Last updated: 04/30/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Addictive substances affect the brains and bodies of the people that use them. In time, your body becomes so used to having these chemicals in it, that it cannot function properly without them. This results in dependence and addiction.
To treat this, a period of detox is required and you can expect withdrawal symptoms along with it. Fortunately, there are many types of addiction detox methods and treatment options for withdrawal.
In generic terms, detox is the process of removing harmful substances from the body. In addiction treatment, detox is the first step of the recovery process. There are several ways to achieve this.
Medication Assisted Detox with tapering
This detox method involves the use of medications that replace the addictive substance in the body, reducing withdrawal symptoms. The dosage of these medications is reduced, or tapered, until they too are absent from the patient. Only a qualified addiction treatment center or hospital can utilize this method, due to the controlled nature of the medications used.
Cold Turkey Detox
This refers to completely stopping the use of addictive substances without any form of medical support. This detox method is never recommended, as it has an astronomically low success rate and often puts the addict in danger of medical complications that may be fatal. Thus, you should always seek the help of medical professionals for detox.
Rapid or Ultra Rapid Detox
Rapid and ultra rapid detox are usually used to treat opioid or alcohol addiction. Rapid detox involves giving the patient a medication that blocks the addictive substance from the brain and body, resulting in acute withdrawal, but shortening its duration.
According to the National Library of Medicine, ultra rapid detox is the same procedure but it is administered under anesthesia, and higher dosages of the medication are used to further speed the process.
These methods can be dangerous and are not right for everyone. A qualified addiction treatment specialist can help you determine if these methods will work for you.
Treatment Options for Withdrawal
Regardless of the detox method employed, there are going to be withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms depend much on the exact nature of an individual addiction, but all are unpleasant, to say the least. Fortunately, there are many options for treating withdrawal symptoms.
Medication Assisted Treatment
According to the Substance Abuse and mental Health Services Administration, This method is recognized as the most effective by addiction treatment professionals and is found in most treatment centers. This treatment method combines medications and counseling in order to treat every aspect of detox, withdrawal, and addiction.
Behavioral Treatment Methods
Behavioral treatments seek to identify and change thoughts and behaviors related to addiction, helping addicts through withdrawal.These behavioral treatments are widely recognized as effective in the treatment of any addiction, but must be administered by addiction treatment professionals in order to be sure that the proper method is used for each individual.
Medication Maintenance Treatment
Medication maintenance is primarily used in the treatment of opioid addictions. In this method, you are given a safer synthetic opioid, under controlled conditions, for a long period of time. The dosage may be tapered, or treatment may continue indefinitely. This method is usually only used when chronic pain and addiction are present.