For many individuals going into detox, the thought of suffering tremendous pain from withdrawal symptoms is frightening. You may have heard horror stories about how awful detox has been for other people, but in most cases and with the right detox method, withdrawal is manageable. So, what are the usual symptoms of drug or alcohol detox, you may wonder? It will depend on the type of substance use, the amount you have been using and how long you have been using.
Not everyone needs detox. There are some drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine that do not require detox. The best thing to do, if you are unsure if you need detox is to consult with your doctor. But, if you do need detox, here is what you can expect.
Detoxification, or detox as it is commonly referred to, is the process of removing the chemical toxins that have collected in your system from your substance use. As you go through the detox process, it is not unusual to experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms will vary from individual to individual and vary with substance use. If you are going through alcohol withdrawal, you may experience physical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, headache, insomnia, fatigue, irritability and anxiety, depression and in some severe cases periods of confusion and hallucinations.
For individuals in drug detox, again, the extent of the usual symptoms of drug or alcohol detox will vary with the type of drug use, amount of drug use and how long you have been using drugs; but you could experience headache, flu like symptoms, sweating, body aches and muscle cramps, anxiety, insomnia and seizures. Medical detox is seen as the best detox because it incorporates the use of medication to help ease the withdrawal symptoms, but even medical detox has its differences.
Some individuals seek outpatient medical detox from a methadone clinic or they receive suboxone from their doctor. Methadone and suboxone are opiates from the same drug family as morphine, oxycodone and vicodin. While methadone and suboxone will mask the withdrawal symptoms, in reality the individual is switching from one substance use to another. Quitting methadone or suboxone will more than likely create withdrawal symptoms that may last longer than other withdrawal symptoms.
Another type of medical detox is inpatient hospital medical detox which uses oral medication. Many patients complain that the oral medication does not offer enough relief from withdrawal symptoms and left them uncomfortable. The anxiety level of patients was also higher, as the level of care, the crowded detox units, placement in a psychiatric unit, kept on lockdown or isolation; were all factors in increased anxiety.IV therapy medical detox is regarded by many physicians as the safest and most effective method of detox. Intravenous therapy allows the doctor to adjust the medication to meet the withdrawal symptoms which keeps the patient comfortable and allows them to complete the detox process while experiencing minimal withdrawal symptoms, if any at all.
After detox, you may want to enter a program that can help you in rebuilding your life. St. Jude Retreats offers a cognitive behavioral education program that teaches guests to use self assessment and self change to make decisions that are productive and to develop habits and behaviors that are enhancing to their life. Our guests discover that they can achieve lifelong success without substance use.
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