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What You Should Know About Detox

There are few things more poignant than watching a once thriving, beautifully talented Amy Winehouse singing resolutely about her refusal to enter a rehabilitation program. As we know, it was Winehouse’s refusal to address her addiction issues which ended in her tragic death. The song, while catchy, sends a dangerous message. Thirty million people in the United States suffer from some form of drug or alcohol addiction. Indeed, when a person struggling with addiction does not undergo drug detoxification, the risk of heightened addiction and long-term damage to their body worsens. Drugs and alcohol are essentially toxins which the body wants to flush out in order to do its work of repairing toxin-damaged tissues and returning the patient to a healthy lifestyle — hence the term “detoxification (detox).”

Detoxification Approach

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes a three-step detoxification approach to drug or alcohol addiction.Detox

  1. Evaluation: When starting drug detoxification, a patient is initially tested to see which substances are presently in their blood and the amount. The patient is then evaluated for any co-occurring disorders and issues which may complicate addiction issues.
  2. Stabilization: In this stage, the patient is taken through the detoxification process. Part of stabilization is clarifying to the patient exactly what to anticipate for the treatment and recovery process. At this stage, people who are close to the patient are usually brought in to show support and become involved.
  3. Guiding Patient into Treatment: The third step is to prepare the patient for the recovery process. Because drug detoxification deals only with a physical dependency and addiction to drugs, it does not confront the mental aspects of drug addiction. This stage involves obtaining compliance from the patient to complete the process by joining a detox program.

There are currently four known methods of detoxification:

  1. Cold turkey: The only benefit of a Do-It-Yourself home detox is the fact that it is at home, and is therefore hopefully with understanding and helpful relatives or friends who can stand by to help. It also — on the surface, at least – does not cost anything. But these benefits are not enough to overshadow the disadvantages: Home detox is in actuality dangerous and possibly life-threatening because of medical problems that often arise during withdrawal.

    Home detox has no answer for medical emergencies that may result from these symptoms. What’s more is that apart from this danger, home detox has an extremely low chance of success. In fact, over 90% of home detox results in failure.
  2. Detox at a Reputable Inpatient Facility: Being in a safe place with a good social support system is one of the most important elements of a successful detoxification program. A true inpatient detox facility provides on-site supervision 24 hours a day.If unexpected problems arise, they can be addressed and handled instantly.

    Better on-site detox clinics offer nicely-appointed private rooms, a comfortable lounge, dining rooms with good, nutritious food, and even a relaxing environment for reflection and socialization.
  3. Outpatient Detox: For those who cannot afford the money or the time, outpatient detox is available. This involves a gentle, long-term tapering, or gradual reduction of the addictive substance under a doctor’s supervision. The patient is usually located at home or a hotel near the doctor’s office. The doctor should be available by phone, and the patient should visit the doctor as appropriate.

    A good outpatient detox follows a proven procedure that covers every known aspect of each type of drug and all its potential withdrawal symptoms and complications personalized to each individual patient. However, this kind of detox can take many weeks, or even months. And unfortunately, in spite of the slow tapering off and physician assistance, many patients can’t tolerate the withdrawal symptoms and give up the withdrawal.
  4. Natural Detox Options: The purpose of natural cleansing is to eliminate the toxic buildup from the months — possibly even years – of substance abuse. Natural detox centers employ numerous therapies that are able to rid the toxins from the body in a quick and effective manner. Often, a holistic treatment option can be a highly effective, healthy alternative for treatment. Holistic remedies from a reputable source will often use herbs and minerals to help remove toxins from the body.

    A diet that includes fruit, vegetables, juices, and soup is another powerful natural way to detoxify the body. Combined with plenty of water, exercise, and nutritional supplements, these diets can purify the body and help to decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms.Treatment with acupuncture has also been shown to be effective in treating addiction. The procedure functions as an adjunct to a comprehensive treatment program offering the basic therapeutic elements of counseling, education, family involvement, mutual support group involvement, and supportive health care of general nature.

    Among the benefits reported by clients and clinicians are improved program retention, a more optimistic and cooperative attitude toward the process of recovery, as well as reduced cravings, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and desire for drugs.

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