- PrintArticle Summary
- Why Detoxify from Drugs and Alcohol?
- Inpatient Detoxification Program Options
In treating alcohol and drug dependence, the detox process does not include the actual removal of the alcohol or drug from a person's body. It is the abrupt cessation from alcohol or substance and then replacing these with cross-acting agents. Detoxification can be completed in two treatment settings: inpatient detox and outpatient detox.
The main objective of alcohol and drug detoxification is to assist the patient in achieving a sober and substance-free state. In alcohol detox centers, a licensed physician helps the alcoholic to withdraw from drinking by substituting alcohol with cross-acting drugs. Alcohol is a sedative hypnotic drug, so the doctor prescribes and administers same-acting drugs like Phenobarbital and benzodiazepines. Diazepam and chlordiazepoxide, both belonging to the benzodiazepines class of drugs, are the most used drugs due to their long-acting metabolites, long elimination half-life, and their availability in low-potency doses.
Drug detoxification is the same as alcohol detox; however, the drug detox process is slower compared to the latter. The aim of drug detox is to reduce the withdrawal symptoms by gradually lessening the physical and psychological effects of the addictive substance. The doctor can gradually reduce the drug's dosage or, as in alcohol detox, substitute the addictive substance with a cross-acting drug.
Although both alcohol and drug detoxification can be completed in an outpatient detox center, entering an inpatient detox center is often recommended for treating drug and alcohol dependency.
Why Detoxify from Drugs and Alcohol?
There are many reasons why a drug- or alcohol-dependent person should consider detoxification:
- Detoxification reduces severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol and drug withdrawal symptoms can be harsh and severe if the treatment is not done by a licensed physician.
- Detoxification purifies the body of harmful substances. Health complications and certain diseases are less likely to develop/progress if detoxification is started early on.
- Detox helps a person recover to lead a sober and alcohol/drug-free life.
- Detoxification is the first approach to a firm recovery. Alcoholics and drug-dependent people who do not go through the detoxification process are more likely to have a relapse after some period of sobriety. Entering a detox center provides a strong and solid support group that can help the drug- or alcohol-dependent person through the recovery process.
- Detoxification helps to rebuild self-esteem and heal damaged relationships.
Detoxification is an important process of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. It prepares the patient for entering a rehabilitation center and has a strong impact in the recovery process. It may not be a permanent solution to addiction, but it is the first step towards recovery.
Inpatient Detoxification Program Options
Inpatient detoxification is considered the safest option for the treatment of alcohol and drug withdrawal. An inpatient detox facility ensures that each patient receives unique care and attention. Patients are monitored carefully and supported appropriately with a professional team. Compared with outpatient centers, an inpatient facility can provide continuous support for its patients even after the detoxification process. Alcohol and drug abusers who enroll in an inpatient detox center are also separated from environmental and social stimuli that can cause a relapse.
An inpatient resides inside a hospital or a rehabilitation facility. The whole detoxification process is performed, administered, and completed within the center. An inpatient detox program can range from several days to weeks, depending on the patient's history of drug abuse. Unlike in an outpatient detox facility, lifestyle and environmental factors do not hinder the recovery process. The inpatient center also draws a unique program for each patient. The program should be followed religiously. The first few days of inpatient detoxification can be difficult, but the professional staff devoted to each patient helps the latter through the process.
Aside from the detoxification process, the inpatient center also assesses and treats each patient based on his or her medical issues. If an alcoholic has liver cirrhosis or related diseases, the center provides the appropriate care and treatment for the patient's disease. If a drug-dependent person also suffers from a mental illness, the center provides supportive medication, therapy, and care. While an outpatient center can also administer or prescribe medications for certain illnesses, a mentally ill person is obstructed by certain factors like transportation and a solid support system that an inpatient detox center can offer. The only major disadvantage of inpatient detoxification is the comparatively higher cost to outpatient facilities. However, money should not stand in the way of a safe and progressive recovery.
If you or a person you love needs help, do not hesitate to call 1-888-935-1318. It is a free hotline offering helpful information about inpatient detox, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and the options that you or your loved one can take towards a sober life.