If you or somebody that you love is struggling with drug addiction, inpatient rehab is certainly something you ought to consider. If the concept is foreign to you, the following information will help you understand what happens in detox and why inpatient rehab may benefit you or your loved one.
What is Detox?
Detoxification, or detox, is the natural biological process by which the human body rids itself of intoxicants or drugs. The term detox may apply whether the biological elimination involves drugs, alcohol or another foreign substance.
Part of the biological detox process is called withdrawal, and although natural, it can be a very difficult process to endure. Withdrawal symptoms may include such unpleasant things as physical discomfort, mental anxiety, sleeplessness, tremors and shaking, nightmares, insomnia and a host of other concerns, including:
Inability to sleep Anxiety An overwhelming sense of worry Nervousness Unrelenting nausea Tremors "The shakes" aka the DTs (delirium tremens associated with alcohol detox)
What Happens in Detox
When you first check into inpatient detox, you may feel a sense of unreality or resignation. Sometimes, these two feelings happen concurrently. You may not believe this is happening to you, or you may feel like you are playing a part in a Hollywood movie. Don't worry. The staff at a confidential and caring inpatient rehab has seen every sort of permutation of the detox process, and they will deal with the situation appropriately.
In some situations, the new inpatient may require medically assisted detox. When medically assisted detoxification is deemed necessary, special medications may be administered to relieve the worst symptoms of withdrawal.
In detox and rehab, stressors and temptations are removed. The patient has no access to the people and places and situations that typically led them to use. Instead, the patient is privy to therapy, counseling and peer group support that they did not enjoy outside the confines of inpatient rehab.
In many cases, an addiction is too far gone to deal with by mere abstinence. That's why special medications, including buprenorphine, Suboxone and methadone may be administered within the confidential confines of an inpatient rehab facility.
When someone attempts to "go cold turkey" and stop using addictive drugs without experienced guidance, they typically fail to quit. Withdrawals that are part of the detox process are the #1 reason that most addicts go back to using unless they avail themselves of qualified inpatient rehab.
Are you Addicted to Drugs or excessive Drinking?
Opiates and narcotics are especially addictive because when you take them, the natural reward centers of your brain are stimulated. When an opioid medicine reaches the brain, it relieves actual pain as it dumps a dose of brain neurotransmitters that have a 'feel good' effect. So good, in fact, you may wish to repeat the experience as soon as you can. Repeated use is a definite step on the path toward drug addiction. It's not impossible to quit using, however, with the compassionate care offered at a confidential inpatient rehab center.
Alcohol use can lead to addictive complications, as well. Nobody fully understands the reasons, but some persons just seem to have brains that are "wired for" over-drinking. A family history of alcoholism and other factors may explain an individual's propensity for alcoholism and drug abuse, too.
If you are not certain that your brain and body are addicted, consider the following questions:
Do you take more drugs or drink more than you intend? Does it take more now to feel the same pleasurable effects? Do you spend money you can't afford to obtain drugs or booze? If you go without drugs or drinking, do you feel anxious or ill? Are drugs or drink the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Medicines that may Assist Detox
The NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse describes medical detox as the best way to discontinue drug use while safely managing the most heinous symptoms of withdrawal. Sudden stoppage of drugging or drinking can lead to all kinds of uncomfortable and physically dangerous symptoms. Medical detox on its own is not enough to stop addiction, however. Nonetheless, inpatient rehab is a smart first step along the path to a healthy recovery. Not everybody who checks into rehab needs a medical detox. For those who do, supervised medically-assisted withdrawal can be a blessing.
Some of the medications that may be used in rehab include Suboxone, methadone and other opiate antagonists. Drinkers may receive additional medications to assist with withdrawal and detox from alcohol.
Not every medication is right for everyone, of course. That's why it is imperative to work with an inpatient rehab center that will construct an individualized detox and sobriety plan that suits you perfectly.
Are you Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?
If you think that you might have an overwhelming drug or alcohol habit, chances are good that you probably do. Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself:
Do you drink more or use more drugs or drink than you mean to? Have you tried to stop using drugs or alcohol but couldn't? Have you done so repeatedly? Do you participate in dangerous behavior when you're intoxicated on booze or drugs? Do you drink more alcohol or use more drugs than you used to? Do you continue to drink even though your significant other objects? Is your drinking or drugging causing trouble in your work or school life? Do you frequently feel hungover from the night before? Has your drinking led to troubles with the police? When you don't drink or do drugs, does your heart beat too fast? When you don't drink or do drugs, do you feel anxious and nervous?
If any of these descriptions apply to you, please don't feel ashamed. Good people get bad habits all the time, and it's usually no fault of their own. In the first decades of the 21st century, a lot of people in pain were prescribed addictive medications, including OxyContin and Vicodin. Good for the pain, at least for short-term usage. The hellish part of the story is the revelation that many trusting patients wound up with intractable habits that were harder to quit then the physical pain.
How Long Does Detox Last?
Some inpatient rehab programs conclude in as few as 30 days. Some inpatient rehab, especially when it involves outpatient therapies such as a "halfway house" and extended peer support group meetings, can go on indefinitely. The point with inpatient rehab is to find a happy medium that's just right for you.
The actual detoxification process may be done within ten days to one week. For some addicts, especially those who have been habituated to drugs or drinking for an extended period of time, the process may take a while longer. As they are wont to say in AA and other 12-step peer groups, "It takes what it takes" and that's alright. Ask anyone who had moved successfully from the shackles of addiction to a life free of intoxicants, and they will probably tell you that the time and energy required to overcome addiction were 100% completely worth the effort.
How will you Know if inpatient Rehab Works?
If you believe that sobriety is the sole indicator that drug rehab is effective, please think again. Yes, the newly sober addict is proud of that achievement. Getting clean is a huge deal, but it's not the only thing that proves a successful recovery. Improvement of the overall quality of life is the major goal of rehab, explains the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
* Reduced drug use: Total abstinence is indeed the goal, but even the use of smaller amounts or drinking with less frequency are signs that inpatient rehab works. If the addict or alcoholic goes for a longer periods of time between relapses, that's also an indicator that rehab works. Progress, not perfection, is the key to comfortable abstinence and sobriety.
* Improved employment and education: When the recovering alcoholic or addict signs up for a career training program, goes back to classes, or works more days at a job, rehab is flourishing.
* Improved personal relationships: When someone successfully completes at inpatient rehab, their relationships are bound to improve. Superior mental health, better levels of cognition and lessened psychotic states may improve all kinds of relationships, including those with family members, friends, and coworkers.
* Improved safety: When the addict checks out of inpatient alcohol or drug rehab, public safety increases. Soberer citizens mean fewer car accidents, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Why Inpatient Rehab Can Help you or Your Loved one
Addictive drugs are virtually impossible to quit without professional guidance. No matter how hard the addict or alcoholic tries, their chances of discarding the habit without help are practically nil. Going "cold turkey" may seem like a noble idea, but it rarely ever works. If you or someone that you care for is struggling with alcoholism or drug abuse, the best way out is via a caring and confidential inpatient drug rehab facility.
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