The goal of a detoxification program should be to rid the body of all toxins that may be causing the biochemical imbalances in the body. This includes any drugs, as well as dietary and environmental toxins.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the toxins in the body and your overall health condition. If the detox is done correctly, the withdrawal symptoms will be minimized.
In some cases you should not attempt to detox on your own. For instance, in cases of severe alcoholism, withdrawal can be life-threatening. You could experience the DTs (delirium tremens) and should be under the care of a professional addiction treatment facility.
Also, if you have been taking any benzodiazapenes, such as Valium or Xanax, seizures could occur so they should be under professional care. A drug treatment program should offer various detox options. Two of these possibilities are listed below.
Chelation therapy is the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. The most common forms of heavy metal intoxication involve lead, arsenic or mercury. Results are the best when chelation therapy is administered in conjunction with oral supplements such as Ginkgo biloba and phosphatidylserine, that act as oral chelators in the body. Chelation therapy has been used on more than one million patients in the U.S. over the past 50 years successfully.
Chelation therapy can be performed as an outpatient, is painless and takes approximately 3 hrs. The procedure is given intravenously with a solution of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) with vitamins and minerals. As part of the full treatment program, a low-fat diet and appropriate exercise is recommended.
Patients interested in chelation therapy should choose a doctor that is experienced and has completed the training conducted by the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) or a doctor that follows the protocol of the American Board of Chelation Therapy.
Colon Hydrotherapy is mostly provided by specialty treatment centers and sometimes associated with Naturopathic services. It is the irrigation of the colon using a small amount of water or solution without the use of drugs. The purpose is to aid the elimination from the bowel. The procedure is used in detoxification from chemical exposure or abuse and also to relieve constipation.
In our society where Eastern and Western medicine combine to give us the best of both worlds, the acceptance of colon hydrotherapy has continued to grow.
Colonic irrigation should not be used in people with diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, severe or internal hemorrhoids or tumors in the rectum or colon. It also should not be used soon after bowel surgery (unless directed by your health care provider). Regular treatments should be avoided by people with heart or kidney disease.
To compare an enema to a colon hydrotherapy – an enema only reaches the rectum and lower part of the colon. But with the colon hydrotherapy the entire length of the colon is reached. Colon hydrotherapy uses lower pressures than enemas and is much more effective.
I'm Addicted to Drugs! Should I Go to a Drug Abuse Treatment Center?
Alcoholics often need alcohol detox in order to rid their bodies of the substance. Unlike detox for other substances such as opioids, alcohol detox is a dangerous thing and can be fatal. The dependence a body develops on alcohol cannot be reversed quickly without side effects, so it is important that it is done under the watchfulness of a professional.
Many people that abuse alcohol do so on an irregular basis, and these people may not need detoxification. If a person can go a week in between binge drinking episodes, their body is probably not dependent on alcohol. But someone who drinks multiple drinks daily is very likely to have severe withdrawal symptoms, and should seek professional help.
When a person becomes dependent on alcohol, their brain shows an overall decrease in excitability. If that person would stop drinking, the brain receptors that were inhibited by alcohol are no longer affected, and the result is brain hyperexcitability, which is shown by tremors, seizures, anxiety, and irritability. Other symptoms of alcohol detox include hallucinations, shakes, and possible heart failure.
Medications for withdrawal symptoms
There are some medications that are commonly used to suppress alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These are benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Ativan, that are given to reduce unpleasant symptoms, and in some cases, save the life of the patient if delirium tremens occur. The thing physicians need to be careful about with benzodiazepines is that the alcoholic does not become addicted to the drugs.
There have been many hours and dollars put into developing new medications to help those struggling with alcoholism and alcohol detox. Baclofen has been shown to relieve severe withdrawal symptoms, and gabapentin and vigabatrin also have been used to improve withdrawal symptoms. While these drugs have been successfully used to treat other ailments, there is much research that will need to occur for these and any other medications before we know just how successful they will be to treat alcoholism.
Other medications can help a person stay sober, such as antabuse or naltrexone. Antabuse causes a strong, long lasting hangover immediately after consuming alcohol, which deters a person from drinking. Naltrexone is an antagonist for opioid receptors and it is used to decrease cravings for alcohol.
Once a person has gotten through the alcohol detox safely and is sober, it is important for the person to go through treatment for alcohol abuse. This may involve daily therapy to give them ways to deal with stress and the temptation to use alcohol. It may mean learning life skills to find a good job and hobbies that keep them busy and away from alcohol. Many people have found help in Alcoholics Anonymous and their 12 step program which emphasizes the importance of taking care of yourself and finding your inner strength. Whatever method a person chooses, staying sober will take much encouragement and support.
Bayard, Max Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
Getting Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms March 24, 2009