Making the choice to get help with your substance use is a step in the direction of taking control of your life but you may want to know, will detox fix my addiction to drugs or alcohol. Getting better can be a two part process; first you deal with the drugs and/or alcohol in your system and then you deal with the habit of using substances.
When you use drugs and alcohol, chemical toxins from the substance use can collect in your body. Detox eliminates those toxins and allows your body to restore itself to its more natural state. During detox some individuals experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The type of detox that you use will make all the difference in how comfortable or uncomfortable you are throughout the process. Studies show that the more successful you are in detox, the more likely you are to be successful in staying off drugs and alcohol.
One of the first questions you need to address is whether or not you need detox. Not all drug or alcohol users need detox. It really depends on the type of substances used, the frequency of the use, the amount you have been using and the length of time you have been using. For example, there are no detox symptoms for cocaine and methamphetamine as those substances leave the system rapidly. If you are unsure if you need a medical detox, consult with your doctor. They can tell you if you need detox and may even recommend a preferred method.
There are several different detox methods that are available to you for drug and alcohol use. The most common are outpatient medical detox where you would self report to a clinic or doctor's office, and inpatient medical detox where you stay in a hospital setting.
The most common medications used for outpatient medical detox are methadone, suboxone and subutex for opiates and benzodiazapines such as valium and ativan for alcohol. Methadone, suboxone and subutex are opiate narcotics and part of the same drug family as morphine, vicodin and oxycontin. These medications are used on a step down basis to slowly wean you from opiate use; the problem is that many individuals do not take them as prescribed and do not stop once withdrawal symptoms are done. Some studies revealed that individuals continue taking methadone and suboxone for many months or years with a few taking them for more than 20 years.
Traditional hospital inpatient medical detox is viewed by many as an ineffective method for detox largely due to the type of medication used and some of their practices. Patients reported that the oral medication used in hospital detox is not very effective at alleviating the withdrawal symptoms and many patients stated that they were extremely uncomfortable throughout the process with some walking out before the detox was complete.
IV therapy medical detox is seen by many doctors as the best method for detox available. IV therapy medical detox is supervised by a physician and patients are monitored by registered nurses. Intravenous therapy is important because it allows the doctor to change the medication for an immediate effect to meet the withdrawal symptoms as they change and to keep the patient comfortable. Patients complete the detox and in doing so they increase their chances of successfully staying off drugs and alcohol.
You may find it necessary to enroll in a program that can help you rebuild your life after an addiction to drugs or alcohol. St. Jude Retreats offers a cognitive behavioral education program that empowers guests to make lasting lifestyle changes. The Saint Jude Program employs self assessment and self-directed change in thoughts, behaviors, habits and decision making; providing a myriad of options for individuals to build habits that are productive and are enriching to their life. Our guests discover that they have the strength and ability to build a life that is permanently free from drug and alcohol problems; and that they can build the life they have always wanted.
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