What Is Alcohol or Drug Detox?
Detoxification is the process of flushing substances from the body and managing any resulting withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol detox and withdrawal produce a set of physical and mental symptoms that result from alcohol’s departure from the body, commonly referred to as alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The symptoms often vary in severity: they can be confused for a mild cold or they can prove deadly. This unpredictability makes medical involvement and supervision incredibly important.
Drug detox and withdrawal can arise from both illegal drugs and prescription pain killers, and are rather similar to alcohol detoxification but the symptoms and medical solutions will vary based on several factors:
- The drug or drugs taken
- The duration and extent of drug use
- Any family history of addiction
- General health concerns or absence thereof
- The presence of co-occurring mental health disorders (the coexistence of mental health diagnoses and addiction)
Alcohol and drug detox are the first stages to recovery from substance use disorders. Medical professionals and treatment centers can provide a safe environment for detoxing from alcohol, opioids and other drugs and transition patients into a more engaging treatment experience.
For more information from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, click here.