Medical detox is an important part of drug and alcohol treatment, with medical staff and drugs needed to assist the detoxification process. Medical detox generally refers to the use of specific drugs to manage the withdrawal, with opiate abuse, alcoholism and a range of other substance abuse disorders requiring the extensive use of medications to speed up and enhance the withdrawal process. Medical detox can only take place at a professional drug and alcohol treatment center like Alcohol Treatment Centers Augusta.
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This type of detox is a medically-supervised process that requires round-the-clock care. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the process of drug detox should have three separate but related steps: evaluation, stabilization, and guiding the patient into further treatment.
There are three steps involved in drug and alcohol withdrawal treatment programs. The first step is evaluation, where a doctor examines the patient and tests them for exposure to a range of drugs. This is a very important step in the detox process, with any further medication treatment reliant on the existence of substances already in the patient’s system. Once a patient has been tested thoroughly, the stabilization phase can begin.
Stabilization involves guiding the patient through the process of detoxification, with various drugs possibly administered depending on the nature and extent of the problem. While detox is possible without the use of any drugs, medications are normally used to relieve pain, reduce anxiety and speed up the detox process. The drugs used during this phase depend on the substance of abuse, with people suffering from opiate addiction and severe alcoholism likely to be medicated in most situations.
The last phase of medical detox involves guiding the patient into further treatment. This is a very important part of the process, with detox never really complete until behavioral therapy and relapse prevention measures have been put in place. Whether they take place at the time of drug treatment or are conducted on an out-patient basis, therapy and counseling are integral to any comprehensive drug treatment program.
Opiates are painkillers that bond to pain receptors in the body and block the transmission of pain sensations. Prescription opiates include Suboxone, Vicodin, OxyContin, and Abstral.
Signs and symptoms of opiate abuse include constipation, poor coordination, sweating, depression, low blood pressure, a decreased breathing rate, and confusion.
Stimulants treat conditions like narcolepsy and ADHD by increasing the brain’s production of dopamine and norepinephrine to increase alertness, attention, and energy. Prescription stimulants include Adderall, Dexedrine, and Ritalin.
Signs and symptoms of stimulant abuse include weight loss, agitation, irritability, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and impulsive behaviors.
Benzodiazepines, which have mostly replaced barbiturates for treating anxiety and panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures, increase the production of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA.) This results in reduced nerve transmissions. Benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. Non-benzodiazepine sleeping aids like Lunesta and Ambien also have the potential to be abused.
Methamphetamine tolerance develops as a result of regular and prolonged use, with effective treatment for addiction including a range of detox and therapy programs. While the drugs fluoxetine and imipramine have shown some promise in treating methamphetamine abuse and addiction, evidence on effective medications is still limited and no treatment has demonstrated as completely effective. Medical detox is still an important process for methamphetamine addicts, however, with medical staff able to manage withdrawal symptoms and guide patients on to further therapy.
Typical symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include depression, anxiety, increased movement, lack of motivation, increased appetite and drug craving. Because many of these symptoms have a psychological basis, it is vital for patients to receive appropriate behavioral therapy and counseling.
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