A Look at Drug and Alcohol Detoxification
Alcohol and drugs alter the way a person thinks and acts. It causes physical changes to brain chemistry and creates some problems. Since it’s legal, most people don’t view alcohol as a poison, but in reality, that is precisely what it is. The same is true for illicit drugs. These substances can make people feel good, but they’re nothing more than different types of poison. The primary action of a drug is to increase the quantity of a specific chemical that is produced naturally in the body. For example, many drugs cause the brain to make more dopamine. When a substance is used over an extended period, it starts to replace the chemical it once increased. As this process occurs, a person becomes dependent on the drug. The body stops making the chemical that the drug replaces and expects the drug to take its place.
Most people don’t realize that their body is very similar to a machine, but it’s significantly more resilient. A healthy human body can heal itself and perform all essential functions needed for survival. Although it’s impossible to see from the outside, every part of the human body is perfectly tuned to work with every other part. Blood, organs, veins, skin, nerves, and muscles all work together.
It’s important to understand that not all drugs are harmful. Many legal drugs are used to sustain essential processes in the body, but illicit drugs break down the body. A drug or alcohol addiction disrupts the body’s normal rhythm. If a person has been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period, he or she has a body that is entirely out of pace, and this can lead to a variety of illnesses.
The purpose of detoxification is to bring the body back to its normal rhythm or functioning. It’s used to restore the body to the state it was in before it became dependent on drugs or alcohol. After detoxification, individuals can get into even better shape than they were in before using drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. Often, detox can be a painful and uncomfortable process. However, the entire process doesn’t last very long, so that is something people can look forward to.
In the United States, alcohol abuse is a serious problem. Currently, about 7 percent of all Americans fit the criteria established for alcoholism. Put simply; these individuals are dependent on the substance.
During the year 2000, about 220,000 individuals were released from the hospital while experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol comes with some withdrawal symptoms, and some of these withdrawal symptoms can be deadly.
Each year, nearly two million Americans experience some form of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Statistics show that people who get help from an alcohol detox facility are 20 percent more likely to stay sober than people who don’t.
When compared with detoxing from illicit drugs, alcohol detox can be much more dangerous, which is why it’s paramount to get help from a detox facility.
The Basics of Alcohol Detox
One of the biggest fears of alcoholics is the detox process. In fact, withdrawal symptoms are what keep most alcoholics from entering detox.
The process of detoxification from alcohol can be far more intense than detoxification from illicit drugs. Many of the withdrawal symptoms can last for several days, but it’s not uncommon for some symptoms to linger for as long as two weeks.
After the initial stages of detox, an individual might experience the worst of blackouts, seizures, irritability, chills, sweats, sharp mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
It’s important for alcoholics to remember that addiction isn’t a character flaw. It’s essential for alcohol detox to be safe and comfortable.
TREATING AMERICA’S MOST COMMON ADDICTION
Alcohol rehab addresses the behavioral aspects of alcohol abuse. As patients go through detox and are medically stabilized, they begin rehab and behavior modification as part of their comprehensive treatment program. Alcohol rehab is critical to the treatment process because it allows patients to regroup, regain their confidence and start to rebuild their lives.