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Medical Detox


Medical detox is a safe and secure environment in which a patient can get medical treatment for the symptoms of their drug or alcohol withdrawals. It also provides a setting which allows treatment providers to ensure that the substance in question is completely out of the addicts system before they begin their primary treatment.

Medical detox usually lasts anywhere from three to ten days, depending on the facility and severity of the addiction. Some treatment facilities will provide their own medical detox, but if they do not offer it on site, they will almost always require that a patient go to a hospital or a different facility to complete detox before they can begin an inpatient or outpatient program. The withdrawal symptoms are usually the most powerful during the first few days after the final use of the substance, and part of detox is the use of various medications to help ease those symptoms and ensure they do not threaten the overall health of the patient.

Do Not Detox At Home

Medical science now largely agrees that addiction is a disease, and one that cannot be overcome without medical treatment. However, popular belief is not always well-informed by scientific fact. There remains a persistent belief in society that substance abuse and addiction are matters of willpower, and that an addict simply has to make a mental effort to stop using.

Not only is this a faulty assumption, it is dangerous. A sudden cessation of substance use is extremely difficult for the addict, because they will feel strong cravings that overwhelm their other thoughts, and withdrawal symptoms that make them physically ill and unable to function normally. But in some cases, it can also be a threat to their life. Coma and death have occurred in cases of serious addictions, and the addict who is forced to stop is at elevated risk for an overdose due to extreme binging when they relapse. At the very least, addicts nearly always feel seriously ill when forced to stop using suddenly, and experience symptoms such as uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea that can last for days without relief.

Attempts to “DIY detox” simply do not work. Statistics and studies from a wide range of organizations that specialize in substance abuse monitoring, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost universally indicate that those who attempt to detox on their own will fail and relapse almost immediately. It’s not only a poor strategy, it’s unsafe and potentially deadly.

Substances Commonly Abused in Wisconsin

  • Opiate pain pills have become the fastest-growing sector of drug abuse in the nation over the past decade, and they are a significant problem in Wisconsin. While these pills are legal when prescribed by a doctor and very useful for short-term relief of serious pain, a significant number of patients have continued using them beyond the terms of their prescription because they enjoy the euphoric feeling they provide. Unfortunately, they also cause addictions at alarming rates when used this way. When the pills become to difficult to obtain, addicts often switch to more dangerous street heroin as an alternative.
  • Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant that provides a brief but very intense feeling of energy and euphoria. Cocaine is one of the more expensive illegal drugs, yet the effects wear off very quickly, so an addiction can financially ruin someone in a very short period of time.
  • Alcohol is sold legally over the counter to adults, but that does not mean it is safe. It has considerable potential to cause an addiction when abused for long periods. As a cheap and easily accessible mind-altering intoxicant, it is often the most frequently abused substance in Wisconsin cities.

The Benefits of Medical Detox

Medical detox is the second step in a successful recovery; seeking help is the first. If you or a loved one is in desperate need for help, choose the safe option and pick up the phone today. An addiction specialist is standing by to guide you in the direction of an accredited detox facility. Start living your life to the fullest again.