Detoxification is the needed and necessary process with which those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are actually able to, once and for all, come down of off drugs and alcohol and beat their substance abuse habits once and for all. Detox is the medical, supervised, inpatient process of actually weaning the person down off of whatever nasty toxins or chemicals that are in his or her body. The dictionary defines detoxification as:

“The metabolic process by which the toxic qualities of a poison or toxin are reduced by the body. A medically supervised treatment program for alcohol or drug addiction designed to purge the body of intoxicating or addictive substances and used as a first step in overcoming physiological or psychological addiction.”

But how does detoxification work? What is, “detox”? What all does it entail, really? Does it really work and does it last? First of all, detox is different for different people and it will have different effects on different people depending on their health condition and on what they need and want out of treatment and what they are hooked on. Realistically, detoxification is a completely different process and experience for each and every person that goes through it.

The Steps to Detox

There is some predictability to detox though, and these should be noted. The steps to successful detox are:

  • Intake. This is the first step of any detox process, and this is just simply the addict arriving at the detox center and getting started. The effect of detoxification is to chemically make sure that a person has his or her body fully purified of all drug or alcohol chemicals and toxins that are present. In the intake process, the client is tested and evaluated to see what is there to address in his or her body.
  • Program Write Up. Once a thorough examination and evaluation is done for the client, a program is written up for the client for the detoxification period. This is the time for the client to discuss his or her detoxification program with a case manager. In the program is the rough number of days it will take to detox him or her, and a listing of his or her daily activities and what will need to be done medically to fully clean him or her up.
  • Detoxification. Every detox program is different. Some are medical, some are holistic, some use techniques brought forth from both ideologies. Most detoxes use some form of medical approach to ensure that the detoxification phase (especially for alcoholics and opiate users) is not horrendously painful. Other methods will be used too though, like massage therapy, whirlpool therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy vitamin bomb therapy, proper dieting and nutrition, exercise, electives, outdoor activities, personal counseling, and others.
  • Completion. Every few days during detox a client will receive some tests to determine where he or she is at as far as his or her body goes and how he or she is doing physically. This is the needed and wanted sector and segment for the client to see how close he or she is to being fully, physically cleaned up. When the client is biologically and physically, totally freed from drug toxins and chemicals, he or she is all done with his or her addiction problem and is ready to move on to inpatient rehab.

Why Detox is Needed in the Nation

The fact of the matter is, addiction is a huge crisis in the nation today, and more than twenty million Americans need to be detoxed off of drugs and alcohol. To aide us and others in our quest to inform the populace of the crisis that is addiction and chemical dependence to drugs and alcohol in the nation today, many organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Trust for American Health (TAH), have all worked together diligently and continuously to provide the needed and necessary statistical data and cruel yet very, very true evidence on this very real crisis and problem for all to see and bear witness to so that something actually can be done about it. The facts are gruesome. The stats are grim. But they need to be known by all who are involved in it. For example:

  • Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used for the first time by far, and a lot of people with disabilities use this drug to, “help” them. But then they just get addicted to it. It is the nation’s number one gateway drug too. Approximately 7,000 people try marijuana for the first time every single day. Believe it or not, marijuana does create some chemical dependence, and people who use it a lot would benefit from detox when trying to come down off of it.
  • Out of the no less than 2.6 million people who tried using marijuana for the first time, over half were under the age of 18 too, which shows a concerning trend of more and more young adults using and abusing marijuana in addition to those with disabilities too. For those who abuse excessive amounts of marijuana, detox will almost absolutely be needed for them.
  • There were well over 190,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. in 2008 due to inhalant poisoning of one kind or another. Cocaine has one of the highest potentials of developing an addiction in those who abuse the drug. Roughly eighty percent of those who try it once will become addicted to it at some point and will need detox.
  • The rates of marijuana use are mostly responsible for the increase in the use of illicit drugs in the United States over the past years. It is the number one gateway drug in the nation by far, and it is responsible for getting a lot of people addicted to other drugs too that will definitely require a detox for the user to come down off of them.
  • No less than 51.8% of the U.S. population of the age of 12 or older is current drinkers of alcohol in the year of 2014. Alcohol creates the arguably greatest physical dependence of them all, absolutely necessitating detox. This means than an estimated 131.3 million people currently drink alcohol in the nation. This is similar to the 2009 estimate, but is somewhat higher. It also means that roughly half the population does not currently drink alcohol, but of the 131.3 million who do, about a quarter of them drink it abusively.

Why Detox Helps People

There are two different aspects and traits to addiction. There are two different sides to addiction. They are not split equally in matters of importance, but both are still very important and very impacting. The first is chemical dependence. The second is mental addiction and spiritual reliance upon drugs and alcohol. Truthfully, physical dependence actually only accounts for about thirty percent of an addiction, but it is a massive thirty percent and it is that thirty percent that must be addressed before the other seventy percent can even be broken into.

The reason why detoxification is so beneficial for people is because it eradicates about a third of the power and the force of their addiction in just a matter of a few days. Nothing else has this much of an effect this quickly on removing a section of one’s addiction trap. This is why detox is so helpful, and this is why detox is so needed amongst those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

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