3 Steps of Detox
There are three steps in every drug detoxification regime, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. They are:
- Evaluation: Doctors are always testing patients for circulating substances and then evaluating them mentally for co-existing substance use and mental health disorders. An important part of the process, allowing clinicians to accurately test patients before prescribing and distributing potentially dangerous medications.
- Stabilization: This is when patients are given their medications, while experiencing withdrawal symptoms. A range of different types of meds might be required to sustain symptoms and prevent a relapse, depending on the substance and extent of the addiction.
- Future Treatment: This is the last stage of detox, where the medical staff can direct patients to get further treatment, which includes counseling programs and various psychotherapy that are available on a residential and out-patient basis.
Defining What a Withdrawal Syndrome
This is a syndrome that has a specific set of symptoms that occur when someone stops taking drugs after a period of dependence. Physical-somatic and emotional-motivational withdrawal syndromes are indeed possible, with physical symptoms often requiring additional, extensive medication.
Chemical changes in the body occur when drug abuse and dependence catch up with you, causing the body to go through changes that include neuroplasticity occurrences in the brain as the system adapts to new conditions. If the user continues to abuse the drug, the body builds up a tolerance and dependence, with going “cold turkey” causing the body to experience painful withdrawal symptoms.
Oxycodone and illicit opioids like heroin have similar withdrawal syndrome, and the early symptoms can include insomnia, fatigue, muscle aches, anxiety, restlessness, dehydration, and sweating, yawning and runny nose. Increased symptoms that can be worse include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
These withdrawal symptoms found from opioid drugs can be quite severe, and a staff of trained medical staff to administrate medications is necessary during the detox process. Once the patient finally gets clean and stabilized, enrollment into a rehabilitation program is often the next step- with therapy and counseling.