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What Is Detoxification?

February 27, 2023

Ian Young

What Is Detoxification

Detoxification, or detox, is letting the body remove the drugs in it. The purpose of detox treatment is to safely manage withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking drugs or alcohol. Everyone has a different experience with this process. The type of drugs and how long it was used affect what detox will be like. Medications used can help keep former users comfortable while the drugs leave their bodies. Most drugs can take days or months to get through withdrawal symptoms.

The length of withdrawal depends on several factors, including:

Type of substance the user is addicted to
The duration an addiction has lasted
The severity of the addiction
Method of abuse (snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing)
The amount of a substance the user takes at one time
Family history
Genetic makeup
Medical condition
Underlying mental health conditions
Speak with someone who can help you find a medically assisted detox.

The symptoms of withdrawal and how long they last can vary depending on the substance being used and the individual’s level of use. Withdrawal symptoms can start within a few hours or up to a day (or a few days in the case of certain prescribed medications) after the last use of the drug, and can last for several days, weeks, or even months, particularly with long term benzodiazepines us.

Here are some examples of the common drugs and their withdrawal symptoms and duration:

Alcohol: These can include tremors, sweating, anxiety, seizures, and delirium tremens. The symptoms usually start within 6-12 hours after the last drink and can last for several days to a few weeks.

Opioids: These can include muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anxiety, and insomnia. The symptoms usually start within 12-24 hours after the last dose and can last for several days to weeks.

Benzodiazepines: These can include anxiety, tremors, seizures, insomnia, and sweating. The symptoms usually start within 1-4 days after the last dose and can last for several weeks to months.

Stimulants: These can include depression, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and increased appetite. The symptoms usually start within a few hours to a few days after the last use and can last for several days to weeks.

It is important to note that not everyone will experience the same symptoms or duration of withdrawal, and the severity of withdrawal can be influenced by factors such as the individual’s age, health status, and level of support.

Can I Detox at Home?

Choosing to detox at home can be deadly. Quitting “cold turkey” or without medical supervision can lead to serious issues such as seizures and severe dehydration. There are inpatient and outpatient detox programs that help prevent dangerous complications. People with severe addictions should seek inpatient detox treatment because withdrawal can be fatal. Inpatient detox treatment includes 24-hour support and monitoring.

Here are some reasons why you may not want to detox at home:

Pre-existing medical conditions: If you have a pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease, detoxing at home may not be safe without medical supervision.

Medications: If you are taking medications, detoxing at home may not be safe as this process can interact with certain medications.

Severe addiction: If you have a severe addiction to drugs or alcohol, detoxing at home may not be safe or effective. In such cases, medical detox treatment is typically recommended.

Lack of support: If you do not have a support system at home, detoxing can be challenging and potentially dangerous.

Severe or persistent side effects: If you experience severe or persistent side effects during the detoxing process, it is important to seek medical attention.

Malnourishment: If you are already malnourished or underweight, detoxing at home may further compromise your health.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a detox treatment program to determine if it is safe and appropriate for you. Additionally, if you decide to detox at home, it is important to monitor your progress and seek medical attention if needed.

The Process

Everyone’s detoxification needs are different. The drug detox treatment process helps addicted people get personalized treatment. In most cases, the process involves three steps:

Evaluation: The medical team screens incoming patients for physical and mental health issues. Doctors use blood tests to measure the number of drugs in the patient’s system. This helps determine the level of medications needed. There is also a comprehensive review of drug, medical and psychiatric histories. This information sets up the basis for the patient’s long-term treatment plan.

Stabilization: The next step is to stabilize the patient with medical and psychological therapy. The goal of stabilization is to prevent any form of harm to the patient. Doctors can prescribe addiction treatment medications to prevent complications and reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Preparing Entry Into Treatment: The final step of this process is preparation for a treatment program. Doctors familiarize their patients with the treatment process and what to expect. Inpatient rehab offers the best chances of success after detox.

Known Side Effects of Detox

The process of drug detox can be painful and dangerous. This is why medical detox is so important. Detoxing with medical supervision allows patients to detox in a safe and comfortable environment. The extent of supervision is different in inpatient and outpatient rehab. A medically supervised detox prevents dangerous complications of drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Here are some of the known side effects of detox:

Insomnia: This can cause difficulty sleeping due to changes in hormone levels and increased stress.

Dizziness: This can cause dizziness due to dehydration, low blood sugar, and changes in electrolyte levels.

Fatigue: As the body adjusts to a new diet and lifestyle changes, it may experience fatigue or weakness.

Diarrhoea: Changes in the diet and increased fibre intake can cause diarrhoea.

Nausea and vomiting: this can cause nausea and vomiting due to changes in the digestive system.

Irritability: This can cause irritability, mood swings, and anxiety due to changes in hormone levels and changes in daily routine.

Headaches: This can cause headaches due to changes in blood sugar levels, dehydration, and mental fatigue.

