Are Drug Detox Programs Really Effective?

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For those who have suffered drug withdrawal symptoms or seen their loved ones go through it, know how tough it can be. In fact, it has been cited as one of the major hurdles to giving up drugs altogether. Once physical dependence on a drug has been established, a person cannot overcome his addiction without professional help. Drug detox may take several forms and should be chosen carefully taking all factors into consideration.

Drug Detox Methods

The process of drug detoxification rids the body of all traces of the drug and helps to adapt the body to its absence. It may involve a quick detox in which you stop taking the drug altogether. In some cases a gradual tapering off the drug is introduced till the person is drug free. In some cases another drug is used in lower doses to slowly reduce the body’s dependence on a particular drug. Often the pattern of treatment to be followed depends on a careful analysis of the patient’s condition and the drug to which he may be addicted.

Risks Associated with Rapid Detox

A rapid detoxification can prove dangerous for long term addicts and should never be tried at home. Drug detox is always undertaken on an in-patient basis to contain any possible withdrawal problems. There are always trained professionals available in a detox center to alleviate pain and discomfort. In some cases, there are chances of a seizure or nausea and vomiting. In such situations one may need medical help to stabilize and manage these or any other unexpected problems that may crop up.

Kinds of Withdrawal Problems

Withdrawal problems may not always consist of physical problems but often consist of psychological problems like depression or suicidal tendencies. Therefore, drug detox is always followed or accompanied by psychotherapy to help the patient to overcome the psychological barriers to freedom from addiction. It also helps to develop coping strategies to overcome emotional compulsions for drug indulgence.

Reasons for Addiction

Drug addiction is not always the result of deliberate misuse of drugs. It can also occur when patients fail to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully for prescription drugs or may continue taking it beyond the prescribed duration. In rare cases, some people are more susceptible to addiction to a particular drug and may need detoxification to help them rid of their dependence. In all cases, the process should always be under medical supervision.

Factors Affecting Successful Detoxification

The success of a drug detox program depends to a great extent on the motivation levels of the addict along with the effectiveness of the rehabilitation program chosen. In itself it will not help the patient to kick the habit and there is considerable risk for a relapse. An effective program takes individual differences into consideration and chalks out a program accordingly. Some people need more time to adjust to a life free of drugs while some respond more quickly. The situation can be compounded by underlying medical conditions and malnutrition which is so common in long term addicts.

In the long run it is cheaper and safer to begin a drug detox program in a proper drug and alcohol detoxification center that offers residential facilities to its patients.

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