Living with an addiction can destroy a person’s life. The old person disappears and the subject of the addiction becomes who the addict is. Things they never dreamed they’d be capable of becomes a way of life. They might lose their job, their family, their home, and anything they once took pride in before they muster the courage to detox, or go beyond the point of no return.
The First Impossible Hurdle
The problem is, recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs is not just an issue of mind over matter. Addiction has a severe physiological impact on the host. Addictive substances work by causing the brain to unnaturally spike in its production of neurochemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurochemicals give the addict the feeling of euphoria that makes the addictive substances so appealing to begin with. However, the human brain has the incredible ability to monitor and keep its neurochemicals in balance, and so it stops producing theses essential neurochemicals to make up for the imbalance. As a result, the addict must continue using the substances that produce the uplifting chemicals, but now just to function.
If the addict tries to quit using the substance they are addicted to cold turkey, the dip in neurochemicals causes withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations, anxiety and depression, and sometimes even death. Overcoming the withdrawals when a drug addict tries to get clean can be so debilitating that some addicts are never able to, despite their best intentions.
Overcoming Withdrawal Symptoms
In order to get past this first hurdle on the road to drug recovery, drug and alcohol detox centers offer several withdrawal treatments. Some rapid detox centers provide medication that reduce the symptoms of withdrawal while the patient gets their addictive substances out of their systems. This process might take several days or several weeks; all the while the patient must remain under constant supervision to ensure they remain viable. This is a difficult process, but give the addict the opportunity to overcome their addiction.
Some rapid detox centers put the patient under general anesthesia and then administer a drug that causes their body to rapidly go through the detox process while they are sedated. This solution offers the advantage of helping the patient go through the worst of the symptoms without being conscious and aware of them, but it also puts a lot of stress on the body. Patients who are in poor health may not be fit for this type of detox treatment. The doctor overseeing the detox treatment will help the patient determine which treatment is best for their condition.
Setting Reasonable Expectations
The treatments offered by rapid detox centers is not an instant solution to make the addict magically recovered; the detox treatment options offered by rapid detox centers are painful and difficult. When the patient is detoxed and past the risk of physiological withdrawal symptoms, they’re work has only begun. In order to be successful in the recovery journey, they will need to go through a treatment program that addresses the reason they began using to begin with and develop tools to cope when they feel inclined to return to their drug.
Drug and alcohol addiction is not a condition that can be cured overnight; in fact, many medical professionals argue that it cannot be cured at all. Even after an addict is clean, they will need to make choices that supports their ability to stay clean for the rest of life. While reviewing detox options, the addict (and their support network) should be weary of any rapid detox centers that make promises that seem too good to be true. Rapid detox is not a magic pill and should never be represented as such; it is simply a tool for getting past the impossible first hurdle in the drug recovery process. It does not magically correct the reasons the addict needed the drugs to begin with, but it does give them a chance at recovery that they do not have on their own.
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