Medical detox is often recommended as the first course of action in a drug treatment regimen. Medical detox describes the process of withdrawal under medical supervision, with medications often prescribed as part of the process. While an extensive medical detox period is not always necessary, it is generally recommended for physical drug addictions. Physically addictive drugs include alcohol, heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and many more. If you need to access medical detox services, reach out to the addiction specialists at Drug Treatment Centers Orange by dialing 973-651-0731.
The process of detoxification enables the discontinuation of drug use in a safe and supportive medical setting. While natural detox describes ridding the body of harmful toxic substances, additional medications are often introduced in medical detox. Prescription opioids and benzodiazepines are often taken to alleviate and manage the withdrawal syndrome, with medical support staff on hand at all times to evaluate clients and manage the process.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are three steps in the detox process: evaluation, stabilization, and directing people towards further treatment. This process is rarely enough when used in isolation, with behavior therapy programs also advised to treatment underlying causes of addiction.
Heroin is a potent opioid analgesic drug widely available on the black market and taken to induce feelings of euphoria. Heroin is a highly addictive substance, with tolerance developing quickly and a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome likely upon cessation of use. A medical detox period is always recommended for heroin addiction cases, with opioid medications often prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce relapse rates. While the withdrawal period from heroin is often referred to as “cold turkey”, this term can also describe a natural detox regimen. Possible withdrawal symptoms include malaise, anxiety, depression, sweating, yawning, cold sweats, muscle aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, fever, cramps, and involuntary body movements.
Medical detox can also describe intervention in the case of drug overdose, with heroin overdose particularly dangerous. Heroin overdose is usually treated with an opioid antagonist drug, with naloxone and naltrexone two of the most widely used medications. These drugs have a high affinity for opioid receptors without activating them, making them highly useful for the treatment of acute overdose. Heroin overdose is often treated at emergency departments and hospitals, with immediate medication required to return the patient to consciousness.
Naloxone, also known by its trade name Narcan, is an opioid antagonist used to treat heroin and opioid overdose. This drug is able to reverse the central nervous system (CNS) depression caused by opioid overdose, and is recognized in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Naloxone can also be used together with opioid medications to decrease the risk of misuse. Naloxone may be used together with buprenorphine or pentazocine in this context, with oral use producing the intended opioid effect and intravenous use blocking the effect of the opioid drug.
While detox is an important part of the drug treatment process, it is rarely enough when performed in isolation. While the initial stages of psychotherapy may be offered in some detox regimens, generally speaking, detox does little to address the environmental and emotional precedents of drug addiction. Behavior therapy programs are always advised, with clients learning how to cope with the recovery process and change their behavioral responses. Relapse prevention techniques and strategies are also applied during rehab and aftercare, with clients given the support they need for a sustainable recovery.