Detoxification is an essential first step in the recovery and treatment of substance abuse. During this crucial time of care, health professionals and counselors will work closely with the client to rid the body of toxic substances while addressing the emotional and physical discomforts which can arise as a result. Detox centers are staffed with professionals who have experience in providing intensive, supervised care for people suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol, as well as people suffering from a variety of other addictions. These include problem gambling, internet addiction, work-related anxiety and bipolar disorder, to name a few. The medical staff will administer numerous tests, conduct personal interviews, as well as help the client manage their emotional distress, physical symptoms, as well as legal issues which may arise during treatment.
Depending on the severity of the addiction, detoxification may come in different forms. For drug or alcohol addicts experiencing rapid detox, doctors often use a combination of medications, exercise, counseling and support groups in order to facilitate rapid detox and to prevent relapse. Acute detox involves hospitalization and intravenous therapies. Long-term detox requires more intensive medical, counseling and support services, as well as frequent extended stays in residential rehab facilities. This is the most challenging type of detoxification and results in the highest rates of relapse and success rate of returning to drug or alcohol abuse.
In addition to medical assistance, many clinics offer detox programs which utilize medicinal medications in the form of IVs or powders which can be used to facilitate rapid detox and alleviate symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Medications are typically only prescribed after the client has experienced at least ten consecutive days of severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, or blood in the urine or stool. Many physicians also offer addiction assistance by offering several days of IV rehabilitation at local hospitals during which the client is closely monitored. Withdrawal management is another key component in detoxification, and it can range from simply avoiding the substance or behaviors that have led to addiction to several days of strict liquid restriction and increased exercise. The goal of withdrawal management is to minimize the discomfort associated with withdrawal, and to ensure that the client can successfully make a return to normal activities.