Detox | Detoxification | Addiction



Stabilizing the body and brain for thought and behaviour modification.


Detox or Detoxification does not constitute substance abuse treatment but is the first step of a continuum of care for substance-related disorders.


The detoxification process consists of the following five sequential and essential components:


· Evaluation

· Withdrawal

· Stabilization

· Removal of toxins (neglected in S.A.)

· Fostering patient readiness for and entry into treatment


A detoxification process that does not incorporate all 5 critical components is considered incomplete and inadequate.


Detoxification can take place in a wide variety of settings and at a number of levels of intensity within these settings. Placement should be appropriate to the patient’s needs.


Persons seeking detoxification should have access to the components of the detoxification process described above, no matter what the setting or the level of treatment intensity.


All persons requiring treatment for substance use disorders should receive treatment of the same quality and appropriate thoroughness and should be put into contact with a substance abuse treatment program after detoxification, if they are not going to be engaged in a treatment service provided by the same program that provided them with detoxification services. There can be “no wrong door to treatment” for substance use disorders.


Ultimately, medical aid coverage for the full range of detoxification services is cost-effective. If reimbursement systems do not provide payment for the complete detoxification process, patients may be released prematurely, leading to medically or socially unattended withdrawal.


Patients seeking detoxification services have diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as unique health needs and life situations. Organizations that provide detoxification services need to ensure that they have standard practices in place to address cultural diversity. It also is essential that care providers possess the special clinical skills necessary to provide culturally competent comprehensive assessments. Detoxification program administrators have a duty to ensure that appropriate training is available to staff.


A successful detoxification process can be measured, in part, by whether an individual who is substance dependent enters, remains in, and is compliant with the treatment protocol of a substance abuse treatment/rehabilitation program after detoxification.


Pharmaceutical - Prescription and OTC Drugs.


Any of the thousands of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs currently available and in common use can be toxic, especially when too much is used or when they are used for too long. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs, tranquillizers, and anti-depressants are all in very common use.


A key to preventing the need to detoxify from drugs is to not use them in the first place. Many people are turning to more natural therapies and remedies as better preparations and experience improve the efficacy of these modalities. Nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and homoeopathic medicines are commonplace substitutes for drugs; when used correctly, they support our body's natural healing powers and correct the internal organ/function/energy imbalances. Acupuncture is also extremely helpful in this regard, as is chiropractic therapy. Massage and other body mechanics can be supportive both by allowing the body to heal naturally and by stimulating elimination during detoxification periods.


OTC products, more easily abused than pharmaceuticals because they can be readily obtained, are usually less toxic. Some symptoms commonly treated with the use of OTC drugs and the drugs commonly used are as follows.


Symptoms Drugs


headache aspirin, acetaminophen, buprofen, grandpa

fatigue caffeine, nicotine

insomnia tranquillizers, antihistamines

colds, flu antihistamines, decongestants

allergies antihistamines, decongestants

constipation laxatives, lubricants

diarrhoea kaopectate, fibers, immodium

indigestion antacids

excess weight stimulants, diet pills, slimming mix


Many of these drugs can create physical dependency, especially when there is a chronic problem or when there are withdrawal or rebound symptoms, as there are in allergy conditions, sinus congestion, and constipation. If problems persist we should consult our doctor or healer to help us determine the underlying cause and to correct that. If stress and worry are the cause of insomnia or if our poor food choices lead to our gastrointestinal symptoms, we need to handle these problems. Herbs or homeopathics often can be a more gentle remedy for some of these symptoms.


