Drug Addiction - Addiction Treatment

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Excessive drinking of any type of alcohol may eventually lead to dependents, known as alcoholism. Alcohol detoxification is a type of rehabilitation or detoxification from a substance that the body has become physically, mentally and often emotionally attached to. Alcohol detoxification is typically the first step for the treatment of alcoholism.

Types of Alcohol Detoxification

Depending on the severity as well as longevity of alcohol use, several methods are commonly used in detoxification processes. The alcohol detoxification process is difficult and may produce some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, but such processes can be engaged and regulated in a safe manner. The most common approach to alcohol detoxification include:

Restriction - Withdrawal from alcohol may take some time, and most detoxification procedures are included in the intervention programs that include in-patient alcohol rehabilitation. In many detoxification facilities, patients are given alcohol, the amount of which is regularly reduced over a period of time in order to allow the body to become accustomed to lesser amounts. This may often be combined with prescription drugs to help treat and prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Prescribe medications - While most (95%) of individuals going through alcoholism detoxification processes experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, 5% of individuals may experience severe withdrawal symptoms that may need to be addressed or treated in a hospital environment or in-patient rehabilitation facility that specializes in this type of detoxification. The most common types of medications prescribed for alcohol withdrawal symptoms include Ativan and Serax.

Such medications are known as short acting benzodiazepines, which have a relatively short life in the body, while Valium is considered a long acting benzodiazepine. As the individual moves through the detoxification process, dosages of benzodiazepine is reduced.

Following the actual detoxification process, doctors may prescribe medications like ReViaT or Antabuse (also known as disulfiram) to help the person resist the urge to drink following a relapse. Such drugs are designed to trigger sensations of nausea, dizziness and body flushing as well as vomiting.

Non-Drug detoxification methods includes screening, supervision, social support and the use of vitamins and nutrition to help treat mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. Studies have shown that individuals who undergo detoxification treatments in a supervised or in-patient facility enjoy long-term success more often than those who are treated on an outpatient basis. The general rule of thumb for detoxification of any kind is it the more severe or extreme the withdrawal symptoms, the more supervised intervention should be observed.

What Happens During Alcohol Detoxification?

The detoxification process is designed to remove all traces of a substance from the body.  In the case of alcohol abuse or alcoholism, the body must fully process out all forms of alcohol in the body during this process. Individuals undergoing alcohol detoxification may experience a number of physical withdrawal symptoms that can range from headaches to nausea to tremors, high blood pressure and even convulsions.

In some cases, the process causes mental processing changes as well, and some patients may become violent or self destructive, which is why it is recommended that any type of detoxification is engaged under medical supervision.


Who Benefits from Alcohol Detoxification?

Anyone who has experienced detrimental physical, mental and emotional effects of alcoholism and alcohol abuse will benefit from alcohol detoxification. In addition to reducing damage to the body, most specifically the liver, individuals who successfully detox from alcohol and undergo counseling often enjoy fuller and happier business and personal relationships in their life. However, patients should realize that the longer and more often a person consumes alcohol, the longer the detoxification process may take.

Who Performs Detoxification Treatments?

Any form of medical detoxification should be supervised by a professionally trained expert in the field. Doctors trained in drug abuse and withdrawal, as well as chemical dependencies and mental disorders and should be experienced, certified, and members of physician organizations and associations in their country of origin. Support staff should also be certified to provide healthcare and facilities should be clean and antiseptic. Physicians should specialize in the identification and treatment of multiple forms of addiction, and some of the best specialize in neurobiology, medically managing detoxification and a multitude of medications used in addiction treatments.

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By: PlacidWay,

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