Alcohol and Drug Detoxification is unfortunately a common issue. Read the article by Matt Bogard MD to find out how detoxification can help you or a loved one
Matthew Bogard, MD (N/A:N/A)
CHARITON, IOWA, UNITED STATES, April 7, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Are you or a loved one struggling with substance abuse? You are not alone! According to a report published on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) website, 19.7 million people were found to be battling with substance use disorder in 2017. Matthew Bogard, MD, shares his thoughts in a new article, which is available on his blog at https://matthewbogardmd.blogspot.com/
While addiction is highly treatable, dependence and withdrawal symptoms are the most significant barriers to complete recovery. According to an estimate, around 85% of people return to alcohol or drug abuse within a year after treatment.
What is Detoxification?
Detoxification, also called detox, is the process of removing toxins from an addict’s body. While not a treatment on its own, detox is a critical part and the first step of addiction treatment. When it comes to drug detoxification, there is no one-size-fits-all program. It has to be customized for each patient depending on:
* The number and type of drugs a patient is dependent on
* The dosage
* How long the person has been using the drug(s)
* Overall health and medical history of the patient
* The unique composition of the patient’s body as well as the functioning of their metabolic system
Drug detox can be an uncomfortable and difficult process for an addict. Since the patient’s body is accustomed to having certain levels of drug(s) in it, they start experiencing withdrawal symptoms as those levels decrease and the substance is excreted from the body. Depending on the severity of the problem, the symptoms may sometimes be life threatening if not dealt with properly.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
Depending on the type of drug and the severity of the dependence, a person may experience the following symptoms:
* Extreme depression and agitation
* Decreased appetite
* Decreased concentration
* Severe fatigue
* Inability to sleep
* Trouble in breathing
* Increased heart rate
* Muscle pain
* Heart attack
The symptoms usually start to appear within 24 hours of last use. But, in some cases, they may start to appear as quickly as within a couple of hours.
Depending on the type of drug a patient is addicted to, it can take a few days to a week to complete the withdrawal process. If a drug is likely to produce severe withdrawal symptoms, it may be tapered off slowly to make sure the symptoms remain manageable. The doctor may also prescribe a medicine that will act as a substitute drug and help to break the addiction. For example, many heroin addicts are given methadone when they are undergoing detoxification. While the use of substitute drug is discontinued gradually in many cases, some patients continue to take it, at a low dosage, for the rest of their lives in order to avoid relapse. According to Harvard Health, around 25% of heroin addicts who are given methadone during detoxification continue to use it for an indefinite period of time.
Alcohol detoxification is comparatively easier than detoxification from prescription narcotics, cocaine, heroin, and other highly addictive drugs. While the time it takes for complete alcohol detoxification depends on varies factors, most patients start to experience a reduction in withdrawal effects between five to seven days.
Types of Detoxification
A patient’s complete physiological healing is the goal of a detox program and this can be done through the following two types of detox programs:
1. Inpatient Detox
This refers to the detoxification treatment provided at a specialized drug treatment or rehabilitation center and is typically used for patients with a severe or long-term dependence. Since the symptoms can be severe, the patients going through this type of detox may not leave the treatment facility and are continuously monitored.
2. Outpatient Detox
This type of detox program is only recommended to those who do not have a long history of abuse and are not highly dependent on drugs. Since such people are not likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, they can receive the treatment without having to be at the treatment facility.
Methods of Detoxification
There are different methods used for drug or alcohol detoxification and selecting the right approach for a patient requires a comprehensive assessment. Some widely used detox programs are:
* Cold Turkey Detoxification – Stopping the use of all drugs without any pharmacological assistance. For safe detox, this program needs to be performed under constant medical supervision.
* Short-term Medicated Detoxification – This method involves using certain medications to help with withdrawal symptoms. However, as the name describes, the medicines are only used for a short time.
* Long-term Medicated Detoxification – This involves using medication for a long time to help with withdrawal symptoms. This type of detox method is generally used for highly addictive drugs, like opioids.
Remember, Detox Is Not A Treatment
Although detoxification is a crucial step to get rid of addiction, it is not a treatment. This means, while detoxification is very important, it alone cannot help. A patient needs to follow the treatment plan that is devised by the addiction specialist, in order to completely recover from addiction.
Addiction treatment plans often involve counseling, using different types of therapies, and being part of support programs, along with medications to avoid a relapse.
*** Emergency Physician Matthew Bogard practices Emergency Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. During his training at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, he was selected to join the Advanced Rural Training Program, a four-year residency that trains physicians to provide comprehensive full-spectrum medical care. During his residency, Dr. Bogard served on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, was active with the Nebraska Medical Association, mentored multiple medical students and was honored by the Nebraska Legislature as “Family Physician of the Day.” Dr Matt Bogard primarily practices Emergency Medicine. Dr. Matt Bogard is Board Certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians and Board Eligible in Emergency Medicine.
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewbogard/
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Source: EIN Presswire