Aspirin and caffeine are two big OTC drug problems. Aspirin, a valuable drug, has been in common use for many decades, though its use is now decreasing because of its association with stomach irritation, allergies, Reye's syndrome, its effect on blood clotting, and the availability of acetaminophen and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Still, acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), derived from coal tar, has over 50 million regular users in the U.S.A., and the average annual intake of aspirin products is more than100 per person per year. Over 20 to 25 billion tablets of this one agent alone used every year. Many aspirin products also contain other analgesics (pain relievers) and caffeine. Aspirin is also an anti-inflammatory agent and can reduce fevers (which is not always good, since fevers can be a natural healer), and it does this better than its counterpart acetaminophen (Tylenol, Datril). Both drugs are now commonly used as people experience more pain and degenerative, inflammatory disease, including cardiovascular disease where aspirin is used in regular low dosages to reduce blood clotting effects. Anti-inflammatory drugs in general are fairly easy to eliminate if we can eliminate the pain for which they are taken.


Stronger pain drugs include the new anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen (Medipren, Motrin), which has many possible side effects. Its use also can be avoided with correction of the problems that cause the symptoms. Even stronger prescription narcotics, such as codeine (found in many formulas; aspirin or acetaminophen with codeine is very commonly used); hydrocodone (Percodan); propoxyphene (Darvon); or even Demerol or morphine may be prescribed. All of these narcotic drugs are much more addictive, and thus more difficult to stop using.


Using sleeping pills, tranquillizers, and antidepressants is another way to deal with life's frustrations and challenges. Valium has been a very popular drug, the most popular for a few years, but new drugs keep entering the race, and Ativan, Xanax, Halcion, and others are now also very popular. Barbiturates are less common now; they used to be the main sedatives but now are probably more frequently used on the street. All these drugs that slow us down, mainly by depressing our nervous system, act like alcohol, so review the Alcohol Detoxification program along with this one if these drugs are an interest or problem.


Stimulants, such as the amphetamines and cocaine, are on the opposite end of the spectrum from sedatives. They are very stimulating but also cause dramatic fluctuations in energy. The amphetamines, such as Dexedrine, Benzedrine, methamphetamine, and Desoxyn, are somewhat less of a problem than they were in prior years (probably because there are better ways of getting high or losing weight), yet for anyone with an addiction to "uppers," they have a very dangerous and difficult problem. As with the narcotics, amphetamine withdrawal and detoxification often require professional assistance, although some people manage to do it on their own. The stimulant drugs in general are more deadly than most others, including narcotics, so it is very important to eliminate them if we want to live long and healthy lives.


A general detox program for a pharmaceutical or OTC drug involves first familiarizing yourself with its effects, side effects, addiction potential, and withdrawal symptoms (preferably, we do this before we use it). If we are using a drug, we must be able to acknowledge when we are addicted. We can tell this by some of the following characteristics:


Some drugs are dangerous to stop. Going "cold turkey" from sedatives, stimulants, and narcotics can have serious consequences, including seizures. Tranquilizers may be needed to get us through the withdrawal phase. Overall, a plan should be made with the help of a professional, such as consulting a medical doctor of psychologist to help in withdrawal.


If we are slowing down or want to evaluate our drug use, we can record the dosage, time of use, and any reactions we may have and how long after taking the drug they occur. When we do stop, we should get busy to take our mind off the drug. There are now many more doctors and facilities, including private detox centres, that can help us deal with drug problems. Other therapies, such as counselling, biofeedback, behaviour modification, and acupuncture, must be included in our plan to clean up our life and lessen our drug uses.


A few commonly used drugs will be discussed now cocaine, marijuana, and the most common addiction, sugar. The other important drug habits, namely caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine abuse and addictions will be discussed thoroughly in subsequent programs.


Cocaine Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms


Craving, runny nose, depression, anxiety, nasal, irritation, apathy, sleepiness, fatigue, delirium, sleeplessness, muscle aches, seizures, irritability, weight gain.


With a good program, these symptoms can be minimized. An alkaline diet with lots of liquids, fruits, and vegetables and small amounts of whole grains and protein is helpful. Multivitamin/minerals with additional vitamin C and some antioxidants can smooth the withdrawal and support the healing transition.


