Detoxification, or detox as it’s more commonly known, is the process of removing alcohol or drugs from the system. Detoxification is the first step in alcoholism and drug addiction treatment programmes. Alcohol and drug detox is usually closely supervised, medically supported, and may take place either through a GP’s prescription and support groups, or at rehabilitation clinics, sometimes as an inpatient. Detox clinics are uniquely equipped to carry out detoxification programmes safely, since they can provide round-the-clock supervision, whether the patient is detoxing within a cocaine addiction treatment programme or for alcohol withdrawal help. The advantage of an inpatient detox clinic often doesn’t just lie in the close supervision available, but in the speed with which detoxing can take place.
And the reason for this level of help when detoxifying isn’t just about managing drug addiction and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or managing the cravings, it’s often about the dangers of detoxifying without help in a dedicated rehab detox centre or clinic. Detoxing should be carried out in strict accordance with UK clinical guidelines provided by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
UK clinical guidelines deal with the approach that drug detox and alcohol detox professionals should take, the choice and use of any pharmacological help in detoxing and managing withdrawal symptoms, in providing family support and more besides. UK clinical guidelines are provided in full format, a quick reference guide for addiction healthcare providers, and patient versions for easy explanation.
Here at UK Rehab Helper, we don’t just support family intervention, the route by which many of our clients find the right rehab centre. We help anyone suffering with alcoholism or drug addiction through first-stage detoxification programmes and throughout their treatment programmes and on to recovery and an addiction-free life. We work with a wide network of outpatient and inpatient detox clinics, all of which are members of the Care Quality Commission. We provide family support and help guide addicts and their families through treatment programmes which can at first seem daunting. Read on for more help understanding the ins and outs of detoxifying for alcoholics and drug addicts, or call us now for immediate assistance in finding the most suitable and affordable rehab detox centre.
Alcohol detox is an essential first stage of overcoming alcohol addiction. There’s no single manifestation of alcoholism, of course; each alcoholic will feel a differing level of craving for alcohol and the extent of physical damage, alcohol dependence and withdrawal symptoms will vary widely from case to case. What’s definite is this: without professionally assisted alcohol withdrawal and alcohol detoxification, there are inherent dangers in detoxing and the odds of relapse are greatly increased.
According to the NHS Information Centre’s 2009 statistics on alcohol, almost a quarter of all UK adults drink alcohol in a hazardous or harmful way, and around 20% of patients admitted to hospital for reasons entirely unrelated to alcoholism are actually drinking at potentially dangerous levels. Around 4% of UK adults are alcohol-dependent. Alcohol addiction can result in damage to almost the entire human body, and acute alcohol withdrawal can cause withdrawal symptoms ranging from the disorienting and deeply unpleasant to the dangerous and outright fatal. Alcohol detox programmes manage the alcohol dependence and withdrawal process in a safe environment. Detox clinics are staffed by professionals skilled in assessing and monitoring alcohol withdrawal symptoms and signs and can prescribe and administer any necessary drug treatment as part of the detoxing process.
Inpatient detox clinics are usually considered for anyone whose alcoholic symptoms include drinking more than 30 units of alcohol per day, or who drink upwards of 15 units a day and also suffer any of a number of psychological or physical conditions - ranging from depression to liver disease.
Assisted alcohol withdrawal is the use of medication in the detox programme, often a benzodiazepine such as chlordiazepoxide or diazepam, although if the patient has severe liver impairment then alternative medication will be necessary. Outpatient community care will require daily visits, prescriptions will never be for more than two days’ medication at once, and withdrawal symptoms need to be even more carefully monitored than when an alcoholic is in a residential rehab centre.
While going through alcohol detox can be an overwhelming prospect for anyone suffering from alcoholism, the reality is that the experience varies for each alcohol dependent. There’s no question that medication will help ease the cravings enormously and greatly reduce the alcohol withdrawal symptoms for any alcoholic. Symptoms may be restricted to several days of feeling anxious or nervous, difficulty getting to sleep and other relatively minor issues, albeit unpleasant issues such as feeling sick and trembling. Without alcohol addiction-controlling medication, withdrawal symptoms will be considerably worse; one in twenty will suffer delirium tremens, which includes severe tremors, delirium, convulsions, and if complications develop, it can be fatal. Medical help is always advised for anyone wanting to detoxify from alcoholism.
If you know someone displaying alcoholic symptoms, and you want to offer real support, family intervention may be your best chance of getting them to recognise the need to detoxify. We help arrange and support family intervention for any addiction, and it’s free to talk to us and assess the situation. Call us now for immediate family support and help getting anyone suffering alcoholism into a reputable rehab detox centre.
Just as with alcohol addiction, drug addiction is a disease that needs to be addressed with a concerted effort to detoxify at a specialist drug detox clinic and rehab centre. Given the array of drugs with addictive properties, from cannabis/marijuana to prescription medications to crack, treatment programmes will vary enormously in approach.
Our trained advisors understand the complete range of drug detox programmes and we work - completely impartially - only with recognised and Care Quality Commission member rehabilitation clinics.
The detox programme, whether it’s a cocaine addiction treatment or cannabis detox, only handles the withdrawal of drugs, clearing drugs from the system and the initial and possibly strongest craving for a fix. It’s the first, and not necessarily the most difficult, step in drug addiction rehabilitation, and the following steps may include extensive therapy and, at home, loving family support.
Again, just like with alcohol withdrawal, drug withdrawal symptoms can be traumatic to endure without the right help. Vomiting, sweating, tremors, insomnia and, in extreme cases seizure and death, are the risks when you detoxify. Detoxing within an approved treatment programme can all but eliminate the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and safeguard the drug user’s life. A residential rehab detox centre in particular offers round-the-clock symptom and health monitoring to alleviate both the craving and the unpleasant side effects of any medication or the withdrawal itself. It’s worth noting that some drug addiction can increase the risk of psychiatric disorders, so after a long-term user undergoes cocaine addiction treatment, for instance, they may need extensive therapy to manage the damage that the drugs have done.
Drug detoxification itself usually takes between four or five days and three weeks, depending on the drug and the drug user’s physical condition. It will invariably be helped by medication. In some cases sedation will help ease the addict through the first few days of detox. But that’s about pain relief and managing the initial distress and cravings. Appropriate medication will also be needed to mimic the effects of the drugs on which the addict is dependent. For instance for opiate addiction such as heroin, detox drugs like naltrexone will sometimes be prescribed. Things get more complicated as the number of drugs consumed increased; since users of heroin are often users of crack cocaine, addiction treatment will need to address both these issues and their highly addictive nature.
Softer drugs such as marijuana/cannabis can be more addictive than is commonly realised, and while detoxification programmes will be in most cases less difficult that crack treatment, for example, it’s still a process best handled by medical professionals. So if you are worried about your own levels of drug use, whatever the drug may be, contact us now for some friendly, non-judgemental help and advice. If someone you know who uses drugs, whether it’s cannabis or cocaine, symptoms should begin to become obvious, and now’s the time to act and get support: family intervention is the most effective way of demonstrating to a drug abuser or addict that their lifestyle is damaging not just them, but those around them, and that whether it’s a prescription drug or cocaine addiction, treatment centres are available which will help them clean up and transform their lives. The sooner you contact us, the sooner rehabilitation and recovery can take place. Call us now.