Detoxification — or detox — clears the body of all harmful and toxic substances for a person who is acutely intoxicated and/or dependent on an abused substance, including alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drugs. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours after an abused drug is reduced or abruptly stopped. Some abused drugs can produce severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and patients must be carefully monitored to ensure their safety and reduce the harm from withdrawing from the abused substance.
Common withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms typically begin within hours or days after a person’s last drink or drug used and may persist for several weeks. Acute withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and drugs can range from mild to severe and depend on how much, how often and what type of substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc.) was abused. Patients may experience a combination of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Anxiety, restlessness or nervousness
- Irritability or agitation
- Jumpiness or shakiness
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
- Social isolation
- Drug cravings
- Mood swings
- Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
- Muscle aches or pain
- Loss of appetite
Some of the more serious and/or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms include:
- Delirium tremens (alcohol withdrawal)
- Heart attack
- Seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there (hallucinations)
- Suicide and/or suicidal thoughts
The severity and length of the withdrawal period varies depending on the type of substance that was abused, how often and how long it was abused, as well as the method of abuse (e.g., swallowing, injecting, smoking, snorting). For example, a person who regularly injected large doses of heroin for years may face a longer withdrawal period compared to someone who used smaller dosages for a shorter period of time.
Medically assisted detox
All addictive substances can affect the structure and function of the brain and nervous system and can lead to changes in how the chemicals work in the brain. As the body must adjust to functioning without the abused substances, the process of eliminating the substance from the body may lead to acute withdrawal symptoms, which can make it difficult for the person to stop.
Medically assisted detox assists patients in safely eliminating the abused substance from the body, while helping them to manage their acute physical symptoms associated with stopping drug use. Medications may be administered to patients in medically assisted detox to help ease patients’ acute withdrawal symptoms and reduce the severity of any life-threatening symptoms. For example, people who have opioid dependence may be treated with medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone or naloxone to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and minimize harm.
Benefits of medically assisted detox
Some abused drugs can produce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and may require hospitalization and medical care to safely eliminate them from the body. Medically assisted detox is done in a controlled environment and involves medical supervision by a trained health care professional. Medically assisted detox benefits patients in the following ways:
- Eliminates the continued use of substance
- Reduces the risk of relapse
- Helps a person safely stop drug use
- Helps patients manage their withdrawal symptoms
- Prevents life-threatening withdrawal symptoms
Following detox, rehab El Paso, TX
Although the acute physical withdrawal symptoms may only last for a few weeks, it may take four weeks to six months of sobriety for patients to start feeling normal again. Addictive behaviors lead to the depletion of important chemicals in the brain, including dopamine and endorphins. The time that it takes the body to begin producing these chemicals again may vary in length depending on the individual and the duration and intensity of substance abuse. These mental and physical changes make patients more prone to relapse in the early stages of recovery.
Detox alone does not address the underlying psychological, social and behavioral problems that are associated with substance abuse, and many patients do not experience lasting recovery. Therefore, effective detox facilities not only stabilize patients’ withdrawal symptoms, they also evaluate their readiness for treatment and determine a proper place where they can receive treatment when detox is complete.
Sovereign Health detox programs Texas
Sovereign Health of Texas is a licensed substance abuse treatment facility located in El Paso. Our El Paso facility offers detox, intensive residential programs, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) for men and women with addiction and co-occurring disorders. At Sovereign Health of Texas, our patients receive thorough assessments during intake to diagnose and target any co-occurring psychiatric conditions that might occur with addiction. Patients may be provided medications to relieve their withdrawal symptoms and assist them in maintaining long-term abstinence from alcohol and drugs. Included in our comprehensive treatment services for behavioral health include individual, family and group therapy, complementary and alternative therapies such as mindfulness meditation, and continuing care designed to promote the maintenance of treatment outcomes, long-term recovery and overall well-being for our patients.
Drug rehab detox El Paso
If you are looking for drug rehab and detox centers in El Paso, TX, Sovereign Health of Texas can provide you with comprehensive behavioral health treatment services to help you take your first step toward your recovery and achieve long-term sobriety. While there are many detox centers Texas, our drug rehab treatment program in El Paso provides medically assisted detox to people affected by addiction. Our trained clinical staff thoroughly assesses each patient during intake for any co-occurring conditions and creates an individualized treatment plan tailored to meet his or her specific needs. Call our 24/7 helpline for more information about our detox center in Texas.