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Medical Detox: Why Choosing Supervised Detox Is the Better Option

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Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Dr. Mohsin Ali MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trained in Syracuse NY, he has worked in Tennessee for the last sixteen years.

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When choosing to take charge of your drug or alcohol addiction, the first step is a medical detox. While some may consider detoxing at home, it is not a safe option. Every individual and their circumstances are different. However, giving up drugs or alcohol after long-term use is not an easy process. The better option for your health and safety is to find a medical detox program near you. There, you will receive the best care possible while your body is cleansed from substances. 

What Is Medical Detox?

Addiction is a complex condition that can wreak havoc on a person’s life and body. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they develop a dependence on the substance. This can make it challenging for a person to discontinue use without severe symptoms. 

Medical detox is designed to safely cleanse a person’s body of the substance that they have become dependent on over a period of time. Medical detox takes place in a treatment facility where trained professionals are nearby to address symptoms of withdrawal as they occur. Medical detox programs also offer aftercare services because detox is only the first step on the road to recovery. A detox does not mean that an individual is automatically cured. A person who has been detoxed will still experience cravings and are still at risk for relapse. For this reason, after detoxification in a medical detox program, aftercare is essential. 

After the body is rid of all of the toxic chemicals that have accumulated, individuals can take steps toward learning how to live without them. A person who participates in medical detox will generally begin therapy or counseling to start working on identifying triggers and learning coping mechanisms to avoid relapse down the road. 

When Is Detox Needed?

It is never too early or late to consider medical detox. Fear of withdrawal is highly valid. However, without detox, the recovery process can never start. Medical detox should be considered, especially in the following situations:

  • An individual has become harmful to themselves or others
  • An individual has become dependent on one or more substances
  • An individual is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal progressively
  • An individual’s health is at risk because of drug or alcohol use

Why Choose Medical Detox?

The treatment provided in a medical detox program is top-notch. While friends and family mean well, the detox process comes with challenges that they are not trained to handle unless they are medical professionals. A supervised medical detox is the safest environment for the detoxing process.

Detoxing is more than just quitting and never touching drugs or alcohol again. The detox process is different depending on the person, the substance, how long they have been using the substance, their physical health, and other things. The withdrawal process can have some severe symptoms depending on these things. Medical detox assures that the people around you know what to do when a potential danger arises, and it will help with the transition to sobriety after. 

Given the gravity of medical detox, it is especially recommended for people who fit into the following categories:

  • Have tried to quit on their own before and relapsed 
  • Have a dual diagnosis (Usually addiction paired with a mental disorder)
  • Are pregnant 
  • Have been using multiple substances

Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person. Depending on the substance and each individual circumstance, the process can be more or less severe. Many people experience both physical and psychological symptoms while detoxing. Some signs and symptoms of withdrawal include the following:

  • Mood changes
  • Shakiness 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Fever 
  • Seizures 
  • Body tremors
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Desire to self-harm 

Some of these symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, can lead to other issues, such as dehydration. This is why it is crucial to have trained professionals who can closely monitor vitals around. 

Why Is Detox At Home Dangerous?

When completing a detox at home, an individual will independently take the process into their own hands. As mentioned before, the symptoms of detox can be harmful and very extreme. The symptoms of withdrawal will not be known to an individual until the process has already begun. While medical intervention is not always needed, it is always safer to have trusted hands nearby to take care of any unexpected dangers.

Detox is an uncomfortable process. It can be challenging to resist cravings and urges when the withdrawal symptoms start feeling like too much. Getting support from professionals can make a massive difference in the overall experience and everything after.

What Happens After Medical Detox?

Medical detox is only the first step on a long journey to recovery. After the detoxification process is completed, the recovery phase begins. After medical detox, your rehabilitation facility will provide you with inpatient or outpatient treatment options. While both can be beneficial, your medical professional will recommend the next stages of your treatment based on their medical opinion. Individuals are placed in either inpatient care, a partial hospitalization program, or an intensive outpatient program. All of these options offer high-quality care. However, they are based on each individual and their personal progress. 

No matter where a person is placed, they will be provided with counseling where patients will learn about coping with their negative emotions, identifying triggers, and identifying dangerous situations. In addition to individual therapy, patients will also be involved in group therapy. Group therapy allows individuals to speak with others who have similar stories and experiences to them. 

To learn more about medical detox, reach out to your local medical detox center in Chattanooga, TN.

Medical Detox in Chattanooga, TN

At Iris Wellness Group, our team focuses on helping individuals learn healthy lifestyle choices that can help them maintain sobriety after leaving drug and alcohol rehab. If you are interested in seeing how our medical detox program can help you or a loved one overcome an addiction, contact our team today to schedule an appointment to see how we can help you.

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