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Detoxification, whether for alcohol or drug abuse, is the process of removing all residual traces of the substance from the body. Because stoppage of any drug, including alcohol, can trigger often severe side effects as well as intense cravings, the withdrawal phase of recovery is often unpleasant and dreaded enough to prevent many substance abusers from seeking treatment. Alcohol and drug detox, done under medical supervision, is a managed process which helps the addict through this vital phase of recovery. It is conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis in accordance with the severity of the addiction, which can only be evaluated by a qualified physician.
The detox process can be dangerous and is best managed under medical supervision. Sudden stoppage of drugs or alcohol can trigger symptoms as dangerous as the addiction itself; improperly managed, these can be life-threatening. Alcohol and drug detox is therefore best left to professionals rather than to individuals or family members hoping to help a person quit "cold turkey." It is best to seek treatment at a drug detox center or through a drug or alcohol treatment program. These offer a holistic approach to the problem, a whole mind and body course of treatment to get at the physical as well as psychological problems associated with addiction. Unfortunately, simply seeking the support of fellow addicts, as in the Alcohols Anonymous model, does not offer treatment for the physical component of addiction and therefore relapse rates are high for those who depend on AA alone.
Effective detoxification programs offer a rounded course of treatment, from medications designed to ease the body's cravings, to counseling to understand the root causes of the addiction, to behavior modification and self-transformation. The recovering addict is supported and helped through the process of establishing and maintaining an emotional equilibrium adequate to living a life free of the substance which formerly controlled his or her life. This is accomplished by identifying those factors which enabled the abuse to begin with and dealing with the physical and emotional dependency.
Detox programs are associated with a variety of addictions, including alcohol, prescription painkillers, and a variety of opiates. Medically supervised detoxification is often required for such problems as codeine addiction, darvocet addiction, dilaudid addiction, heroin addiction, laam addiction, lorcet addiction, lortab addiction, methadone addiction, mscontin addiction, norco addiction, oxycontin addiction, percocet addiction, percodan addiction, stadol addiction, vicodin addiction, xanax addiction and zydone addiction.
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