When drugs or alcohol act on the brain over an extended period of time, they bring about permanent changes to the way it functions. With these changes in place, patients are no longer able to view their addiction logically.
It takes the full medical detox process and rehab to help patients grasp what drug use does. In medical detox, patients are placed in a drug-free environment, and closely monitored for dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
For information on local facilities that offer alcohol and drug medical detox services, call Drug Treatment Centers Homestead at (786) 752-3472, to speak to a professional.
The following symptoms are characteristic of withdrawal while patients are going through detox:
Meth Withdrawal: Withdrawing from meth can be an intensely unpleasant experience. In the short-term or the acute phase, patients experience extreme lethargy and somnolence. Patients often also experience unbearable levels of anxiety, paranoia, and the blackest depressions. Weeks after detox completes, patients may still experience low-level depression, insomnia, memory disturbances and cravings.
Alcohol Withdrawal: As with other addictive substances, alcohol withdrawal happens in two stages. The first stage can be particularly risky. In addition to anxiety, insomnia and nausea, patients can be at risk of convulsions, tremors, heart failure and seizures. Months after the completion of detox, patients may still experience insomnia and anxiety, along with cravings.
Opioid/Narcotic Withdrawal: Common opioids/narcotics include heroin, morphine, OxyContin, and Dilaudid. Early withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, muscle aches, insomnia, and sweating. Late stage withdrawal symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, vomiting, chills, and dilated pupils.
When a patient decides to quit their habit, their first thought is usually to check if it can be done at home by just toughing it out. This is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. Detoxification isn’t just about gritting your teeth, and putting up with a few difficulties. It is incredibly taxing physically and mentally, with any number of possible health complications.
It is also important to remember that when detox isn’t done correctly, it can make relapse far more likely. Patients who are outside of a residential facility are more likely to find the substance they are addicted to and begin using again even after detoxing.
Additionally, clearing the body of drugs and alcohol will not cure an addiction. Addiction is a disease that has no cure. It can only be managed through a rehabilitation program, continued psychotherapy, and an aftercare through a strong support system (e.g., AA/group meetings, friends, family, etc.).
The idea of going with outpatient treatment can be tempting to anyone, considering that residential detox and rehab cost far more than outpatient rehab. Many people look up studies that claim better results for outpatient rehab, and are swayed.
It’s important to realize, though, that these studies look at specific types of cases: patients who arrive for treatment with only a short history of substance abuse, ones who are highly motivated, or ones who have an excellent support network in friends and family.
These patients may certainly do well at outpatient treatment centers. For those who don’t have great support or motivation, and those who are deeply addicted, outpatient treatments simply do not work well. It can be very hard for patients to stay away from drugs or alcohol at home, or to follow doctor’s instructions.