For cocaine detoxification, as with healing from any drug, first we must acknowledge that we have a problem and decide to do something about it. We should get rid of all the drugs and paraphernalia and drop friends and associates that are tied to our drug problem. We can seek (and accept) the support of our spouse, friends, or relatives if we are comfortable with that. For actual withdrawal, we should prepare for symptoms with the aforementioned nutrients and the support of a professional. Tranquilliser drugs may be needed for a few days or longer, but these must be handled sensitively, as one addiction can easily replace another. Psychological counselling and/or a support group can help prevent any new addictions.


Often it is helpful to become "addicted" to health for a while until we can work with our addictive personality, which can aid withdrawal, we should stay busy and exercise as much as possible, and stay away from parties where the problem drug may be used. Those who have a problem with cocaine or are tempted to use it again should talk to someone or check into rehabilitation centre or that is equipped to deal with cocaine detox.




Marijuana "herb" probably has some positive medical potential. It is a good tranquilizer with fewer side effects than most. It has been shown to aid in general pain relief, and in glaucoma, it lowers the eye pressure; marijuana generally increases sensory awareness to our body and environment. However, it is not readily available for medical use.


There can be emotional changes with both the smoking of and withdrawal from marijuana. Apathy or lack of motivation is common, though many people feel energized when stoned. Irritability and hostility are also common. Other personality changes are possible. Besides a craving to smoke, withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia, anorexia, and depression.


For marijuana detoxification, as with other drugs, we must first decide that it is a problem and plan to stop, seeking support from companions. Avoid "pothead" friends and get rid of the "stuff" and associated paraphernalia.


The tetra hydro cannabinol (THC), marijuana's active ingredient, gets stored in the body fat and liver, so as we detox, some of the withdrawal symptoms or flashbacks may surface, but usually they are pretty mild. With exercise, sweats, or weight loss, the fat will release toxins, but this is also helpful for a faster clearing. It is wise with marijuana withdrawal to avoid other drugs, tranquilizers, and cigarette smoke and to know and believe that we can stop it. As with alcohol and other only mildly toxic drugs, people seem to be able to use it occasionally for social or relaxation reasons, but it is wise to avoid it completely.


Sugar is easily the most commonly addictive food/drug worldwide. The traditional Chinese health system views the desire for sugar, or the sweet flavor, as a craving for the mother energy, a craving representing a need for comfort or security, whereas a desire for spicy or salty flavoured foods might represent looking for the father energy or yang strength.


Although sugar addiction is common, for many people the craving is cyclical and usually mild (withdrawal also is usually mild physically), yet periodic strong cravings are possible. For those who are more sensitive to refined sugar, or any sweeteners, or for those who consume it in large amounts many times daily, many symptoms of abuse and withdrawal may occur.


Many nutritional authorities feel that the high use of sugar in our diet is a major nutritional culprit in disease. This includes sugar in all forms - from pure white beet or cane sugar, sodas, and sweets to honey and fruit juices. Sugar often replaces other, more nutritious foods, and it weakens our tissue health and body resistance. Microorganisms and insects love sweet, simple sugar foods, and a sweet diet allows greater infestation with bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and then will support their growth, which may weaken our immunity. Reducing our entire dietary sugar load is important.


Sugar Abuse and Withdrawal Symptoms


Headaches, sugar cravings, visual disturbance, weakness, blurry vision, inability to concentrate, anxiety, depression, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), delirium, rage.


If we have a problem with sugar abuse, we can decide to change this and cut down on or eliminate this substance by avoiding many of the sweet foods. Many people who abuse sugar do not eat a wholesome diet and have nutritional deficiencies, hypoglycemia, and other problems, both physical and psychological. Let us also not forget the more severe problem of "sugar diabetes."


There are many other more nutritious nibbles to replace sugary foods. These include popcorn, rice cakes, vegetable sticks, fruits, nuts, seeds, and unsweetened granola. We should clear our house of unhealthy sweetened foods. Once sugar has been removed from the diet, it is still possible to use it again, but only as occasional treats, as it is not as re-addicting as many stronger drugs. Many people who have kicked the sugar habit find that they no longer tolerate sugar very well.


