You’ve already passed the first major hurdle. By admitting you have an addiction, it’s now possible to seek out a method that will help you get the substance out of your system and be ready for the next phase of the drug rehab program. What you may not know is there are several different approaches to medical detox that you can consider. Here are some examples to think about.
The most basic form of detoxification is known as natural detox. A common slang term for this strategy is called going cold turkey. While you are under the care of a medical detox team, you simply stop taking the substance and do not substitute anything for it.
How quickly you go into withdrawal depends a lot on how much you normally take and how severe the addiction happens to be. It’s not unusual for an addict to notice the first wave of withdrawals within a matter of hours. The symptoms may range from minor irritants to serious reactions that require constant monitoring by your medical team.
This approach to medical detox does come with some risks. The team taking care of you during those first critical hours and days are trained to administer treatments designed to prevent the withdrawal from triggering issues with your heart or breathing. You will find that the desire to stop can be overwhelming at times. The team watching over you will provide the support needed to deal with each wave of pain, emotional outbursts, and the disorientation.
This medical detox approach calls for employing a step-down approach that allows you to wean off the substance you’ve been using. Over a period of weeks or months, you incrementally decrease the amount of the substance ingested each day. The goal is to keep withdrawal symptoms under control as your body learns how to function again without requiring a higher dosage.
This approach also requires careful monitoring. Depending on what you are addicted to and how bad the situation happens to be, you may check into an inpatient facility for those first weeks. While there can be complications, having a medical professional on hand who can monitor your state and take appropriate action increases the odds of regaining control of your life.
Rapid Medical Detox
Rapid medical detox is a method used to clear your body of the substance faster and keep the level of discomfort to a minimum. With a rapid approach, you are given anesthesia and put into a state of sleep. While asleep, you are injected with blockers that prevent further absorption of the addictive substance. Some medical professionals will also use methods designed to get the remnants of the substance out of your system faster.
You remain asleep for the entire medical detox period. The professionals monitor your vital signs, ensure you receive nutrition by means of an IV and take whatever measures are necessary to protect your well being. When you are allowed to wake up, the physical craving for the addictive substance will be under control. That frees you to focus on ridding yourself of the emotional craving.
Work with your doctor to determine which detox approach is the best choice for you. Factors such as the general state of your health, the substance you are addicted to, and the severity of the addiction will all be factors in settling on the best method. Whatever approach you choose, know that once you get through the withdrawal phase, the chances of learning to control your addiction and reclaim your life are much higher.
Recovering from an opiate addiction requires more than going through medical detox to purge the drugs from your body. Medical detox is just the first step in recovery and does not cure you from your addiction. Recovering opiate addicts must follow an aggressive aftercare program to help avoid relapse and sustain recovery.
Opiates, also known as opioids, are powerfully addictive requiring more than just an initial medical detox. You must pursue and sustain continuing treatment to overcome, or “arrest” your addiction. Here are some best practices to help you on your road to recovery.
Counseling and Therapy
By working with a behavioral health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or a substance abuse counselor, you may uncover what caused your addiction other than the drugs. You may learn how to change negative thought patterns and behaviors, and most importantly for addicts, how to handle environmental triggers. Psychotherapy can help you learn how to avoid self-destructive behaviors, and cognitive behavioral therapy can help you with depression and anxiety, which are significant in the treatment of substance abuse.
Drug Treatment Programs
After you complete the initial medical detox from opiates, you will start to go through a psychological change, and you must fine tune that change. Drug treatment programs specializing in opiate addiction help you adjust your biological clock. Although your body is free from the physical addiction to opiates, the mental side of addiction remains steadfast, and you must learn to cope with the obsession to use again. Inpatient treatment programs, where you stay in a controlled environment for 30, 60 or 90 days, help you push your mental reset button.
If an inpatient treatment program is not an option, you can choose an outpatient treatment program. This form of treatment allows you to attend therapy sessions, meetings and receive supervised care during the day. However, many experts recommend you have a strong support system in place before you choose outpatient treatment. After completing medical detox, substance abuse professionals will conduct an assessment to determine whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is best for your level of addiction.
Peer Support During Medical Detox
A powerful tool in addiction aftercare is surrounding yourself with people who faced similar situations. Peer support provides a network of individuals who offer first-hand knowledge regarding addiction and aftercare. Seeking the counsel of an individual with a long period of sustained sobriety provides you with an opportunity to share your experiences with someone who has been through and understands the addiction cycle. This can be achieved alone or through a sober living community.
Physical Health And Nutrition
Opiate addiction causes many people to make poor lifestyle and nutrition choices. A key ingredient to the success of opiate medical detox aftercare is replenishing your body with important nutrients. In order to promote recovery in aftercare, you must heal your body by eating foods with complex carbohydrates that are rich in protein. Many addicts experience an increased appetite after medical detox, which can help or harm your recovery. If you experience an increased appetite, try to avoid foods with high levels of sugar or processed foods such as packaged lunch meats or boxed white pasta.