One of the hardest things for someone with a drug addiction to admit is that they have a problem. Whether the individual is in denial, feels too much shame, or honestly doesn’t feel their doing anything wrong, this critical first step is oftentimes the most important. Once a person is willing to accept they have a problem, they can begin the next crucial stage of their recovery, which is drug treatment and rehab. Because a drug addiction is a medical illness, and just like any other disease that requires treatment, it will simply not go away on its own. And the first step of any drug treatment program is drug detoxification.
Before beginning any drug treatment program the individual will first have to go through a cleansing and detoxification process known as drug detox. There are several different types of drug detox programs including medical detox, holistic detox, rapid drug detox, or detoxing cold turkey.
Detoxing cold turkey can often be the hardest form of drug detox and will cause an individual to go through painful withdrawal symptoms that can last anywhere from 3 days to a few weeks, in some cases even longer. While detoxing cold turkey is not necessarily dangerous to a person’s health, it can be very painful and can cause complications if an individual is already in a poor state health.
Another type of detox is holistic drug detox which uses a combination of holistic medicine, vitamins, and natural therapies to aid the detoxification process. Holistic detox combines the traditional concepts of behavioral and clinical therapy, and mixes it in with a series of mental and spiritual health exercises like yoga, meditation, acupuncture and Tai Chi, to help refocus the body’s natural energies.
Another type of drug detox is rapid drug detox which is a medical procedure where a doctor will use anesthesia and powerful drugs to flush your system of any drugs that are in the body. This will take a few hours and promises to help alleviate almost all withdrawal symptoms almost immediately after surgery. The only problem with this treatment is that is has not been approved in the U.S. and has resulted in a few cases of death over the last few years.
Medical Drug Detox
One of the most popular forms of drug detox, especially among opiate users, is medical drug detox. Medical detox uses a series of sedatives, medications, and detox aids that helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms while accelerating the detoxification process. Two of the most popular medications used in medical detox clinics are the drugs methadone and suboxone.
While methadone has long been the standard for medical drug detox, suboxone has recently emerged as a safer and less addictive alternative. Suboxone is effective in treating any opiate addiction including addictions to heroin, morphine, oxycontin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, vicodin, and percocet.
Drug detox is often regarded as one of the most important steps in an overall treatment program, but will not cure an addiction by itself. For any drug treatment program to be effective, drug detox must only be a part of a larger treatment plan that includes behavioral and cognitive therapy, counseling, and addiction education.