When individuals develop an addiction to drugs, their body chemistry changes so that they actually need the drug to survive. Ironically, even though the body depends on the addictive substance, it is also poisoned by it. Medical supervision is recommended when beginning the drug detox process. Withdrawal symptoms that occur from this process have the potential to be life threatening.
The addiction recovery medical professionals at Drug Detox in Tucson, AZ have years of training and experience in treating patients going through the withdrawal process. Medical experts use their knowledge and skills to minimize the health risks associated with drug detox. Additionally, they do everything possible to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible.
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Withdrawal symptoms associated with drug detox depend greatly on the type of drug the patient is addicted to, as well as the length of time they’ve been using the substance. Detoxing from a drug like heroin can be different from the process of withdrawing from alcohol. Each patient requires individual and specialized care that suits their specific needs.
Heroin users can experience withdrawal symptoms as quickly as just hours after they stop using it; others can feel them for weeks or months after their last dose. The length and intensity of the symptoms vary depending on the individual and the amount of the drugs in their system.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with heroin detox include:
A chronic alcoholic, or someone who engages in heavy binge drinking, is likely to have more severe withdrawal symptoms once they’ve stopped abusing alcohol. Some may experience irregular heartbeat, seizures, and convulsions, and others may have hallucinations and delusions. In some cases, the alcoholic might develop delirium tremens, a psychotic condition, which requires immediate medical treatment, and is characterized by severe heart rhythm irregularities, seizures and central nervous system dysfunction.
These symptoms may occur within hours of the person having their last drink, or may take days to appear. Since a person with delirium tremens might require sedation, intensive medical treatment is required. It is never a good idea to detox alone as these symptoms can be life-threatening. Seeking the help of a medical professional or drug or alcohol treatment facility is always the best option.
Every patient is first assessed to gather information about their medical, psychological and drug use history. Once a full report of the patient’s drug history has been completed- including the type of substances used, how often they are used, and the length of time they’ve been used- then they can begin the detox process.
If necessary, medication can be administered to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Typically, addicts who have been using large amounts of the substance, and for a long time, require that their bodies be slowly weaned off the toxins. This allows for a smoother and easier transition, since quitting cold turkey can cause very severe medical problems. Addiction is a disease with serious consequences.