Detoxification

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Detoxification, commonly called detox, is a broad term that encompasses many different ways of cleansing the body's internal systems and organs. The goal is to remove toxic substances from the body and/or assist organs that normally perform detoxification functions. These organs include the skin, liver, intestines, and kidneys.
Drug detoxification is a process that applies to a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The goal of alcohol or drug detoxification is to eliminate the drugs or alcohol from the body. Although it may take several months for certain drugs to be completed eliminated from the body, licensed detox centers generally provide support and care during the first 3-7 days of abstinence. Drug detox is performed in many different ways depending on many factors, such as where a person chooses to receive treatment, the type and severity of addiction, and the person's age and overall health. Many drug detox centers provide treatment to help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms are the physical and mental symptoms that develop when a person who is physically dependent on a drug(s) suddenly discontinues or stops using the drug(s). Qualified detox facilities provide medical treatment, counseling, and therapy to help people cope with the psychological distress of withdrawal. Once detox is completed, rehabilitation programs that include group therapy, motivational interviewing, family therapy, and/or one-on-one counseling are recommended to help patients overcome their addictions in the long-term.
Therapeutic forms of detoxification are thought to support or augment the body's natural systems of detoxification. The major methods used during therapeutic detoxification include chelation therapy (EDTA therapy), colonic irrigation, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, fasting, juicing, probiotics, hydrotherapy, sauna therapy, exercise, and vitamin and mineral supplementation. Four main types of toxins are addressed through therapeutic detoxification: 1) heavy metals, 2) chemical toxins (including drugs and alcohol), 3) microscopic organisms and compounds, and 4) byproducts from protein metabolism.
Advocates believe that therapeutic detoxification cleanses the body, increases vitamin and mineral absorption, purifies the blood, reduces blood fat levels, reduces symptoms of toxicity, rejuvenates the body, and rests the organs. Proponents also believe that this therapy clears the skin, enhances the senses, aids in weight loss, slows aging, and improves fertility and flexibility.

Related Terms

Alcohol addiction, alcohol detox, bupe, Buprenophex®, buprenorphine, chelation therapy, cleansing, colonic irrigation, detox, detox diet, detox facility, detox therapy, drug addiction, drug detox, EDTA therapy, exercise, fasting, hydrotherapy, liver, medical detox, medical drug detox, non-medical detox, non-medical drug detox, probiotics, sauna.

drug and alcohol detoxification

General: Drug detoxification (detox) is a process that applies to a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The goal of alcohol or drug detoxification is to eliminate the drugs or alcohol from the body.
Although it may take several months for certain drugs to be completely eliminated from the body, licensed detox centers generally provide support and care during the first 3-7 days of abstinence. It is during this time that symptoms of withdrawal are the most severe and possibly life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms are the physical and mental symptoms that develop when a person who is physically dependent on a drug(s) suddenly discontinues or stops using the drug(s). The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies among people, depending on many factors, such as the type and severity of the drug addiction and the person's age and overall health.
Drug detox is performed in many different ways depending on many factors, such as where a person chooses to receive treatment, the type of addiction, and the person's overall health. Many drug detox centers provide treatment to help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. Qualified detox facilities provide medical treatment and monitoring, counseling, and therapy to help the person cope with the psychological distress of withdrawal.
Ideally, detoxification should be used in combination with rehabilitation programs that include group therapy, motivational interviewing, family therapy, and/or one-on-one counseling, to help patients overcome their addictions.
Medical drug detox: Patients who are addicted to opiate drugs, such as methadone (a narcotic pain reliever that is also used to reduce withdrawal symptoms of heroin or other narcotic drugs), heroin, and prescription medications, generally require medical detox supervision. People with severe alcohol addictions may also require medical supervision. In addition, people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart, liver, or kidney problems should also undergo detox at a medical facility. This is because patients may experience severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures, fever, and delusions, vomiting, and violent cramps. At the medical detox facility, the patient's vital signs, including respiration, heart rate (pulse), and temperature, are closely monitored in order to prevent complications.
Patients may receive medications to relieve withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, headaches, drug cravings, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, sleeplessness, confusion, agitation, depression, anxiety, and other behavioral changes. For example, clonazepam (Klonopin®) is a tranquilizer (also called a benzodiazepine) that helps reduce the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Methadone (Diskets®, Dolophine®, or Methadose®)is a narcotic pain reliever that has been used to treat withdrawal symptoms of heroin or other narcotics. Buprenorphine (Buprenophex®), commonly called bupe, is an anticonvulsant that may help prevent seizures and reduce the behavioral symptoms, such as irritability and agitation. These drugs should only be used under the strict supervision of a healthcare professional because they are habit-forming.
Non-medical drug detox: Non-medical detox is a detoxification process that occurs without the aid of medications. Patients are encouraged to undergo detox at a licensed non-medical alcohol and drug detox center. These centers should have 24-hour staff that is trained in CPR, first aid, and basic emergency medical procedures in case complications develop.