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The Benefits of Medically-Assisted Detox

Certain drugs create major changes to the brain that result in physical dependence. Over time, a person will be unable to achieve the same effects from a drug and they must increase the amount of frequency of their use. Eventually this result in changes that are so strong, a person will become very sick if they stop using. In these cases, it is necessary to detoxify under the supervision of medical professionals to ensure safety.

Drugs like alcohol, heroin, benzodiazepines, and many others cause physical dependence. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “When that substance is taken away, symptoms can emerge while the body re-adjusts to the loss of the substance. Physical dependence can lead to craving the drug to relieve the withdrawal symptoms.” Physical dependence can become so strong that detoxification without medical assistance can be extremely harmful or, in some cases, lethal.

Medical staff are able to observe and treat symptoms of withdrawal as the occur to ensure the safety of an individual going through the detoxification process. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Improvement Protocols, “Detoxification is a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal. Supervised detoxification may prevent potentially life-threatening complications that might appear if the patient was left untreated.” Certain substances are much more likely to cause life-threatening symptoms and require medical intervention.

Alcohol and benzodiazepines are two substances that can cause lethal withdrawal symptoms. Louis A. Trevisan, in Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal: Pathophysiological Insights, explains, “Seizures may occur in more than 5 percent of untreated patients in acute
alcohol withdrawal. Another severe complication is delirium tremens (DT’s), which is characterized by hallucinations, mental confusion, and disorientation.” Similarly, benzodiazepine withdrawal can result in potentially fatal seizures if left untreated. Heroin addiction, on the other hand, is less likely to be lethal, but withdrawal symptoms can be so painful that it is unlikely a person will make it through the entirety of the process without relapsing.

Detoxification is only the first step in treating addiction. By itself, detoxification does little to help a person maintain sobriety. According to the NIDA, “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.” The best way to overcome addiction is by following up detoxification with residential treatment.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back the chains of addiction. Resilient House, a treatment facility in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, begins the residential program with medically-supervised detox to ensure that all clients have a safe and positive start to the treatment process. After medically-supported detoxification, the residential program includes maintenance care, individual therapies, counseling (including family therapy), and plans to help clients build life skills that will help them after discharge. For more information about detox and other treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431