A common misconception about Florida drug rehab centers is that all they do is detox. Detoxification is only a small part of the overall rehab process, and the majority of patients’ time is spent in counseling. Still, detox is a crucial part of recovery – one that should be done under medical supervision. Addicts who are thinking about getting help need to understand why it’s so important to detox at a drug rehab center.
The Need for Medical Help
At the most basic level, detox is a simple process of drug deprivation. By avoiding drugs for one to two weeks, addicts can wean themselves of their chemical dependencies. This is by no means a cure to addiction, but it does allow people to manage their cravings and exert better control over their behaviors.
Because detox seems relatively simple, some addicts try to do it on their own. However, medical supervision should be used whenever possible. Removing toxins from the body can be a shocking experience, and some addicts experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Physicians can mitigate these effects with medication, and the supervision of rehab clinicians ensures that patients won’t quit early.
The Steps Involved
Detox procedures vary for different people and various substances, but most addicts go through these basic steps:
*Arrival: Patients arrive at their rehab clinics for the first time. They either go to onsite detox facilities or are taken to special offsite drug clinics.
*Medical screening: Addicts undergo health checkups and a series of drug tests. These tests determine the current levels of toxins in their bodies, and they help doctors choose necessary treatments and medications.
*Detoxification: Patients are monitored and assisted as they spend one week or more without drugs. The procedure may take longer for people with higher levels of drug abuse.
*Medication: Some people are given painkillers or sedatives to manage their withdrawal symptoms. However, these drugs are not always available because of their potential interactions with other substances.
Understanding Rapid Detox
For opiate addicts, however, withdrawal symptoms can actually be deadly. People hooked on heroin or prescription opiates are known to experience rapid heartbeats, palpitations, and even heart attacks during normal detox procedures. To mitigate these effects, some clinics use “rapid detox” methods.
The most common rapid procedure is called the Waismann method. Patients are sedated and given drugs which block the body’s opioid receptors – the sites on the brain which are ultimately responsible for the effects of most drugs. By the time they wake up, they are completely detoxified. This method has become somewhat controversial, however, and some doctors claim that patients are more likely to relapse after rapid detox.
Gradual Reduction Programs
Gradual reduction is another alternative method for opiate users. Instead of quitting cold-turkey, they begin taking daily doses of synthetic opiates such as methadone or buprenorphrine. These drugs still have addictive properties, but gradually-reduced doses can help addicts to slowly become less dependent. This process does take significantly longer than a normal detox, though.
Fear of detox is one of the reasons why some addicts fail to seek any kind of treatment. It’s important that potential rehab patients learn as much as possible about the procedure to allay their fears. Detox is certainly difficult and painful, but doctors and rehab counselors can help patients every step of the way.
If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol, call the number at the top of your screen for a no-obligation consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We’re standing by twenty-four hours per day to help you get started at a Florida drug rehab center.