It is important to note that these side effects are typically temporary and may be a sign that the detox program is working. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, it is important to seek medical attention. Additionally, if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking medication, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting a detox program.

Mind-Body Connection To Detoxification

The mind-body connection can play an important role in the detoxification process. The mind and body are closely connected, and what affects one can impact the other. Detoxification can involve physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or fatigue, but it can also involve emotional and psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, or depression. These symptoms can be challenging to manage, and the mind-body connection can offer helpful strategies for coping.

Mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help individuals become more aware of their physical and emotional sensations and develop skills for managing them. These practices can also help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can be helpful during the detoxification process.

In addition, engaging in physical activity can be helpful for both physical and emotional detox. Exercise can help release endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals in the brain, and can help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise can also help promote the removal of toxins through sweat and improved circulation.

Finally, incorporating healthy dietary practices can be helpful for both physical and emotional detox. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can provide the nutrients and energy needed for the body to heal and recover. Additionally, reducing or eliminating processed foods, caffeine, and sugar can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health.

The mind-body connection can play an important role in supporting the detoxification process by helping individuals manage physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Incorporating mindfulness practices, physical activity, and healthy dietary practices can be helpful for both physical and emotional detox.

Detox / Toxic Cleansing

The detoxing process cleanses our bodies of addictive chemicals, enabling patients to stabilize their physical and mental health to move into an inpatient or outpatient program. During cleaning, the patient ceases to use the substance or substances to which he is addicted or gradually reduces the dose used (referred to as “tapering”) under medical supervision.

The result is that their bodies experience a setback, a series of painful, uncomfortable and often frightening symptoms, from desires to hallucinations.
In some cases, withdrawal symptoms such as seizures can also cause death, so professional and proper medical supervision is critical.

This is especially true of alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and opioid withdrawals. Medical intervention is often needed during the withdrawal to keep the patient safe and comfortable. Some of the most common interventions include medication and treatment. At Holina, we use a variety of detox methods that include – treating the enema, treating with the help of healthy smoothies to strengthen the patient’s body and immune system, treating needles, medical massage and the Buddhist sauna highlight.

The Buddhist sauna is based on 12 medicinal plants that, according to Buddhist knowledge, have the purpose and secret of mixing and slow cooking in the sauna. The plants evaporate and when the patient breathes them they clean all the toxins out of their body by a physical secretion.

It is a unique sauna that allows the patient to emerge as a new person full of energy and calm after 30 minutes of treatment, from the first treatment.

Detox Thailand:

Detoxing is an important step in addiction treatment, but it is not sufficient on its own to achieve lasting recovery from addiction. Addiction is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management and support to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. After this process, it is important to continue with addiction treatment that addresses the underlying issues that contributed to the addiction and to develop coping strategies and skills to manage triggers and cravings.

Treatment for addiction may involve a combination of approaches such as behavioural therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), support groups, and lifestyle changes. The goal of addiction treatment is to help individuals achieve long-term abstinence and improve their overall well-being. It is also important to recognize that addiction is a complex condition that can have physical, psychological, and social effects on individuals and their families. Recovery from addiction is a process that can involve setbacks or relapses and may require ongoing support and care.

Therefore, while detox is an important first step in treating addiction, it is not a guarantee of recovery. Ongoing treatment and support are essential for maintaining sobriety and achieving long-term recovery.

The real home is the home at heart. This is where you feel whole, belonging and connection. Many people come to Holina with a clear goal: to stop suffering, and to experience a sense of true home, for many who remain with us in the ongoing process of development, creation and empowerment What many do not know is that when suffering is over, only then does the true path of flourishing and prosperity begin, and even there we do not leave you alone.

Holina is a home for you even after the treatment is over.

In the process that takes place before the end of treatment, Holina will check for you, instead of backing up the right and effective treatment for continued support and work. Support groups, treatment units, ambulatory treatment centres and therapists from your area. We are also at the Mother Center to contact the patients during zoom calls and check your integration into the world and family life.

We at Holina make sure we do everything so you can get back to yourself!

See All Our Inspirational Articles Here

Ian is also an Author on the Sober Services Website

More About The Author

Ian Young has worked in the addiction treatment industry since 2003 (in personal recovery since 2001) and has been involved in establishing 5 residential rehabs (in the UK and Thailand). He also has his own private practice “Sober-Services” since 2008 – pioneering Sober Companions & Transporters, as well as emerging as one of the world’s leading Addiction Interventionists. Ian is the Founder & Senior Trainer of Sober Academy, (since 2015) which was the first organisation to help Interventionists and Sober Companions become accredited, certified, and able to become insured practitioners, outside of North America. He went on to co-create EARS –European Association of Recovery Specialists with 6 other practitioners from 7 countries across Europe. The author of “It’s Not About Me”, he discloses his life story, whilst exploring practical and spiritual lessons he’s learned along the way and explaining how the 12-step program has worked in his recovery and his life. Ian’s higher purpose is to co-create a green and harmonious world, through laughter and love, one person at a time.

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