Drug Detox

What is Drug Detox?

Drug detox is the first step for those looking to recover from addiction. In rehab, new patients must go through the detoxification process to begin an effective, long lasting sobriety.

When drug use stops, traces of the drug are naturally eliminated from the body. This process is known as drug detox. For dependent drug users, withdrawal symptoms may occur as a result of detox. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the drugs used and the length of use.

The Detox Process in Rehab

Rehab is the best place to go through the detox process. In rehab, trained professionals aid each patient as their body adjusts to sobriety.

The detox process can be difficult for those who have engaged in heavy drug use. In rehab, patients are provided with care to make the process as smooth as possible. Staff members monitor vital signs, provide counseling, and administer medication to patients.

Going through detox alone can be extremely difficult. For some, it may be almost impossible without professional support. Detoxing outside of a facility leaves the door to a relapse wide open, which can be dangerous for those attempting to abstain from drugs.

A drug rehab facility provides the best opportunity for patients to have a successful transition into sobriety. Rehab facilities give individualized, efficient medical care to new admissions going through detox.


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Drug Withdrawal

When illicit substances are used regularly, the user’s body becomes physically dependent on the drugs. When drug use ceases, withdrawal symptoms can occur.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies depending on the length of use and amount taken. Withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable and distressing. Typically, the symptoms are not fatal.

Opioid Withdrawal

Opioids are narcotic pain relievers. Opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Methadone
  • Meperidine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

Early withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Withdrawal symptoms can become harsher as time passes. These late symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Benzodiazepines and Stimulants

Benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, and Ativan. Withdrawal symptoms from benzos include:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

Stimulants include drugs like cocaine and amphetamines. Withdrawal symptoms from stimulants include:

  • Paranoia
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Medically-Assisted Detox

For many drug users, detox can be unbearable. Severe withdrawal symptoms may tempt users to exit treatment and relapse.

For these users, medically-assisted detox may be required. There are several medications which help ease drug dependents into total abstinence. In rehab, medications can be given to ease nausea, diarrhea, and sleep irritability.

For opioid addicts, there are a variety of medications that can be used to transition into sobriety. These medications are typically classified as opioids themselves, but do not produce the “high” gained from commonly abused opioids.

Common medications used to prevent opioid relapse are methadone, buprenorphine, and clonidine.

Seek Help with Drug Detox Today

Entering a rehab facility is a huge step those seeking treatment. Rehab prevents access to illicit substances, requiring patients to remain sober during their stay.

The benefits of rehab are immense for those looking to get clean. In addition to providing a smooth detoxification process, it also gives patients the tools needed for success outside the facility.

Counseling, group therapy, and medical services are all provided to patients in rehab. Ending drug use simply isn’t enough for addicts. Patients require guidance and support to ensure sobriety is permanent.

For help finding a drug rehab facility, call Step One Rehab at 877-348-7494 today. Our counselors will help find a facility tailored to each patient’s individual needs.