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What Does Detox Really Mean In Addiction Treatment?

Aug 19, 2008
The general meaning of detox or, to put it more correctly, detoxification is cleansing the body from toxins. De-tox means to eliminate toxins. This is what it really means. People might get a detox done for various reasons. People who suffer digestive problems quite often go for detox treatments because they help their digestive systems to be cleansed of the undigested food materials in their bodies. People who suffer from certain health problems will also be advised to go for a detox. Detox can be done for the entire body or for certain parts of the body such as the kidneys or the colon.

When we speak of detox in addiction treatment, we refer to the removal of the toxins accumulated in the body due to the consumption of the substance of addiction, which will mostly be alcohol or a drug. These substances do not get metabolized completely in the body and that is the reason they will remain in their unmetabolized state in various organs such as the liver, the kidneys, the digestive system, etc. Their presence in the body will be harmful in several ways. A detox treatment tries to remove these toxins so that the bodies can be brought back to their normal healthy state to as much as possible.

There are some very definite purposes of the detox process in addiction treatment. The following are the three most important ones:-

1. As a means of cure: The body might be suffering from certain ailments already because of the presence of the addictive substance in it. Removing the substance will help to cure these problems.

2. As a means of prevention: Sometimes, people come out of their dependencies naturally, but the chemical toxins present in their bodies due to their past life addictions can have repercussions on their health even at a later date. An example is the fatal condition of the cirrhosis of the liver which can happen in alcoholic people even years after they have given up their habit. Cirrhosis of the liver occurs because of the accumulation of alcohol in the liver of the person.

3. As a means of addiction recovery: All substances of addiction can attract more of themselves. They have a cohesive tendency. Hence, as long as an addictive substance remains in the body, there is all possibility that it will try to ask for more of itself. In that way, the person will never be able to effectively come out of the addiction. By detoxification, the substance is removed from the body and hence the person finds it simpler to snap out of the dependency.

Definitely then, detox is quite important in addiction treatment. Not only does it help people get a cure for their health complications that may stem out directly from their addictive tendencies but it also helps them to move towards sobriety in a speedier manner.

The very implementation of the detox program is a part of the cure process. During the execution of the program, the patient is first made to abstain completely from the substance of addiction. They are isolated in a treatment center, away from their family and friends. They are kept away from everything familiar to them so that they can find it easier to forget the substance they were addicted to.

In a day or two, depending on how addicted the person was to the substance, the person will begin feeling a craving for the substance. It is at this point of time that the body of the person will begin reacting violently in demand for the substance. Several physical symptoms can be observed at this stage, which is known as the withdrawal.

The addiction treatment providers will now embark on a medical journey for removing the patient out of the withdrawal. This will again be done in a very systematic manner. The patient will be provided certain medicines that will help them come out of their dependency. These medicines will do two things for the patients: they will remove the temptation of the substance from the patient's body and mind and they will normalize the body of the patient so it recovers from the problems that the addiction might have caused in it.

It can be seen that these are absolutely vital steps for the patient to move towards a complete addiction recovery. This is why the important of detox in addiction treatment cannot be denied. Even though the detox is not a complete program in itself (a lengthy and elaborate aftercare is needed to make the recovery anywhere near permanent), it is definitely a very significant beginning procedure.
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To read more informative articles like this one on addiction treatment, visit http://www.alcohol-detoxification.net.
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