Rates of drug use, abuse and subsequent addiction are rising all across the United States and throughout the world. Thankfully, there are many drug addiction treatment programs that have shown to be successful in helping addicts to end these types of harmful addicts and begin to heal from their drug use. The first step in most successful drug addiction treatment programs is the drug detoxification process.

Drug detoxification, or “detox” as it is more commonly known, is really the first step in any successful addiction treatment program. During detox, the addict will begin to stop using the addictive substance. As drug use is withheld, the addict will face incredible temptation to resume using the substance as well as many different withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. In some instances, death has resulted as part of the withdrawal process and for this reason it is often advisable to seek professional addiction treatment within a facility that is staffed with professionals. They will know how to handle any potential life threatening emergencies that may arise as a complication of drug detox. Whether someone is admitted to a treatment center or not, they should never attempt the withdrawal stage without some sort of supervision. Many withdrawal symptoms are mild, annoying or even painful, such as itching, depression, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, mood swings and more. Other symptoms can include seizures, convulsions, palpitations, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, respiratory system collapse, heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Some drug addiction treatment centers will only provide medication in the event of a true medical emergency, but other centers offer various medications that can ease the symptoms of withdrawal and some centers offer additional medications and treatments to provide a “rapid” detox to help speed up the detox process and help the addict’s body speed up the metabolism of the various substances that may be in their body.

Once an addict completes the detox process, they are no longer “physically” addicted to the substance, but it is important that the addict then receive treatment to deal with the psychological aspect of addiction or relapse back into using and abusing drugs and other substances is very likely to occur. Some studies show the relapse rate of addicts who received detox but did not later receive counseling and other treatments to help them with the psychological dependence of the drug later had relapse rates of 98%. Drug detoxification then is just the important first step in successfully treating drug addiction, it is certainly not the final stage or completion of treatment, it is only the beginning of what many feel to be a lifelong process of receiving the guidance and support that they need to become free of drug use and remain free of drug use.

Regardless of whether or not a particular drug addiction treatment program utilizes medication to help the addict to cope with the withdrawal symptoms, all drug detoxification programs exist with the common goal of doing what is necessary to help the addict to purge the drug from their system so that they can begin to heal from using drugs and reclaim their lives.

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