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How Does a Medical Detox Work?

Person learning how a medical detox works

Addiction can be deadly, and so can withdrawal. If not done properly, it can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, and more. That’s why it’s so important to seek medical detox to break free from addiction.

So what is medical detox, and how does medical detox work? A medical detox is a specialized form of withdrawal management overseen by medical professionals. It utilizes various treatments and medications to ensure that your body is supported throughout the process of withdrawal.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Serenity Grove’s addiction treatment in Athens, GA may be able to help. Contact us at 844.904.3485 to learn more about our treatment options.

How Does Medical Detox Work?

So how exactly does medical detox work? When someone is dependent on a substance, their body has become used to having that substance in the system. As a result, when you try to stop or reduce your use of that substance, your body begins to go through withdrawal.

A trained and experienced healthcare professional will help you manage withdrawal symptoms during medical detox. A medical detox program offers a safer environment for this person in withdrawal under medical supervision. When necessary, the medical team can provide medication to relieve symptoms to make detox easier and safer than someone attempting to do it alone.

A person can experience a wide variety of symptoms during detox, including:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shaking and shivering
  • High temperature or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating

A detox treatment program won’t help avoid these symptoms, but it can reduce the severity and help you be comfortable during this process.

When Is Medical Detox Necessary?

So, when is detox necessary? Individuals with a physical dependence are candidates for this program, but how can you tell if you or someone has a chemical dependence?

Here are some signs you should consider detox programs:

  • Used the substance for a long period of time
  • Used the substance in large amounts regularly
  • Craved the substance regularly when not available
  • Noticed a diminished effect with the same amount of substance
  • Tried to quit using this substance and was unable to
  • Required increasing the amount of substance to feel the effects

Each substance has its own withdrawal symptoms that are caused by the body. Heroin, alcohol, opioid medications, and benzodiazepines all have different withdrawal effects.

What Happens During the Detox Program?

The first step of any medically assisted detox is for the doctors to give the patient a medical assessment to help create a plan based on this person’s needs. During the assessment, the medical professional will get information on the person’s medical history and other details about their addiction. Then the medical team will develop a personalized detox plan.

The withdrawal process can vary in severity depending on the substance and how long the person was addicted to it. Each detox can be different regardless if the person has gone through withdrawal previously.

In addition to the physical withdrawal symptoms discussed above, the person may experience psychological withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Intense cravings

Even more severe withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, hallucinations, and delirium, require medical intervention. To cope with these symptoms, the medical team gives controlled medication to help relieve the severity of the symptoms. This medication can also help ease anxiety and depression, along with helping the person get sufficient amounts of sleep. The medical team will monitor vitals and make sure the person’s system is working properly.

The most important part of detox care is the around-the-clock support. It’s important for the person to have compassionate and supportive care to have a successful detox period. It gives them the best chance for a positive outcome.

Therefore, each person should be carefully monitored 24 hours a day throughout the process.

Next Steps After Detox

Detox addresses just the physical problems of addiction, but it cannot alter what caused the addiction. The psychological aspect of addiction needs to be addressed next. Medical detox is only effective if it is just one component of a treatment program that addresses other areas, such as spiritual, emotional, and behavioral causes of a person’s addiction. After detox, the person should transition to a program to address these issues.

Medical Detox Near Me at Serenity Grove

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, Serenity Grove can help. Our team of compassionate, professional staff is dedicated to helping you or your loved one overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery. Contact us at 844.904.3485 today to learn more.