Each year approximately 3 million people seek detox in the United States. Medical detox is a viable option for many of those people who need a drug and/or alcohol detoxification process that is medically sound and proven effective. There are other detox methods besides medical detox, such as non-medical detox, or rapid detox, that have been proven to be harmful and even dangerous in some cases. Let's start with going over the best option first; what is medical detox?
Intravenous (IV) therapy is the most effective and safe method of medical detox. During IV therapy treatment, well known and proven effective medications are administered through an IV while the individual's vitals and heart are closely monitored. This type of treatment is conducted by medical doctors and registered nurses. The purpose for the IV is so that any changes that need to be made during the procedure will have an immediate impact on the individual's treatment and care. There is a higher quality of care that is given throughout IV therapy detox as patients are monitored round the clock by caring and compassionate staff. Once the detox procedure is complete, the patient may be transitioned to a rehab program where they will learn to rebuild their life if needed.
One type of medical detox that is ineffective is the standard Methadone Clinic. Methadone transfers the user from one substance to Methadone, also a controlled substance. The problem with this type of treatment is that the individual is never completely free of drug or alcohol use because they are still dependent on a drug for their continued comfort rather than being drug free and moving on to a more successful lifestyle. Most often, the withdrawal symptoms from Methadone are more prolonged and worse than the withdrawal of the substance they were initially taking, usually heroin or other opiate derivative.
Some practitioners use vitamin and meditation therapy to help people with drug and alcohol dependencies detox. This type of detox is known as a non- medical detox. Practitioners of vitamin therapy believe that by flushing the system with massive amounts of Vitamin C and other vitamins the drugs and alcohol are washed from the body and then the individual can begin rehab. This type of therapy is more of a cold turkey approach to stopping drug and alcohol use. The problem is that alcohol withdrawal and some types of drug withdrawal have symptoms that are uncomfortable and painful and may cause seizures and even death if not treated appropriately.
Medical detox and non-medical detox treatments may also provide group counseling sessions in which members share with each other their reasons for using drugs and alcohol. Some detox facilities also offer talk therapy; one on one counseling sessions to discuss their reasons for using alcohol and drugs. Talk therapy generally involves digging deep into the background and history of the person seeking assistance. This type of therapy is risky in that the therapist is in the position to impress his or her views upon the individual and to influence the alcohol or drug user's feelings at a time when the patient is enormously impressionable and vulnerable.
Discovering which detox program is right for you is very important to ensure your success. Once your body is cleansed of the drugs and alcohol, how you approach your substance use is crucial. While 12 Step programs will tell you that you have a disease and that you can't help using drugs and alcohol, the truth is that you do have a choice and always have. Alcohol and drug use are not a disease, there is no alcoholic or drug addict gene, and you can choose not to use drugs and alcohol. At the St. Jude Retreats, you can learn to develop different habits and behaviors that will lead you to a life that is free of drugs and alcohol permanently. You can take control of your life back from substance use.
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