Detoxification is the process of safely removing addictive drugs from an individual’s body.

 

Definitions

Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, which involves compulsive and uncontrolled pursuit of reward or relief with substance use or other compulsive behaviors.

 

Anxiety is a negative emotional state characterized by feelings of nervousness, worry, and apprehension about imagined danger.

 

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs slow the nervous system and

are prescribed to relieve nervousness and tension, to induce sleep, and to treat other symptoms. They are highly addictive.

 

Recovery is a series of steps an individual takes to improve his or her wellness and health  while living a self-directed life and striving to reach his or her highest potential.

 

Seizure is an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that results in changes in the brain and in behavior.

 

Description

 

Detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances (e.g., drugs, alcohol, mind-altering chemicals) from an individual’s body, usually, under the care of a physician. Individuals who use drugs or alcohol can develop a physical dependence over time. Abruptly stopping the use of alcohol and drugs can result in significant withdrawal symptoms. It is extremely important for an individual with an addiction who is going through the detoxification process to be observed and treated by a health-care professional, as several drugs  can result in life-threatening situations. For example, an individual who consumes alcohol or benzodiazepines on a daily basis can have a seizure if the individual abruptly stops using the substance on his or her own. Often, an individual will be prescribed a medication  while being treated for detoxification so that he or she is more comfortable and also that he or she does not experience a seizure.

 

When an individual becomes physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, the individual may experience severe withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops  using. Depending on the drug being abused, symptoms will vary. For example, an individual who is withdrawing (detoxifying) from heavy use of alcohol may experience increased heart rate, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, shaking, and seizures. An individual who is withdrawing from benzodiazepines may experience difficulty sleeping, muscle cramps, irritability, restlessness, seizures, and even death. The first step to recovery for individuals with addiction is detoxification.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment for detoxification is designed to remove toxins that are left in the body. An individual can go through the process of detoxification at several facilities(e.g., private clinics, addiction clinics, and mental health centers). An individual can also participate in an inpatient or outpatient treatment program for detoxification.

This option is very beneficial because medical staff closely observes individuals. Furthermore, individuals are more likely prevented from using alcohol or drugs in an inpatient or outpatient program. Typically, the detoxification process can take less time when participating in an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

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