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The first step to healthy sobriety is to cleanse the body of the addicted substance. Depending on what drug has been abused, and for how long, this process can be painful and emotional.
We work with facilities to provide a safe space that helps patients detoxify with clinical supervision. Detoxification, usually called detox, is a procedure used to expel drugs and toxins from the body. Often, people dependent on substances will build up harmful chemicals in their systems which need to be cleared out before the healing process can begin. Detox is not rehabilitation, but rather a stride in that direction. In most instances, the ‘cold turkey’ technique isn’t effective and can be dangerous. People who begin the detox course may experience withdrawal symptoms, from mild to extreme, so it’s important to have assistance throughout.
Detox varies from person to person which is why our team finds safe and verified strategies that treat each patient individually.
Types of Detox
There are two kinds of detox: medical supervised withdrawal, and social detoxification. Medical supervision is usually done in an in-patient facility such as a hospital or medical center. This is to help monitor the patient and ease the pain of the withdrawal. Social detox is primarily used for those who only experience mild to moderate symptoms or are not chronic drug abusers. This includes infrequent use, marijuana, cocaine, or occasional alcohol use.
Recovery professionals will choose between social detox or medical supervision based on:
- type of drug abused
- length of addiction
- age of the patient
- psychological state
- physical well-being
- the type environment the professionals believe will be the most useful to the patient
For those in New Orleans, social detox can include management from a medical professional such as a nurse, who tracks the individual’s health and condition. They also assist the patient during their cravings during and after withdrawal. Patients aren’t hospitalized as they detox and are encouraged to live alongside and socialize with other people that are in recovery. As a result, this type of detox prepares people for a long-term rehabilitation as they learn valuable skills to use in real life.
The Benefits of Detox
People who benefit the most from medically supervised withdrawal include those who are addicted to:
- pain medications (prescription or pharmaceutical)
- barbiturates or sedatives
- opioids (heroin, OxyContin7, codeine)
Undoubtedly, these drugs have very nasty and painful withdrawal symptoms, most of which can be mitigated by prescription detox medications. Therefore, participation in medically supervised withdrawal is vital for people suffering from severe alcoholism, or who are abusing alcohol alongside different substances.
This type of detox uses medicine provided only by a licensed doctor to control those agonizing conditions that can develop because of withdrawal. “Cold turkey” methods can be detrimental, and we strongly suggest getting professional help if you have a serious illness or have been diagnosed with mental illness. This can increase the risk of permanent damage from the detoxification.
Detox Treatment Techniques
Different substances are responsible for a variety of withdrawal symptoms, which is why it’s important to find the right detox service for you. Depressants (for example, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol) normally require a steady reduction of the substance. Potential side effects of withdrawal include:
- increased blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- high body temperature
Stimulants, like amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, and Ritalin, generally have complicated withdrawal symptoms, so they require more emotional support from family members, friends, and counselors. Sometimes stimulant-abusers require medication because they have developed stimulant psychosis, which can cause:
- suicidal thoughts
- suicide attempts
- paranoid thoughts
Withdrawal symptoms from opiates (including heroin, morphine, codeine, and OxyContin) vary from:
- runny nose
- rapid pulse
- quickening breathing
- bone sensitivity
- muscle pain
Take the First Step
Detox doesn’t replace a treatment program, but it’s a necessary beginning towards recovering from addiction. Plenty of people in New Orleans, LA have already taken this step and you can as well.
Often, treatment centers provide reinforcement both during after the detoxification process. It’s easy to relapse after becoming sober so detoxing in conjunction with other drug and alcohol abuse treatment methods, remains effective beyond the first step. Recovery is attainable and is successful when the programs all come together. Call our professional admissions experts at 504-384-7870 for additional information regarding detox, rehab, and treatment, or to locate detox and treatment facilities.