Drug Detox... The First Step in Recovery from Drug Addiction

Long-term abuse of certain substances can lead to physical dependence. A physical dependence is where the body’s central nervous system develops a tolerance to the drug. Physical dependence is usually associated with sedatives like opiates (heroin and opiate prescription drugs such oxycontin and tramadol) and benzodiazepine (eg. diazepam and alprazolam etc). Where a physical dependence to a drug is evident, a drug detox will be required.

Drug addiction is a worldwide problem and The Cabin draws clients from all over the globe including such places as Singapore, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, the US, Europe and the UK. 

A drug detox is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug whilst managing the symptoms of withdrawal. It is the first step in a recovery program and should be followed by treatment that looks at changing behavior and cognitive function; drug detox alone is not full treatment.

A medical detox's necessity will depend upon a person's medical condition, history of substance abuse and their age.

During the initial period without drugs, a long-term drug user is likely to experience a number of both psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms. The body and the brain functions need a period of time to readjust to functioning without the drug present and the adjustment period can lead to various withdrawal symptoms.

What are withdrawal symptoms?

Physical symptoms of drug withdrawal can include restlessness and  insomnia; psychological symptoms of withdrawal can include impaired mood and anxiety.

What to expect during drug detox?

Because those who require a drug detox experience serious withdrawal symptoms, medical complications may be an issue and medication may be necessary. For this reason, inpatient care is usually required.

A key component of a drug detox is ‘stabilization'. This term covers all the medical and psychological interventions that occur in an effort to help the client come to a place of physical and psychological balance. Medication that has a similar effect to the drug may be prescribed in order to regulate the symptoms of withdrawal. This medication would be tapered off gradually during the detox program.

Post - Drug Detox, why continuing treatment is necessary.

Because addiction is a primary illness it has symptoms which existed before people start using drugs or alcohol. Those symptoms (restlessness, anxiety, low self-esteem, agitation) will still persist even after you stop using drugs and will put you at risk of relapse. Therefore new ‘recovery' skills need to be learnt after detoxification via CBT, 12 steps or other methods.


Back to The Cabin's Addiction Treatment Method Page

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