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Detoxification Explained

Table of Contents

For those that are dependent on opioid medications, the specter of detoxification can keep them from stopping the use of the drug. The body does experience side effects from the withdrawal of most opiates. However, the type of detox you undergo influences or sidesteps the withdrawal cycle.
The fear of detox should not keep you from pursuing your dreams of living a life without pain medications. In some circumstances, such as The Waismann Method of rapid detox, you cn mostly bypass the physical symptoms. However, you may still encounter the challenging work of psychological detox, usually for those individuals displaying addiction symptoms. There are many ways medical professionals can perform detox. In addition, it is a particular science taking place in the brain which displays physical side effects.

Science of Detox

When you take an opioid medication, you receive an increase in the brain chemical known as dopamine. This is a pleasurable and rewarding sensation. Certain cells in the body have receptors on them that are specifically targeted towards opioids, and when they are activated, they provide a feeling of wellbeing, pain relief, and a surge of dopamine. Your body becomes accustomed to this high level of dopamine, and when it is quickly taken away, the receptors crave it. Opioids have an anti-depressive, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic effect. When a person stops the medication, these symptoms can return.
Furthermore, opiate withdrawal affects other chemicals in the brain. For instance, serotonin levels drop and this can lead to profound depression. In addition, a chemical known as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor is often present during opiate use. This chemical remains in the brain even after opiate use stops. Studies show that it can induce withdrawal symptoms in rats that have never used an opiate medication.

Physical and Psychological Symptoms

The physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal are often uncomfortable for patients and potentially dangerous. You may feel tremors, cramps, and pain in your muscles or bones. Other common symptoms include chills, sweating, itching, and other flu-like symptoms. Some severe symptoms include an abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, and loss of fluids that can lead to death, seizures, stroke, and dehydration.
The psychological symptoms are often just as challenging as the physical ones. This is why good aftercare is necessary with any type of detox. You may feel depression, anxiety, and cravings for the drug. For these reasons, it is important to detox in a safe environment.

Types of Detox

The traditional form of detoxification usually occurs in rehabilitation centers. This usually does not include extensive medical screening or close monitoring after the detoxification has taken place. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not cover medical detoxification in a hospital, and this is a primary reason why so many traditional rehabs fail. The physical symptoms of detox are still present after the few days in the rehab. Whereas the psychological symptoms persist for weeks. With the Waismann rapid detox method, we focus on providing a focused medical assessment, medical support during the detox and after, and an aftercare program that elevates the safety and success of the detoxification.

Medical Detox Options

Another form of detoxification includes medical detox. In this scenario, you would stay in the hospital and gradually have your medication tapered down to a lower dose or stopped completely. In the hospital, you would receive support for your physical symptoms and constant monitoring. However, it is very uncomfortable, both physically and psychologically, to detox from an opiate, and the slow tapering can sometimes prolong the process. Professionals generally don’t recommend stopping cold turkey because of the inherent health risks and potential risk of relapse.
Many treatment centers and physicians use replacement therapy for opioid addiction. Instead of taking your current medication, you switch over to an opiate, such as Suboxone or methadone, with the goal of tapering off at a later date. However, this method does not often solve the problem because you are trading one opiate for another. The main problem of opioid dependence still exists. In a nutshell, the person just trades one opioid for another.
At the Waismann Method, you are admitted into a hospital, receive a complete physical, and we uphold the highest safety standards. Our quadruple board-certified medical director places you under sedation and administers a drug that blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. While you are still under sedation, your body goes through physical withdrawal but you don’t feel it. Many people find that this form of detox is easier on them both physically and mentally, and it results in lasting sobriety.

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