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How Does Detox Work?

Detoxification enables clients to terminate the consumption of drugs and alcohol with certain medications that aid in the process. Since drug and alcohol addictions are learned behaviors that are maintained by neuronal adaptations, the detox process is required in order to clear space for new physical and psychological connections. As soon as the client’s body and brain have adjusted to the more natural conditions, without drugs and alcohol, the psychological aspect, or addiction, can be addressed.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, clients can expect three steps within the detox process: evaluation, stabilization, and direction to further treatment.

Heroin/Opiate Detox

Opiates are incredibly addictive substances with potentially severe withdrawal symptoms. A supervised, medical detox is usually required to ease withdrawal symptoms and enable a successful recovery. Certain medications are used to replace heroin in order to make the withdrawal process less uncomfortable for the client. Typical withdrawal symptoms from heroin use include anxiety, depression, flu like symptoms, sweating, insomnia, priapism, muscle aches, tears, cramps, diarrhea, chills, cold sweats, and a general feeling of heaviness.

Although the withdrawal period for heroin is similar to one with any other opioid addiction, the syndrome for heroin, in particular, is expected to be much more severe. Opiate replacement therapy typically consists of monitored doses of methadone and buprenorphine, along with naltrexone which is used as an opioid antagonist, blocking the specific parts of the brain that cause the user to feel pleasure from heroin use. Since relapse following a heroin detox is tremendously common, clients must complete a residential addiction treatment program following the detoxification process.

Alcohol Detox

Formal alcohol detox usually requires a combination of both medical support and medication including Naltrexone, benzodiazepines, and Antabuse being widely used during the process. Available since 1951, Antabuse produces feelings of intense sickness when alcohol is consumed. The detox process is an essential element to the alcohol treatment programs at Addiction Rehab Austin. Clients should always follow detox with formal residential treatment in order to enable a long-term recovery.