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Union Medical Detox

Medical detox is the most effective method of detox, and it takes place through an inpatient or outpatient drug or alcohol treatment program. Medical detox requires medical supervision, and during the process, doctors prescribe medications as needed to alleviate the severity of withdrawal symptoms or prevent the onset of dangerous conditions associated with alcohol and sedative detox.

Learn about the most up-to-date detox methods and treatments available when you call Union Drug Rehab at (908) 329-2286.

Why Medical Detox is Essential for Safety and Effectiveness

Detoxification, or detox, is the process of allowing traces of drugs to be flushed from the body in order to break the physical addiction so that brain function may begin to return to normal.

Detoxing is generally uncomfortable, but for five percent of people who experience the onset of delirium tremens during unsupervised alcohol withdrawal, this condition is fatal. Medical detox is essential for preventing or treating this condition as well as dangerous shifts in heart function that may occur when central nervous system sedatives like Xanax and Klonopin are suddenly withheld from the body.

But detox isn’t just potentially dangerous when it’s done at home. It’s also largely ineffective. Because withdrawal symptoms can cause extreme discomfort and almost always include intense cravings, most patients who try to quit drugs on their own without medical assistance turn back to the substance very quickly to ease the pain and stop the cravings.

Types of Medical Detox Programs

Detox can take place at a residential treatment facility or through an outpatient program.

  • Inpatient detox is critical for those who have a history of intense drug abuse or a long-term addiction as well as for those who are ambivalent toward recovery. Inpatient programs provide the patient with respite from the stresses and triggers of the outside world, and they offer strong emotional support from staff and other patients in various stages of recovery. Whenever possible, those considering treatment should choose inpatient rehab, which is more comprehensive and intensive than outpatient treatment.
  • Outpatient detox is effective for people who have intrinsic motivation to recover and a strong support system at home. Outpatient detox offers more privacy and enables patients to continue meeting obligations at home and in the community.
  • Inpatient medical opiate detox is a controversial method of detoxing from opiates and involves putting the patient under general anesthesia for the entirety of the process. Patients wake up detoxed with medications blocking cravings.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Medications Used to Treat Them

Not every patient will experience all of the symptoms of withdrawal from any given substance, and the intensity of symptoms may range from mild to severe.

  • Alcohol withdrawal causes symptoms like nausea, sweats, tremors, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and seizures. Symptoms may also include delirium tremens, or DTs, which can be dangerous or fatal. Medications used during medical alcohol detox include Paxil to alleviate insomnia and depressive symptoms, Neurotonin to prevent or treat seizures and help restore normal brain function, and Chantix, which reduces the intensity of cravings.
  • Opiate withdrawal from the illegal drug heroin and prescription drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin produces symptoms that include irritability and anxiety, insomnia, hot and cold sweats, muscle and body aches, and vomiting and diarrhea. Medications used during medical opiate detox include Methadone to suppress withdrawal symptoms, Clonidine to alleviate anxiety and relieve aches and pains, and Subutex to reduce the intensity of symptoms and shorten the duration of the detox process.
  • Stimulant withdrawal associated with illegal drugs like cocaine and meth and prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin causes symptoms that include deep depression and suicidal thoughts, intense anxiety, excessive lethargy, and paranoia and psychosis. Since no medications have been approved to treat these particular symptoms, physicians often prescribe drugs like Zyban to address the depression and reduce cravings.
  • Sedative withdrawal from prescription medications like Valium and Klonopin produces symptoms that are potentially dangerous or fatal, including an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. No medications are approved for treating these symptoms, so withdrawal from these drugs is a process of tapering off the doses to prevent the onset of symptoms altogether.

Find out how you can receive treatment as soon as possible when you call Union Drug Rehab at (908) 329-2286.

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