Avoid Sugar Foods


Sweets, chocolates, white sugar, cake, sodas, fructose, cookies, ice cream, maple syrup, doughnuts, artificial juices, honey, liqueurs, fruit juices, chewing gum, wine & alcohol


Nutrients that can help reduce the sugar craving and help in sugar withdrawal are the B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, the trace mineral chromium, and amino acid L-glutamine. Chromium is the central molecule of glucose tolerance factor, which helps insulin work more efficiently at removing sugar from the blood and nourishing the cells. The amino acid L-glutamine, which can be used directly by the brain, has also been helpful in reducing sugar (and alcohol) cravings. A diet that is rich in whole grains and other complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and protein foods can also help stabilize the blood sugar and minimize the desire for sugar.


There are many other addictions to be aware of. We all find something to latch onto in order to feel connected. It is important to stay aware of these patterns so that we can step out of our dependency and gain perspective on our habits. Besides addictions to people, such as mother, father, spouse, or friends, many of us are addicted to our kids or animals. Some have addictions to work or money. Others are addicted to running around or talking and go through withdrawal when they stop and try to sit still and quietly. Still others are the opposite and are attached to inactivity. The telephone, television, and computer are even more common addictions in our technological age.


I would say that the addictive aspect of drugs and diet is emotional in nature. Dietary flavours, certain foods, and certain feelings we get from them and the drugs that we try are usually conditioned. Often, an ability to stop and see things clearly or to talk about them with a counsellor will allow us to make the necessary transition from addiction to safe and balanced use of substances in all aspects of our life.


The following program is a general one for drug detoxification and for support during drug use. The ranges of many nutrients allow varying amounts to be used depending upon needs. During withdrawal, the higher levels may be used, with mid-range levels used during the three to six weeks of detox after the initial withdrawal. Lower ranges may provide basic support during general drug usage.


Drug Detoxification Nutrient Program


Water 2 or 3 ½ qt., Fiber 20/40 g. Vitamin A 10,000 Ius, Iron 10/20 mg., Beta-carotene20,000-40,000 IUs, Magnesium 400/800mg.+, Vitamin D200/400 IUs, Manganese 5/10 mg, Vitamin E 200/800 IUs, Molybdenum 150/300 mcg, Vitamin K 300 mcg, Potassium 100/500 mg., Selenium 200/300 mcg., Riboflavin(B2) 25/100 mg., Silicon50/150 mg, NiacinamideB350/100 mg., Vanadium 200/400 mcg., Niacin (B3) 50/1,000 mg., Zinc 30/60 mg., Pantothenic acid B5 250/1,000 mg., Pyridoxine(B6) 25/100 mg., Pyridoxal-5-phosphate 25/50 mg., L-amino acids1,500 mg., Cobalamin (B12) 100/250 mcg., L-cysteine 250/500 mg., Folic acid 800 mcg., L-glutamine 250/1,000 mg., Biotin 300 mcg., Essential fatty acids 2/4 capsules, or Flaxseed oil 2/4 teaspoons, Choline 500/1,000 mg., Thiamine (B1) 25/100 mg., Inositol 500/1,000 mg., Goldenseal root 3/6 caps, Vitamin C 1000mg/2000mg, Bioflavonoids 250/500 mg., Calcium 650/1,200 mg.+, Chromium 200/500 mcg., Copper 2/3 mg., Iodine 150 mcg.


*Consult a dietician or medical doctor for daily dosages. +Higher amounts are needed for hyperactive withdrawal states, aches, or cravings. Micronutrients and vitamins are essential in aiding the liver & kidneys through the detox process.


