Detoxifying the body by removing all traces of drugs and alcohol is often to first stage of drug treatment. Once the body is detoxified, an individual’s body and brain begin to heal and therapeutic measures can be taken to address all aspects of addiction. Physical dependence can be very strong as a result of prolonged and frequent drug or alcohol use, and the consequential brain changes that occur. An individual’s physical dependence on substances may lead to dangerous symptoms when the substance is removed. In many cases, attempting to detoxify the body on one’s own without the aid of medical intervention can cause serious health concerns.
Certain substances carry the potential for deadly acute withdrawal symptoms. Acute alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous without medical treatment. According to the National Institute of Health, “Most patients manifest a minor symptom complex or syndrome, which may start as early as six to eight hours after an abrupt reduction in alcohol intake. It may include any combination of generalized hyperactivity, anxiety, tremor, sweating, nausea, retching, tachycardia, hypertension and mild pyrexia. These symptoms usually peak between 10 to 30 hours and subside by 40 to 50 hours. Seizures may occur in the first 12 to 48 hours and only rarely after this. Auditory and visual hallucination may develop; these are characteristically frightening and may last for five to six days.” Alcohol withdrawal can result in heart palpitations, convulsions, and seizures that can be lethal without the aid of medication and monitoring. Benzodiazepine withdrawal may also be life-threatening because it can cause grand mal seizures. Medical professionals are able to evaluate an individual and provide medications to reduce the possibility of dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Other substances, such as opioids, do not cause lethal withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms produced, however, can be extremely painful and intense without medical intervention. Opioid withdrawal can cause nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, insomnia, and abdominal pain. An individual attempting to detox from opioids without medical help is unlikely to make it through the full duration of the process. Even if an individual does manage to entirely detoxify themselves, without treatment that addresses all aspects of addiction, they are unlikely to maintain sobriety.
Recovery is possible. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future in sobriety. The Lakehouse Recovery Center offers medically-assisted detox designed to support people into the initial phase of recovery and provide mental, emotional, and physical support and oversight throughout the entire process. For more information about detox and other treatment programs, please call today: (877) 762-3707