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As the video clip below shows, detox can look scary even when it is not particularly life threatening. However, some drugs and cases of addiction require medical supervision in order to make sure that the detoxification process is both safe and effective.
However, the best way to go through withdrawal symptoms is with supervised detox with the help of a drug rehab or treatment center. These facilities offer a safe environment where individuals are medically monitored during the withdrawal stage of recovery. This lets those going through addiction treatment to be more comfortable in this stage, sometimes with the help of medication. But what is detoxification - and which drugs require supervised detox?
Over time, drug abuse leads to a dependence on those drugs in your body. When you stop using those drugs, your body tells your brain that it 'needs' the drugs in order to feel normal. This is essentially the drug detox process - going through the few days that it takes for your body to realize that it does not need the drugs at all. As the name implies, drug detoxification is your body ridding itself of the toxins associated with drug use.
Along the way, drug detox leads to a host of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal usually begins within eight to twenty-four hours of last taking the drug. Depending on the substance and how long it has been taken, withdrawal can least anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. While many withdrawal symptoms depend on the drug, some of the most common withdrawal symptoms across all substances include:
While drug detox may sound scary, it is the first step toward other important parts of the recovery process. Enduring through this first stage (either in drug rehab or with medically supervised detox) can help put you on a better path toward recovery.
This is somewhat of a trick question, since not all drugs within a specific type always require supervised detox. Instead, medically monitored or medically managed detox is necessary in some cases and with some types of drugs. That said, the two most common drugs requiring supervised detox are heroin, prescription opioids, and alcohol.
Otherwise known as medical detox, supervised detoxification essentially provides a safer means of withdrawing from alcohol or drugs. In some cases this simply requires medical supervision during the withdrawal and detox stage, though in some cases supervised detox will also involve the introduction of other medications to mitigate the effects of withdrawal.
"Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. However, medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. Although detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment."
~ National Institute on Drug Abuse
More often than not, the withdrawal symptoms associated with drug detox are extremely uncomfortable. However, only in some cases do these symptoms become dangerous if they are not medically supervised and managed. This is where supervised detox comes in for those starting withdrawal. In fact, some professionals recommend that drug detox should never be undertaken alone at all.
Supervised detox offers those looking at the possibility of withdrawal as the first stage of recovery a safe and professional environment to undergo the symptoms described above. There are two major elements of medically supervised detoxification: