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Four FAQs About Detox Treatment Answered

Aug 18, 2008
People are not quite sure about how detox treatment programs work despite the great deal of information present on the subject. Here are four common questions that people have with their answers.

Q1. What actually happens during a detox treatment?

A detox treatment is basically provided to remove the toxins collected in the person's body due to the addicted phase of his or her life. This is extremely important for complete recovery. However, the process itself is quite a difficult one to bear. In most treatment centers that provide the detox treatment, the first step would be to do a complete analysis of the patient's physical and mental condition. The purpose here is to understand whether the patient will be able to go through the treatment or not. Once that has been established, the patient will be housed in an isolated treatment center. It will be here that the patient will experience the withdrawal for the substance.

The withdrawal will happen because the body of the patient will very vehemently ask for the substance to be brought in again. This happens because the brain of the person still craves for the substance even if the body has stopped consuming the substance. Depending on how addicted the person is to the substance and what kind of physical and mental constitution the person has, the withdrawal will make its appearance anywhere from one to three days of the beginning of the abstinence.

When the withdrawal happens, the treatment providers will put the patient on a medicinal therapy. The intention of this medication will be to provide a replacement to the addiction so that the body will not ask for the substance of addiction in such a drastic manner. Also, the medication will be provided to normalize the conditions of the person's body that might have become impaired due to the addiction.

Q2. How long does a detox treatment take?

The person's detox treatment is said to be completed when they are completely out of the pangs of the withdrawal. This can be a very short process for some people or it could extend to several weeks. It all depends on how addicted the person is to the substance and how well placed the person is in regards to body and mind.

If the addiction is only of a mild type such as an alcohol addiction that hasn't been going on since a long time, the patient will take as many as three to four days. However, alcohol addiction treatment can be long-drawn too, and so can the treatment of certain drugs like marijuana and cocaine. Drugs like heroin and methamphetamine are highly addictive and will take a long time to be delivered out of the withdrawal completely. Some of these detox treatments could also go on for a month.

There are rapid detox programs also nowadays, where people are kept unconscious for a few hours while the body is purged of the toxins. The whole process can last a day and is certainly becoming quite popular nowadays.

Q3. What are the purposes of detox treatment?

The main purpose of the detox treatment is to cleanse the person's body of the unmetabolized products of the addictive substance, which can become toxic for the body if kept as they are. This is vital for treating certain health problems associated with the addiction. Also, unless and until the substances are not completely removed from the body, there is always a risk of succumbing to some or the other kind of complication later on in life. A good example is an undetoxified alcohol addiction. Even if the person stops using the alcohol, the fact that it is still present in the body can cause complications later on in life like the cirrhosis of the liver.

Then there is another very important reason. As long as the person has the addictive substance present in the body, it will not allow the temptation of the substance to subside. The patient will always feel the urge for the substance. Hence, for speedy intervention, a detox program is a must.

Q4. Is the addiction treatment completed after the detox?

This is a very common question and one that begs to be answered. The fact of the matter is that the detox process is only a treatment for the body. However, addiction resides in the brain. Hence, in order to make the program really meaningful, it is continued with an aftercare program. The aftercare can be provided in an outpatient center or in a residential treatment program, depending on the nature of the addiction the person in question.
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