Popular approaches


Detoxification is the first step in alcohol or drug rehab. Drugs such as crack cocaine, heroin, Valium, PCP, amphetamines, Ecstasy, GHB and Ketamine, as well as abused medicinal drugs, can remain in the body for years. Detoxification is the process of removing these substances from your body.


Residues removed by detoxification can trigger a variety of symptoms, including drug cravings and depression. The first, vital step in successfully rehabilitating from substance abuse is flushing out these accumulated toxic residues, or undergoing detoxification, so you no longer experience adverse effects from these drugs.


Medical professional currently use three types of withdrawal techniques:


Rapid Detox - Rapid detox, which usually takes just hours, is a medical procedure whereby a patient undergoes anesthesia in an intensive care unit and is closely monitored by physicians and hospital staff. The patient is then prescribed medications for up to a year to eliminate physical cravings.


Medical Model Detox - Medical model detox is usually located in a hospital setting. Patients are screened by medical personnel and monitored closely by hospital staff, and the process may require medications and close medical supervision.


Social Model Detox -A residential social model detoxification, which typically requires five to ten days, is monitored by a 24-hour staff, who provides counselling, therapy and supervision during detox. During this time patients will receive food, rest and some drug and alcohol education. This type of detoxification does not utilize medical treatment.


Because the social model allows addicts to understand and experience the procedure of detoxification, with its unpleasant attributes, and then provides long-term solutions for dealing with the problems of addiction, it is usually the preferred method of treatment.


Detoxification can seem a frightening proposition, but remember that anything that is hard to do is also courageous. Treatment Referral provides referrals to rehabs that effectively treat drug, alcohol and substance abuse beyond the initial cleansing of the system, addressing the behavioural and thinking patterns that directly contribute to the individual's disease.


Drug detoxification, more commonly known as "drug detox," is a difficult but necessary part of recovery. In fact, drug detox is the first step in the physical recovery of your body from drug abuse. Once you complete drug detox, you have made a major step toward learning to live without drugs.


Once you have decided that you have a problem with drug abuse, you must check yourself into a treatment facility to undergo drug detox so you can remove all traces of drugs from your body. It is essential that you do not try to attempt drug detox unless you have proper medical supervision. While you might think you are able to detox from drugs at home, a safe drug detox must be done within the walls of a medical facility.


As a drug addict, your body becomes accustomed to drugs, requiring them to function "normally." Your body can stop producing dopamine and other essential chemicals, relying instead on the drugs you put into your system. When you remove those drugs during drug detox, your body can react violently, with convulsions, nausea and other uncomfortable physical effects.


Drug detox can be viewed in three separate stages:


1. Medical Detox: A medical doctor will need to supervise your medical withdrawal from drugs, ensuring you complete this phase safely and with minimal complications. Medical drug detox can take several days.


2. Physical Detox: Once your body is no longer dependent on drugs, you will need to work on building up your physical health. A nutritionist can be helpful during this phase, enabling you to develop a balanced diet to help you through the rest of the detox process.


3. Emotional Detox: Drug detox can be extremely difficult on your emotional health, which is why most treatment centres offer counselling during detox. Because drugs have become an integral part of your mental, emotional and social life, you will emotional help as you detox.


If you are not detoxing from drugs in a treatment center, you can develop dangerous, even fatal, complications. It is important to detox from drugs under the care of a professional medical or counselling staff, because the can monitor your progress and ensure you are as comfortable as possible.


Although drug detox sounds like a long, complicated process, it is a necessary part of recovery from drug addiction. Do not let the complications deter you from seeking treatment. Although detox is difficult, it is the first step toward freeing yourself of harmful substances and living a normal, productive and happy life. The next step is understanding and accepting the behaviours that contributed to your drug addiction.


Treatment Referral provides referrals to drug rehabs that effectively treat drug, alcohol and substance abuse beyond the initial cleansing of the system, addressing the behavioural and thinking patterns that directly contribute to the individual's disease. drug addiction might be a problem for you or someone you love, I encourage you to give Treatment Referral a


What is Rapid Detox?


