaclyn Uloth

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