Detox Processes for Modern Patients

The abuse of drugs, such as painkillers, and alcoholism are serious medical conditions that many Americans develop and deal with every year, but to fight back against these harmful conditions, detox processes for drugs and alcohol alike are available, and in some cases, can even save a life. Detox doctors can help a patient escape his or her addiction or alcoholism and begin the road to recovery and rehab, and addiction can be beaten with the right methods. What detox processes are available?

The Statistics of Addiction

Heroin and alcohol are two common addictions that call for detox processes to deal with. it is believed that 7% of the American population aged 18 or over, or about 13.8 million people, have drinking problems, and 8.1 of them are actual alcoholics. Being dependent on alcohol means drinking to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and in 10 to 20% of cases, these symptoms can be serious enough to warrant monitoring and medication. And on average, an alcohol addict receives treatment eight years after the condition began.

Abusing drugs is another addiction that many deal with, such as the use of heroin and other painkillers. In fact, the leading cause of accidental death in the United States today is drug overdosing, and in 2015 alone, some 52,404 people died from it. Opioids take up a large share of this statistic, with 20,101 overdose deaths recorded in 2015, and 12,990 for heroin alone in the same year. It can be highly addictive, too, seeing that 23% of people who use heroin end up addicted to it. Adolescents sometimes abuse it too, and in 2015, an estimated 21,000 teenagers had used it within the last year, and at the time, 5,000 were regular users. The year before, in 2014, about 6,000 adolescents had a heroin use disorder.

Getting Medical Help

Management and treatment are companions to detox processes, and all of them, along with counseling and family support, can guide someone out of drug addiction or alcoholism and into recovery. The use of heroin and similar drugs, and alcohol, have similar recoveries, with some noted differences.

According to Addiction Center, alcohol withdrawal can begin hours after the last drink, and can include may symptoms ranging from depression and anxiety to fatigue, nightmares, and shaking. Among the worst symptoms is delirium tremens, which can cause confusion, nightmares, and hallucinations, and even seizures, the latter of which can cause heart attacks or death. It is believed that 1 out of 20 alcoholics will have delirium tremens. Detox processes for alcohol abuse can involve dangerous side effects such as kidney failure or seizures, so detox should take place under medical supervision and monitoring. Often, medication to deal with seizures, hallucinations, and psychological effects such as cravings may be administered to minimize danger and suffering, and once the detox is complete and the body returns to normal, therapy and support groups are effective at helping alcoholics kick the habit and become drug free, and the patient can learn how to cope without alcohol.

Drug detox processes are possible at home, according to Rehabs but they may be ineffective and the patient has little to no medical supervision. Instead, the patient should get professional medical help for detox processes, and it should be noted that detox cleans the body of drugs, but psychological damage from drug use will have to be addressed with therapists and counselors to prevent relapses and help the patient function without drugs.

During detox, the body goes into withdrawal, and symptoms such as insomnia, watering eyes, muscle aches, and agitation, among others, may be present. The intensity and nature of the symptoms, and the length of detox, may be affected by the particular drug or drugs the patient had been abusing, as well as the total length of the addiction period and the drug’s half life. A shorter half life means that withdrawal symptoms appear sooner. On occasion, mental health disorders may be tied into the patient’s condition, and these may require treatment as well. After monitored detox is complete, therapy and support groups can assist with the next stage of recovery and beyond.

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