One of the most common reasons we hear people say they can’t quit drinking alcohol and/or using drugs is their difficulty dealing with the experience of (or fear of the impending) withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping their alcohol/drug consumption.
Fortunately, medical science has developed effective ways to help smooth out the withdrawal process, making safe and successful detoxing a reality and an available choice to countless people struggling with substance use disorders (a.k.a., chemical dependency or addiction to alcohol and/or drugs).
One doesn’t need to know all about brain chemistry, biological processes or the human anatomy to take advantage of medical detox, either. The bottom line is it’s a detoxification process that’s easier, safer and less uncomfortable than “going cold turkey” on your own.
Medical detox consists of going to an addiction treatment center, detoxification clinic or hospital, getting evaluated, and then staying there through the period of the more severe withdrawal symptoms. Let’s take a look at 5 of the benefits of medical detox versus stopping imbibing and going through withdrawal alone.
1. Medical detox can help ease and smooth out withdrawal symptoms.
Clients can have their withdrawal symptoms reduced using medical detox, since different types of medications are available to manage symptoms and keep clients more comfortable. Commonly used detox medications include:
Withdrawal symptoms that can be managed using these and other drugs include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Sore muscles
- Anxiety (and/or panic attacks)
- Watering eyes
- …as well as a number of others.
2. The likelihood of relapsing during the experience of withdrawal symptoms can be reduced using medical detox.
Since a person’s withdrawal symptoms can be intense, even severe, many people opt for going back on alcohol or drugs simply to stop the discomfort and pain. In some cases, these relapses can lead to an overdose, since the person may inadvertently drink or use more than usual in an attempt to nullify their painful symptoms. However, in a qualified detoxification center, there is 24-hour monitoring and any uncomfortable symptoms can be addressed immediately.
3. Detoxification is guaranteed.
As noted above, there are a significant number of those people trying to detox on their own who are unsuccessful, due to not being able to properly manage the pain and discomfort of their withdrawal symptoms while alone. To ensure that a client has the alcohol or drug substance completely out of their system, a medically-monitored program is best. Clients choosing to go through the process of medical detox are guaranteed to successfully detoxify, and ultimately it’s significantly more likely to be comfortable for them. Since medical detox is an important first step, but does not guarantee full recovery from addiction, it’s highly recommended that a client goes straight into treatment following medical detox.
4. Medically detoxing is safer than going “cold turkey” alone.
One of the most important benefits of medical detoxing at an addiction treatment center, hospital or qualified detox facility is that it’s much safer than trying to quit on your own. Detoxing from some addictive substances—including alcohol—can be dangerous, even life-threatening. This is why having a medical treatment team monitor a client is essential throughout the more intense stages of withdrawal.
5. A professional, medically trained support team is available 24/7 during medical detox.
Another reason to go through withdrawal with the help of medical professionals at an addiction treatment center or qualified detox facility is that medical detox provides a more complete, professionally trained and experienced support system. Some people know that they want to quit using drugs or drinking alcohol, but they’ll have an easier time doing so if they have a strong support team to help them. From the point of a client’s admission until they are medically stable and able to move forward into rehabilitation/treatment, having a team of specialists at hand allows each client’s condition and symptoms to be monitored and addressed immediately, including the treatment of any underlying health conditions and mental health disorders.
All-in-all, the benefits of having medical detox are numerous and significant. If you or someone you know needs help with medically detoxing from alcohol or other drugs, seek out the assistance of a local addiction treatment center or detox unit at a local hospital.