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Detoxification is a process that a person goes through when they're addicted to drugs or alcohol and they stop using. When an individual goes through the detox process they are ridding their body of the drugs and chemicals associated with the substance or substances that were abused. Eliminating the body of these toxins helps to reduce physical symptoms that are associated with the effects of substance use.
An individual that rarely uses a substance doesn't always require detoxification before beginning a recovery program but frequent or chronic users of drugs, alcohol or other substances most always do. It's important that heavy or chronic users seek professional help when stopping their substance use because complications during detox could take place.
There are very unpleasant side effects that are associated with withdrawal sometimes depending on the substance abused and the duration of abuse. Unfortunately these symptoms can be fatal depending on the circumstances.
A common misconception regarding detoxification from drugs or alcohol is that many people think detox means treatment. Addiction affects a person psychologically, emotionally, and socially and also causes many behavioral problems. Without further treatment after the detoxification process is completed to address the emotional and psychological effects of addiction, relapse is inevitable most of the time especially for frequent or chronic users.
Medications can be used during the detoxification process and while the individual is in recovery treatment. Some of the medications that are used when treating withdrawal and drug addiction include:
- Medications for physical and emotional symptoms like depression, anxiety, other mood disorders, restlessness, and sleep problems are sometimes administered to the patient when needed during treatment.
- Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone are used to manage opioid addiction.
- Naltrexone, Disulfiram, and Acamprosate are used to manage alcohol and drug addiction.
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