Drug addiction detox, or drug detoxification, is an essential part of addiction treatment. It puts the body in a state of abstinence by removing drug toxins and sets the addict on the road to recovery.
Detox from drugs shouldn't be carried out alone. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and intense; the temptation to alleviate these by using again can be overwhelming. Symptoms vary according to the drug used but may include shaking, craving, sweating, nausea, stomach cramps, insomnia and depression.
A professional detoxification under medical supervision uses medication to ease withdrawal symptoms. For example, Subutex or Britoloflex may be prescribed during a heroin detox. The process usually starts with a high dose of medication which is gradually reduced over a number of days.
Withdrawal is just one part of drug addiction detox. Stopping using can be a scary prospect for an addict so counselling plays an important role during detoxification. Detox without support is unlikely to succeed.
Home detox is an option for some drug addictions as, unlike alcohol, most drugs don't produces life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing at home (but with professional supervision) affords the individual greater privacy and convenience.
However, certain drug detoxes can be harder to cope with than others . It depends on the drug used, the severity of the problem and the user's medical history. So, in these cases, we'd advise residential detoxification which has a greater chance of success. Drugs are not easily accessible in residential clinics to the temptation to re-use is diminished. Clients are supported around the clock, and medical staff are always on hand should complications arise. Residential drug detox is more comfortable than a home detox and makes the transition into recovery easier.
Drug addiction detox is usually completed in about seven days, although this period may be extended.
It's important to stress that detox is just the first step towards recovery from addiction. A period of psychological work, or rehabilitation, is required to help the addict understand the nature of their problem and to equip them with coping strategies to live a drug-free life.