Medically supervised detox is usually the first step in recovery from drug and alcohol use disorders. Anyone who has developed an alcohol or substance dependence normally requires some time to get over their high levels of intoxication and clear the lingering effects of the substance before moving on to full recovery. However, withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be quite unpleasant and is often accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms including but not limited to, body aches, nausea, fever and chills, and anxiety. Depending on the type of substance abused and the duration of use, the withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. Severe withdrawal symptoms pose a risk to the person in recovery, which is where medical detox centers come in.
Medical detox centers provide a safe and efficient option for people undergoing withdrawal symptoms. The centers offer 24-hour medical supervision to ensure that the patient goes through the withdrawal process with the least physical and emotional challenges possible.
To understand the benefits of medical detox centers, let’s first take a look at the difference between medical and non-medical detox from drugs and alcohol.
Medical vs. Non-Medical Detox
There are medical and non-medical ways of undergoing detox from alcohol or drugs. Non-medical detox is a way of toughing it out and detoxing without the help of medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms. It is not a recommended approach especially if you have a long history of drug or alcohol use.
Non-medical detox can be dangerous in cases where the individual experiences severe withdrawal symptoms without medical supervision. The success rate of non-medical detox is also significantly hampered by the strong cravings that accompany withdrawal which could easily lead to individuals using the substances again for relief.
Medical detox, on the other hand, is a safer and more effective way of handling withdrawal symptoms under the care and supervision of trained medical professionals. A medical detox process can involve the use of medications or not, depending on the detox center you choose, and your unique history of substance use.
Most inpatient medical detox centers have a hospital-like setting without access to drugs or alcohol that could hamper your recovery. The medical professionals will also monitor your condition and progress continuously. The goal is to manage and treat withdrawal symptoms as they present themselves and help your body to recover from the discomforts as quickly as possible.
Treatments Used in Medical Detox Centers
Medical detox centers have different approaches to treating withdrawal symptoms and helping you get rid of the toxins left behind by the substances you have been using.
Typical treatments include the following:
- Medication-assisted treatment that involves medications for pain relief and management of cravings
- Helping your body stay strong during detox using IV Therapy for nutrition and hydration
- Close supervision to manage severe physical symptoms such as seizures and vomiting
- Group therapy and counseling to keep you motivated and encouraged to stay on the course of the treatment.
- Dual diagnosis treatment to address other mental health factors that accompany addiction such as anxiety and depression.
- Some medical detox centers offer other forms of treatment such as meditation and yoga for relief and mindfulness.
The medical staff at most medical detox centers understand that each individual is different and will customize the treatment to suit your unique needs.
Key Benefits of Medical Detox Centers
Clearing toxic substances from the body can often be a strenuous and painful process. Severe withdrawal symptoms can even be life-threatening.
Trying to detox at home also reduces your chances of success due to the strong cravings that accompany withdrawal.
The pain and discomfort of withdrawal will also significantly reduce the likelihood of trying to detox again. However, detoxing in medical detox centers provides a safe and professionally managed process of handling withdrawal symptoms.
Here are some of the many benefits of medical detox centers:
1. Medical Detox Centers Provide the First Step to Successful Recovery
Most people who have successfully recovered from alcohol or drug addiction will attest that the first step is to get into a medical detox center.
Medically supervised detox helps you to free your body from addictive substances before you can embark on the journey of analyzing your behavior and learning how to live a healthy sober life. Medical detox centers provide the crucial first step of recovery from addiction.
2. Medical Detox Centers Provide a Life-Saving Service
There are many negative effects and symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol and drugs. Some of the symptoms are quite severe and even life-threatening. One of the benefits of medical detox centers is they can help to detect and address any medical emergency that may arise from withdrawal, including severe life-threatening symptoms.
Those who detox from home or try “cold turkey” without the professional care offered in medical detox centers, run a risk of dealing with fatal withdrawal symptoms.
Some life-threatening symptoms such as seizures and brain damage can be treated quickly at medical detox centers and save your life.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies depending on several factors including:
- The duration of substance abuse
- Frequency of drug or alcohol consumption
- Mental and medical history of the individual
- Gender of the person
- What substances or alcohol was mixed
- How the drug of choice was taken – smoked, inhaled, orally, or via injection.
Moreover, if you do not undergo detox in a medical facility, the strong cravings that accompany withdrawal could easily lead to a relapse.
3. Medical Detox Centers Offer Prescription Medications to Ease the Withdrawal Symptoms
Another benefit of medical detox centers is that they provide prescription medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms.
Medications are an important part of the detox process. In fact, studies show that close to 80% of all detoxes involve the use of medications.
Medications are used because of the severity of most withdrawal symptoms. They are used to help the patient’s brain regain balance and stability, reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms, keep the patient safe and comfortable, and reduce the chances of relapse.
4. Medical Detox Centers Can Uncover and Treat Other Disorders and Diseases
Undergoing detox in a medical facility will also help to determine if there are other co-occurring disorders and illnesses.
Many people struggling with substance use disorders have other medical issues as well, either as a result of substance abuse, genetics, or poor health.
Unfortunately, they rarely know they have co-occurring health issues because symptoms of the illnesses are often suppressed by substance use. A person who uses heroin could have also contracted Hepatitis C due to sharing of needles and may not experience the abdominal pain associated with the condition.
Other common conditions suffered by people with substance use disorder include HIV/AIDS and brain damage. The presence of the co-occurring condition will be uncovered in tests done at a medical detox center.
Start Your Journey to Recovery at Atlanta Detox Center
Medical detox centers provide a wide array of advantages compared to going cold turkey and attempting to handle withdrawal symptoms at home.
Once you’ve made up your mind to finally stop using drugs or alcohol, the first step is to find a a detox program that offers the best medical supervision, treatment, and on-going care.
At Atlanta Detox Center, we specialize in providing the safest and most effective alcohol and drug detox treatment. We provide 24-hour supervision and care by licensed, trained and experienced medical professionals.
Contact us today to schedule an intake appointment!