What to Expect During Drug Detoxification Treatment

With the rising rate and severity of addiction in the Philadelphia region, medical drug detoxification is more necessary than ever. At its most basic level, drug detoxification, or “detox”, is the process of removing drugs or alcohol from a person’s system. Depending on the type of substance, a patient may stop receiving it all at once or weaned off of it gradually.

However, there tend to be a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the details of detox and withdrawal.

What Changes in My Body During Detox?

Drugs and alcohol replicate the “euphoric” effect of dopamine, the “happy hormone”, in the brain. The effects are so powerful that the brain rewires itself to shut off certain dopamine-producing signaling pathways. Over time, other actions can’t stimulate dopamine production, so when a high wears off, the brain seeks to correct the imbalance in the quickest way it knows how – by craving the drug [1]. During detox, the body is required to forgo this way of operating and learn to naturally maintain homeostasis–the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions in the body–again.

How Long Does Drug Detox Last?

The length of the detox process depends on the habits of the individual, and therefore, there isn’t a set answer for how long drug detox “should” take. Timeframe of abuse, amount of substance taken, method of ingestion, and general physical and mental health, and genetic makeup all contribute to the length and severity of detox treatment.

Why Is Medically Monitored Detox Important?

When you begin detox, your body will go through some uncomfortable changes as your brain figures out how to function without the substance. You may experience many of the following side effects during detox:

  • Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Fever/Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Exhaustion
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams
  • Seizures

Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium

Together – We Can Start You on the Road to Recovery

These side-effects can be very uncomfortable or even severe, which is why intervention at an addiction rehab center is critical for the health and safety of a detoxing patient [2]. At Livengrin, we have experienced medical staff who administer safe and effective detoxification treatment. If you or a loved one believe you require medically facilitated detox treatment, contact us today at 215-638-5200 or info@livengrin.org.

COVID Safety

During this developing COVID-19 outbreak, Livengrin is committed to protecting our patients, families and staff from the spread of this virus (Coronavirus). As an essential provider of healthcare services, Livengrin plans to remain open and fully operational throughout this emergency. We are taking extraordinary infection-control precautions at all our facilities to maintain a healthy and safe environment. Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding this situation at info@livengrin.org.

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