What Is Medical Detox?

What Is Medical Detox?

  • June 18, 2018

When a person is taking drugs or alcohol into their body, there are both physical and mental adaptations that the body makes. The alcohol, or the drug(s) causes reactions in the body that initially were formerly produced by natural hormones and substances that your body produced on its own.  Over a period of time, your body begins to rely more and more on the drugs and alcohol to produce these substances, and consequently stops producing them on their own.  This is why the body craves and then needs the illicit substances, because the body has “forgotten” how to do it. Every person has widely different metabolism rates and different DNA, and thus the amount of time before these changes happen and the body becomes dependent on the substance varies widely.

However, once an individual has become dependent (this means they will have withdrawal substances if they stop taking the drug into their body) or addicted (they are taking the drug or alcohol illicitly because of the way it makes them feel), they will then experience anything from mild to severe pain and discomfort – maybe even extreme – when they endeavor to stop taking drinking alcohol or taking their drug(s) of choice.

There are some cases where the person can just stop. Yes, there is likely discomfort and pain. However, in many cases where someone is drinking alcohol heavily or taking high doses of one of even a combination of prescription or illicit drugs, quitting the drugs or simply stopping drinking alcohol quickly, or cold turkey, can cause very serious medical problems— and in some cases, even lethal ones.

If a person is addicted or dependent to opioids like Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, oxycodone, or even methadone, or to an extremely dangerous opiate such as heroin, the withdrawal from these may not be life-threatening, but it is consistently so painfully excruciating that the U.S. government projects that 95% of the individuals who try to stop taking the opioids on their own, without medical intervention, fail to complete the entire withdrawal process. To address the safety issues involved, and the pain and discomfort matters of alcohol and drug withdrawal, many individuals are turning to medical detox facilities.  Shadow Mountain Detox Hospital in St. George, Utah, can address the medical and emotional needs of those individuals who need medical intervention to complete a successful detoxification from drugs or alcohol.

Medical Detox

The word detox is short for detoxification. Detoxification is the removing of toxins (poisons or harmful things) from the body. Alcohol and drug are toxins. Medical detox means that the process of detoxification of the harmful substances like drugs and alcohol is done under medical supervision and compassionate care. However, it is very important to understand that the end product of a successful medical detoxification is not the complete elimination of all the toxins in the body or even the complete elimination of any cravings or longing for alcohol or drugs.  The end result of a successful medical detox is that the individual, in a more comfortable and relaxed way, is no longer at risk medically from not taking the drugs or alcohol into their bodies. The individual is now ready to go begin treatment at a Shadow Mountain Recovery Center where they will be well taken care of and given the best help possible to achieve full recovery and sobriety from their addiction.

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