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Medical Detoxification in Saint Paul, MN

If you feel like alcohol or drug abuse has taken over your life, a medical detox program can provide the help you need to break free of your addiction. A medical detox is the process of eliminating harmful, addictive substances from the body while under the care supervision of health care professionals.

At Saint Paul Drug Treatment Centers, patients are allowed to withdraw from a substance in a safe and controlled manner. Once the medical detox process is complete, they can continue with drug rehabilitation therapies and relapse prevention education. To learn more about treatment options, programs and services, dial (612) 643-5043.

Understanding the Need for Medical Detox

Once a person has become addicted to a substance, they will experience some degree of discomfort when they stop taking it. Withdrawing from certain drugs can cause serious medical problems that can be fatal without the appropriate medical attention. Even when the withdrawal process isn't life-threatening, it is often so uncomfortable that individuals give up and resume their substance abuse; in fact, virtually all "cold turkey" attempts to quit opioid drugs end in failure due to the excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

How Does Detox Work?

It's clear that detox isn't easy, and dangerous symptoms can occur when a person withdraws from a substance. A medical detox program provides critical medical care and supervision during the process of detoxification. Medications are provided to treat the symptoms of withdrawal and curb cravings, and every patient is monitored closely for complications.

The exact detox protocol will vary depending on the substance of abuse. For example, a person withdrawing from alcohol is likely to be given a drug to prevent seizures. As the risk of seizure decreases, the drug will be slowly tapered off and eventually stopped. Patients withdrawing from alcohol and certain other drugs are likely to suffer from dehydration and nutrient depletion, and a good detox program will address both these problems.

Choosing a Treatment Setting

Some detox programs can be completed on an outpatient basis. In these situations, a physician supervises the patient's detox and prescribes the necessary treatment medications. The patient visits the doctor on a regular basis during the detox period. Although an outpatient treatment program provides more flexibility for the patient, the doctor must take a cautious approach to detox, and the process can take months to complete.

An inpatient detox program requires patients to check into a residential detox facility and remain there until the detox is complete. At Saint Paul Drug Treatment Centers, patients are under round-the-clock medical supervision, and they are provided with medications to ease the discomforts of withdrawal. Any complications that may occur during withdrawal are identified and addressed promptly.

Medications Used during Detox

A variety of safe medications can be administered to curb cravings and ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Not only do these drugs make the withdrawal process easier, but they also reduce the risk of relapse.

Buprenorphine is an opioid drug that prevents other opioids from attaching to the brain's receptors. The medication blocks the effects of these other addictive drugs and is frequently used in the treatment of opiate addiction. It is considered a weaker narcotic: It does not produce the euphoric effects of stronger opioids, and the risk of overdose is low.

Antabuse is a prescription medication with a long history of success in the treatment of alcoholism. The drug is not addictive, and it doesn't block the effects of alcohol; instead, it causes an adverse reaction when combined with alcohol. People who drink alcohol while taking Antabuse experience nausea, vomiting and sweating. The medication can be an effective way to prevent relapse among recovering alcoholics.

To speak to an addiction specialist about your options for recovery and about the medical detox process, call Saint Paul Drug Treatment Centers at (612) 643-5043.

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