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Medical Detox

Drug addiction is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive treatment plan to enable successful discontinuation and recovery. Medical detox in Nebraska is often initiated at the start of the treatment process, with medications and medical support systems used to promote abstinence and manage withdrawal symptoms. While medications are not always necessary during detoxification, they are often advised when physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms are present. Medical detox is normally followed by medication therapy, behavioral therapy, and aftercare support programs that attempt to treat the environmental and emotional factors underlying addiction.

The stages of medical detox

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the detoxification process should include three separate, yet integrated, phases. Evaluation is the first phase, and it includes the application of various physical and psychological tests. This is an important part of the detox process because it helps clinicians to perform appropriate tests and avoid dangerous drug interactions. The next phase of detox is known as, stabilization, which often uses medications during this phase to help alleviate and manage a person’s withdrawal symptoms. The last stage of medical detox in Nebraska, involves a consultation process that attempts to guide patients toward an appropriate rehabilitation program.

The limitations of medical detox

It is important to understand the limitations of medical detox before entering a treatment program. While detox enables the cessation of drug use and helps to manage withdrawal symptoms, it does very little to address the factors underlying an individual’s drug addiction. People who only attend a detox program and do not seek further treatment, are more prone to relapse because they do not have the psychological skills necessary to make different lifestyle choices. Drug addiction is a pattern of learned behavior maintained by brain changes, therefore behavioral and cognitive techniques will also be needed if the patient wants to avoid impulsive and compulsive responses. Medical detox is also limited for drugs that produce a purely psychological withdrawal syndrome, including marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. While detox can be used to enforce and promote abstinence, medical intervention is often ineffective on its own.

Medical detox for heroin addiction

Heroin is a powerful opioid drug that is often taken recreationally to induce feelings of euphoria. Heroin is an incredibly addictive substance that is known to produce a severe physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use. Medical detox is normally recommended as the first stage of treatment for heroin addicts, followed by either residential or outpatient rehabilitation. Common withdrawal symptoms from heroin, include nausea, vomiting, headaches, insomnia, depression, cramping, and body movements. Medications are often used to help manage the withdrawal syndrome, including the synthetic opioid methadone and the opioid agonist-antagonist, buprenorphine. The medications administered during detox may also be applied on a long-term basis, in the context of opioid replacement therapy.


Medical detox for alcohol addiction

People who are dependent on alcohol, experience a physical withdrawal syndrome when intake is stopped or reduced, including potentially dangerous symptoms such as seizures and delirium tremens. A medical detox period is normally recommended to help alleviate and manage these symptoms, followed by rehabilitation and aftercare support programs. Benzodiazepine medications, such as Librium and Valium, are often used during this period, with these drugs helping to reduce the severity of symptoms and avoid medical complications. Other medications may also be applied in certain situations, including Antabuse, Campral, and the opioid antagonist, naltrexone.

If you or someone you know needs to access medical detox in Nebraska, it is important to reach out to qualified rehabilitation centers in the area to learn more about this form of therapy and the treatment options available.