Addiction and Abuse
Commonly Abused Drugs
Mental health disorders
Physical dependence is the body's natural adaptation towards drug consumption and its presence inside. Once it is established significantly, the body tends to accept drugs as essentials for survival.
With consistent and repeated use of a substance/drug, the body tends to develop a physical dependence on the same, over the period. Physical dependence is the body's natural adaptation towards drug consumption and its presence inside. Once it is established significantly, the body tends to accept drugs as essentials for survival.
The body demands these drugs to function normally as it becomes dependent on them. And, abrupt discontinuation or dramatic reduction in the usage brings about withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms vary differently amongst people and also dependent upon drugs to drugs. While some people experience only mild discomfort, others can be faced with life-threatening symptoms.
The withdrawal timeline for different drugs is different depending upon the mode of Administration, the average dose used and frequency of usage. Stimulant drugs often produce withdrawal symptoms within a few hours to a couple of days after the last dose.
Opioid drugs such as heroin and painkillers render symptoms of withdrawal within 6 to 12 hours after the most recent dose and within 7 to 8 days the symptoms tend to subside.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms tend to surface within the few hours to several days after giving up or reducing consumption dose.
In the case of long-acting opioid drugs such as methadone, symptoms appear to 2- 4 days after the last dose and take longer to vanish completely.
Just like withdrawal symptoms which vary with individual, age, gender, psychology, mental and the physical health of the patient also impact the severity and the timeline of symptoms. Different administration of medication is done in the medical drug detoxification process. This intervenes with the effect of the duration of withdrawal symptoms.
Drug detoxification can be either non- medical/ social detoxification or medical detox.
It is a non-medical type of detox program focusing on individuals quitting the usage of drugs entirely but going cold Turkey way. The treatment is rendered under the care and guidance of professionals. They provide the patient with emotional and psychological support throughout the withdrawal process. However, no medications are administered to manage symptoms and complications.
This method is helpful when the person is facing withdrawal from the psychoactive substance. Filled with challenges, this natural detox requires patience endurance to several potential and comfortable withdrawal symptoms. The body of the drug abuser has to adjust to quitting the drug. In severe cases, withdrawal symptoms can cause great distress on an individual as a result sometimes individuals relapse making an effort to relieve their symptoms and craving for the drugs.
Other dangers associated with the natural detox program include the danger of developing psychological issues throughout withdrawal and decreased ability to manage these issues.
In short, issues like depression, suicidal attempts or inclination, anxiety, delirium; emotional blunting and insomnia can arise due to social detox. There is not recommended for the management of withdrawal from alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines or barbiturates owing to humanitarian and social concerns.
Medical detox provides the patient with medication and medicinal treatment as an assistant to prevent and treat complications arising from withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates can be dangerous as they may be accompanied by conditions like seizures that require immediate medical management, hallucinations or discomfort or unpredictable behavior.
Sometimes patients exhibit erratic behavior and violence. Therefore there is a need for medication assistant treatment (MAT) which involves administering medication to relieve withdrawal symptoms or craving.
These medications use minimizes the distress caused by withdrawal. it reduces craving and prevents medical complications. These medications are the combination formulas that help to curb abuse of medication. Sometimes it is combined with behavioral therapy to prevent relapse and promote long term sobriety.
Drug detoxification, or detox, is the first step in a comprehensive rehabilitation program. It is inclusive of tools required for recovery. Detox can prevent unpleasant or fatal consequences that often result from sudden stoppage of usage of drug/substance. The detox process helps the patient in quitting drugs.
The aim of any detox program is physiological healing after long-term drug addiction. It involves the stabilization of patient conditions throughout the detoxification process. After stabilization, the focus of the process involves monitoring and medical support to the patient through various processes to help gets rid of drug usage. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Detox involves managing the often unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Detox help patient to stop abusing drugs and alcohol not only in the short term but also in the long term. But it has to be accompanied by follow-up care and therapy.
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