Drug Detoxification

Written by Christa Gatewood
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The process of coming off a physical dependency on a drug is known as detoxification, or detox. Detox is the first program in recovery. While practically all experts agree that detox is essential to addiction recovery, there are several different philosophies about how detox should be conducted.

The Differing Philosophies of Drug Detox

Some experts advocate drug-assisted detox. In this program addicts are given drugs, such as sedatives, to ease the process of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be so debilitating that it is torturous to go through them. With help from sedatives, the body can go through withdrawal without being fully aware. When the withdrawal symptoms subside, the "recovery" drugs are discontinued.

Other experts advocate a drug-free detox program. Of course there are still withdrawal symptoms, but these are controlled through a more holistic approach. There may be light aerobic activity involved and/or a regimen of vitamins and nutritional supplements. In addition, controlled sweating in a dry sauna may also be used. All of these things help the body rid itself of all of the chemical build-up from drug and alcohol abuse. The result is that the body is not only free of the drugs and alcohol; the body also no longer craves the drugs and alcohol.

Some people may prefer a drug-free detox program because it is substance abuse that got them into rehab in the first place. Using drugs to make detox easier can be seen as setting a bad precedence. Most likely people will continue to disagree about what the appropriate course of action is, but the important thing is to find what will work for you.


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