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Article Summary


Detox is the process that occurs when someone stops using drugs and/or alcohol, and as these substances leave the body physical and psychological symptoms are experienced which can range from mild to severe. The severity of these symptoms and how long the detox process will last is all dependent on the individual's current physical state i.e. are they healthy or physically incapacitated because of their substance abuse, and how history of substance abuse including which drugs they have abused and for how long. If someone is alcohol dependent for example, it is very likely that they will have a much harder and riskier detox process than someone who binge drinks now and then but is in otherwise good health.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Different drugs bring about different symptoms while one is going through detox. For individuals who are opiate dependent, they can expect to feel quit ill much like a common flu but far worse. Body aches, chills, intense sweating, sleeplessness, and depression are all very common symptoms that opiate dependent individuals will experience during their detox. While detoxing from cocaine the individual may not have as many physical symptoms but the depression which comes from detoxing from cocaine can be quite intense and prolonged. Methamphetamine detox is very similar to this, although symptoms can be even more prolonged than with cocaine detox.

Medical Supervision

Certain types of detox need to be medically supervised; and it is typically not an option but a requirement. Alcohol and a category of prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines are such drugs, due to the fact that detoxing from them can bring about seizures and other serious symptoms which can be life threatening. It is often necessary to taper an individual off of either in order to ensure it is a safe detox process, and it is even sometimes necessary to administer other medical drugs to ensure no serious health risks arise.

For the most part, detox is a cut and dry process and individuals simply need to endure the withdrawal symptoms that will arise with the help of treatment professionals. Without help and on one's own, the symptoms experiences during detox can be too overwhelming and most will simply relapse. In a proper detox center or treatment setting detox professionals can help the individual through this process so this isn't the case, and offer certain detox aids and other tools which can make it a smoother experience and the most comfortable and safe detox possible.

Types of Detox Programs

There are drug assisted detox programs which utilize other drugs to help individuals avoid withdrawal symptoms altogether, although these are known to cause complications and may not be the safest option. Holistic detox services which help individuals get through the process by offering a full spectrum of detox services which can help individuals get through detox in a healthy and safe manner are one's best bet. These types of detox programs ensure the individual has proper rest, nutrition, exercise and support to feel comfortable and encouraged. Holistic and alternative detox programs also offer services which can help an individual's overall mood and psychological well being which can assist greatly during the detox process. Such services may include certain types of counseling services, yoga, tai chi, and even acupuncture.

No matter which drug of abuse is involved, no one should have to endure the detox process on their own. The likelihood of relapse and serious risks are too great. There are a number of detox options to choose from, and one which will suit the needs of anyone in need of this help.

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