As you prepare to receive help for your substance use, you are probably questioning is alcohol and drug detox painful? The process of detoxification is the elimination of the chemical toxins that have built up in your system from your drug and alcohol use. While not everyone needs medical drug detox, it is best to discuss your drug and alcohol use with a doctor to see if a medical alcohol and detox may be necessary. Depending on the type of drugs you have been using and the amount of drugs and alcohol you have used; your detox symptoms could last from a few days to a couple weeks. With certain drugs such as opiates, benzos and alcohol, it is not unusual for individuals to experience some withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the substance use. Withdrawal from drugs will depend largely on the type of drug, but it is not unusual to experience insomnia, sweating and chills, headaches, anxiety and irritability and possible seizures if you were a heavy, chronic user. Individuals detoxing from alcohol sometimes experience headache, tremors, sweating, anxiety, nausea, vomiting and irritability. In extremely severe cases, some individuals experience hallucinations and confusion known as the DTs, seizures and death.
The method of drug detox will be a contributing factor in whether or not alcohol and drug detox is painful. Medical detox offers the optimum relief from discomfort and pain, but even medical detox approaches differ. Medical detox is available as an outpatient through the use of medications such as benzodiazepines, suboxone and methadone, as an inpatient in a hospital program, or as an inpatient in a private facility that offers IV therapy medical detox.
In an outpatient medical detox the individual self reports to a clinic or doctor's office to receive medication and counseling. Suboxone and methadone are opiates and of the same family as vicodin, heroin and morphine. While they will alleviate some withdrawal symptoms from opiates, when you quit taking methadone or suboxone, you may experience similar or in some cases more severe withdrawal symptoms depending on how much you were taking. Studies show that some individuals begin taking suboxone or methadone and they never stop taking it or return back to illicit narcotic use.
Traditional inpatient medical detox in a hospital provides a place to stay while you detox. Patients who detox as hospital inpatients' are housed in psychiatric units and kept in lockdown or isolation. Hospital detox has been seen as cold and uninviting largely due to their practices. Patients are not permitted to have personal items, including cell phones or laptops and they are not allowed any outside contact. The oral medications that are used for detox have been viewed by physicians as ineffective at reducing the withdrawal symptoms or the discomfort to the patient.
Doctors agree that IV therapy medical detox is better because it allows the patient to detox with the least amount of discomfort and pain. IV therapy medical detox is administered by a physician, with 24/7 medical care. Intravenous therapy makes it possible for the doctor to change the medication as the withdrawal symptoms change and the patient progresses through the detox. The results are a faster detox that is both safe and effective.
After detox, it may be necessary to enter a program that can help you rebuild your life. St. Jude Retreats offers an educational cognitive behavioral program that uses self assessment and self change to help guests make decisions, form habits and behaviors that are productive, enriching and bring enhancement to their life without the use of alcohol and drugs.
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