Drug detoxification is differentially the therapeutic intervention in a severe case of physical addiction to a drug; the actual process and episode of a severe withdrawal syndrome; plus any other therapies for severe drug overdose. The term “drug detox” or “diversionary drug rehab” is sometimes used synonymously with “inpatient drug rehab.” In recent years, drug detox has gained international prominence as an evidenced solution for substance abuse. This is because, it offers the best possible chance for patients to abstain from drug abuse permanently.
Generally, drug detoxification requires the immediate stoppage of all self-medication (including alcohol use) and all self-administered medications. Such medications include narcotics, tranquilizers, certain antidepressants, recreational drugs, and amphetamines. Some patients with milder forms of substance use disorders may be eligible for outpatient treatment, which may require admission to an inpatient substance use facility. Treatment in an inpatient setting requires the immediate stoppage of medications while in detox. Some patients with severe forms of addiction may require intravenous medications and IV therapies.
The detox process itself involves a combination of medication and therapy, usually consisting of both, or in addition, medications to prevent relapse and replacement therapy to help the patient to return to normal functioning sooner. The detox plan includes instructions for eliminating the drug in the body through elimination through the excreta. The first step in detox is the immediate cessation of all self-medication, including medications and over-the-counter drugs. This is called the initiation step. Substituted For Drugs Treatment (FNDT) are a method of preventing drug-induced harm that has been shown to reduce drug use, related harms, and relapse in patients with certain brain deficiencies, such as autism. FNDT is based on the principles that many addicts have underlying brain abnormalities that can lead to substance abuse; therefore, substitute medications can prevent or reduce the negative side effects of abuse and dependency, and can be administered while in detox.
If you decide to go through with detoxification, there are several ways to go about it. There are two general types of detoxification: cold turkey and medications. With cold turkey, the patient would stop taking the drug or medications and wait for the withdrawal symptoms to subside before proceeding. Medication withdrawal can include vomiting, diarrhea, shakes, insomnia, fever, restlessness, and increased heart rate; however, most of the time, the medication is not needed due to the rapid onset of the withdrawal symptoms.
If you choose to do a medication detox, this is usually done under medical supervision because the medication is usually used to suppress the receptors in the brain that signal the brain to produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With rapid detoxification, the same type of medication is usually combined with either clonidine or baltiazepines, which also slow down the withdrawal process, making it quicker and safer. Clonidine is an anti-convulsant, and baltiazepines slow down the nerve impulses in the brain, making the experience more tranquil and sedative. This is usually done in conjunction with a long-term or low dosage of benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.
Both rapid detoxification and medication detox will result in the elimination of any drugs or substances from the body, but some people are at a higher risk of overdose while undergoing either method. For these individuals, clinics or support groups may be able to help by giving the patient medications to counteract any immediate withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia or panic attacks. The majority of patients who detox with medications only, however, do experience some level of insomnia due to the slowing of nerve impulses in the brain; this will subside as the medication is stopped, and they will return to their normal sleeping patterns once the effects of the drugs wear off.