Prescription drugs and illegal drugs are composed of synthetic compounds that can remain in the body and continue to cause withdrawal symptoms long after the use of the drug has been discontinued. These withdrawal symptoms are often strong or dangerous enough to require medical drug detox.
Medical drug detox is supervised by physicians or trained professionals in a controlled environment where medication can be administered to manage uncomfortable or serious withdrawal symptoms. This process will safely eliminate all traces of drugs from the body, but it is not a cure for drug addiction. The goal of drug detox is to cleanse the body of drugs and prepare the individual for rehabilitation, and is usually required before participation in a treatment program is possible.
Different approaches or methods that can be utilized to achieve successful drug detox are:
Medical Detox is a process that provides gradual, decreased doses of a drug similar to the drug being abused.
Rapid Detox involves the administration of opiate blockers such as Naloxone, Naltrexone or Methodone while the patient is under general anesthesia. This process usually takes 4 to 8 hours.
Ultra Rapid Detox is an accelerated process conducted while the patient is under general anesthesia, combined with administration of Naltrexone. Detox can be achieved within 30 minutes, but can be a painful or risky procedure.
Stepped Rapid Detox is a gradual process of administering oral doses of Naltrexone or subcutaneous administration of Narcan. This method offers a more controlled approach to detox because the patient is awake and communicative.
Drug detox is the first step in addiction treatment and should be followed by enrollment in a professional rehabilitation program that will address the other aspects of addiction such as emotional problems, family dysfunction, behavior issues or physical health problems. Unless all of these psychological factors are also treated, relapse is highly probable.