Rapid detox revolutionized the treatment of opiate addictions almost 10 years ago, allowing patients to return to a productive life in a matter of days and eliminating the need to spend months in and out of hospitals or rehabilitation programs.


Today, the name rapid detox has been widely used to describe and advertise all different methods of detoxification. On most cases these methods do not follow the appropriate safety and success intended by physicians studying detoxification under anesthesia.


The Waismann Method has utilizes the most advanced medical biotechnology available today for almost a decade, and it has distinguished its success from all other detoxification methods. It integrates cutting-edge research in the field of opioid receptors and its significance on the physical and psychological components of opiate dependency.


An experienced team of board-certified physicians performs the Waismann Method. Patients achieve a reversal of their opiate physical dependency without unnecessary suffering, fear, or loss of dignity.


Opiate Addiction Treatments


In the past, the only alternative for opiate addiction was to undergo conventional detoxification procedures, requiring patients to suffer through a debilitating and painful withdrawal. Not surprisingly, success rates for this approach are discouraging. Statistics show that one year following detoxification, the vast majority of patients have relapsed.


Another traditional alternative is opiate-replacement treatment. This approach, however, simply substitutes a legal dependency for an illegal one, as in the case of Methadone and new opiate-replacement drugs reaching today's market.


Traditional detox programs have a success rate of less than ten percent after the first year. These statistics are even grimmer two years after treatment. Treatment entails a grueling detoxification and withdrawal suffering that can be followed by intense physical and psychological cravings, lasting months.


How long prior to rapid detox should a patient be admitted to the hospital?


To maximize success and ensure safety, the patient is properly screened and hospitalized at least 24 hours before the rapid detoxification procedure commences.


The pre-treatment screening includes extensive tests such as EKG, a chest x-ray, blood levels, kidney and liver function tests, heart rate assessment, lung treatment and stabilization of vitals.


Rapid detox is a pharmacological procedure. It is imperative that the patient is admitted 24-48 hours prior to the procedure so the doctor can become familiar with each individual patient's reaction to and absorption of medications.

Some patients may require several days of inpatient screening and pre medication before the procedure. Ultimately, the length of the patient's stay is based on his or her medical and dependency history.


Where should rapid detox take place?


Rapid detox should only be performed in an intensive care unit of an acute hospital. Procedures that require anesthesia and incubation should be performed in a safe and well-monitored environment. Every possible precaution must be taken to ensure the patient's safety. Should anything unexpected surface, proper medical resources must be immediately available.


Who should perform the rapid detoxification procedure?


Due to the fact that most of the risks associated with this procedure are those related to anesthesia, having a Board-Certified


Anesthesiologist will greatly benefit the outcome and reduce the risk of the procedure.


When is the patient discharged?


Discharge is authorized by the physician based on the patient's physical and psychological well-being and not be set prior to the procedure. The minimum stay after the detoxification procedure is 24 hours, with an average of 48 hours.


What type of After-Care should the patient receive following rapid detox?


It would not be fair, or even beneficial in most cases, to make a concrete plan for After-Care when the patient is under the influence of opiates. Opiates can mask numerous psychological or psychiatric symptoms that usually surface after the procedure, requiring alternative methods of After-Care.


Another issue is customizing the After-Care to fit each individual's needs and lifestyle. The patient will adhere to options that will be both beneficial and comfortable for them. In some cases, allowing the patient to maintain a productive lifestyle without any interruptions will greatly benefit the outcome, and will give the patient an opportunity to go through detoxification without any additional interference in his or her life.


Why are the patient's social needs an important part of the After-Care program?


The patient's life will be waiting for them after completing the rapid detox procedure. This can encompass environments from a loving and supportive to stressful and destructive.


Instead of forcing the patient to adapt to a whole new style of living, he or she will have a greater chance of success if we adapt our After-Care program to reflect their individual realities.



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