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Medical Detoxification


Medical detoxification is important to a drug addict or alcoholics long-term recovery. Medical detoxification is literally defined as the intervention of controlling drug and alcohol use and withdrawal. Medical detoxification is different than drug withdrawal in the sense that the medical detoxification is meant to help control and give comfort for any withdrawal symptoms a user may be experiencing due to the cessation of their drug and alcohol use. Although medical detoxification is important to long-term recovery – detox does not always deal with the psychological, social or behavioral aspects of addiction and alcoholism. This aspect varies from drug detox to drug detox. Regardless, medical detoxification deals more so with the physical modality of removing toxins from a user’s body in order to give them the jump start to their physical health which is imperative to continuing on with their mental, behavioral and psychological sobriety.

Due to the various withdrawal symptoms a person may experience while detoxing, there are set guidelines followed for all patients admitted into a medical detoxification center. When a user first enters a medical detox center they will be given an evaluation by the clinicians. The clinician will go over what drugs the user was involved with, how much of these drugs the user was using, and how the user was going about using the drugs.  The evaluation will also include a drug test to acquire the level of toxins, drugs and alcohol is in a user’s body. This will allow the clinicians to determine if medication is needed in the medical detoxification process. It will also allow the clinicians to be medically safe in the distribution of medication, if any medication at all is needed. Usually some kind of medication will be given during a medical detox to help with the discomfort of any withdrawal symptoms. The clinicians will then conduct a background and history check with the client. This will allow the clinicians at the medical detox to determine if behavioral and psychological issues exist and if a dual diagnosis is appropriate. If the medical detoxification also deals with mental health issues this will allow the medical detox to give a user the appropriate medication to also help them deal with any kind of depression, anxiety, or trauma effectively.

The second step in a medical detoxification is stabilization of the client. Stabilization is a process that takes time. Stabilization at a medical detox means that the client is no longer at risk of any health problems due to withdrawal symptoms, the drugs and alcohol have been removed, and the appropriate medication has been taken, prescribed or completed. How much time it takes a user to become stable during their stay at a medical detox varies depending on what kind of drugs or alcohol and how much of each the client was using. During this stabilization period in medical detox the client will be given the medication found appropriate or needed based on what drugs and alcohol they were using. This will give the client comfort during their medical detoxification: which is important to their long-term recovery.

As the toxins begin to leave the client’s mind and body the clinicians will begin describing to them what to expect in the near future after medical detoxification is complete. Medical detoxification is the first step in the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse. Recovery is a journey not a destination and the clinicians are there to emphasize what the client needs to do after medical detoxification so they never have to experience the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms again. Once the stabilization period of a medical detox has ended the client is now safely and medically detox’d. Medical detoxification is important to long term recovery and is one of the first steps towards living in sobriety. Going through a medical detoxification doesn’t not make someone “healed” from drug and alcohol abuse. It doesn’t mean that the person won’t relapse or won’t have urges to “use” again. Many addicts still feel the urges to “use” due to the lasting side effects of some drugs.  Medical detoxification is important to long-term recovery because it stabilizes a person in order for rehabilitation to take place. Detox removes all the drugs and alcohol from the body but drug and alcohol treatment is where the rehabilitation begins.  The client can now move on to a focused long-term treatment program that is specialized to their needs.




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