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Alcohol/Drug Medical Detox in Burlington VT (802) 881-0115

The process of medical detox is an important first step in drug or alcohol addiction treatment.  The symptoms of withdrawal can be difficult and dangerous, but the care offered at a medical detox center keeps patients safe and comfortable. Patients can find a reputable treatment center when they call Drug Treatment Centers Burlington VT at (802) 881-0115.

The Value of Medical Detox

Medical detox is beneficial for a variety of substance addictions, although some substances of abuse are more common than others.  Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that alcohol abuse is the reason for over 40 percent of admissions to addiction treatment centers.  Opiate drugs, which include heroin and prescription painkillers, accounted for the largest number of drug-related admissions; marijuana followed closely behind.

The chemical changes that occur in the brain when a person is addicted to these substances and others make it difficult for addicted individuals to try to quit a drug on their own.  A medically supervised detox program addresses this chemical dependency and takes a gentler approach to the withdrawal process.  The drug of abuse is usually tapered off slowly, and some patients may be given medications that can substitute for the drug of addiction.

Over time, the substitute drug is reduced until the patient no longer needs it.  The professionals at a detox center also monitor each patient’s health and can provide medication to ease certain withdrawal symptoms.  Pain relievers can lessen the muscle pain and headaches that often accompany withdrawal, and non-addictive sleep aids can help patients deal with insomnia and get the rest they need.

Withdrawal Symptoms

A patient’s withdrawal experience will vary depending on the specific substance of abuse.

Alcohol withdrawal, for example, is known to be difficult:  Sweating, shaking and even seizures may occur.  Some individuals experience a serious condition called delirium tremens, which is marked by agitation and hallucinations.  These symptoms can be fatal, so medical supervision during withdrawal is imperative.

Opiate withdrawal is less dangerous, but it can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, including insomnia, nausea and vomiting.  Crystal meth, cocaine and other stimulants are known to cause fatigue and depression during withdrawal.

The first hours of withdrawal can be perilous for patients:  Suicidal thoughts, violence and psychotic behavior may occur.  The staff of a detox center may need to sedate or restrain patients for their own protection.  Once this dangerous phase has passed, the staff can focus on helping the patient remain comfortable throughout the rest of the withdrawal process.

Treatment Medications for Withdrawal

Many treatment medications are available to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal.  Buprenorphine has become a popular choice for the treatment of opiate withdrawal:  Buprenex, Subutex and Suboxone are well-known formulas.  Naltrexone and methadone are also provided to recovering opiate addicts to help prevent relapse.

Alcoholism treatment programs may include the use of a prescription drug called Antabuse, also known by the generic name disulfirum.  This medication produces unpleasant physical effects when it is combined with alcohol, which can help reduce the desire to drink.

Neurontin is another drug that is often administered for the treatment of alcoholism.  The chemical makeup of Neurontin is similar to that of GABA, a chemical in the brain that is impacted by drug and alcohol use.  A study conducted by the Scripps Research Institute showed that the drug improved both mood and sleep in recovering alcoholics. In addition, participants in the study who took Neurontin had an abstinence rate that was four times greater than that of the control group.

For a proper medical detox for you or someone you love, call Drug Treatment Centers Burlington VT at (802) 881-0115.

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