Drug detoxification or drug “detox” is a set of interventions which aim to lessen the physical effects of drug addiction. This can be done naturally or medically by inducing substances to cleanse the body from intoxication of drugs.
Most drug dependents manipulate detox to escape positive drug test but this method basically bestow a person good effects in the body. Aside that it cleanse the body from pollutants and toxins, it makes an addicted person feel livelier in the aftermath with the feeling of freedom from the adverse effects of drugs. Even so, using drug detox still has a counter negative impact to the body. In truth, some drug residue may still be left lingering in the bloodstream. These residues actually trigger the person’s cravings for drugs; otherwise, the body will suffer from withdrawal symptoms, the term used to describe the body’s physical and psychological reaction to the removal of substance a person has already become dependent of.
Different Types of Drug Detox
Understanding the dangers and side effects of drug detox begin with knowing the different types of drug detox available and are commonly practiced today. These drug detox methods may vary from each other depending on the type of drug being detoxified. These are the following:
BPNEM (Biochemical Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine Medicine)
BPNEM is a type of drug detox that aims to appease the body back to its neutral states. This type of detox is proven effective for people who became dependent to drugs and alcohol. The method basically involves the administration of oral IV and bio-injections that contain nutrients and amino acids once in every ten days to heal the over-stimulated neuro-receptors as a result from drug dependence. After five days, the patient starts to feel brain clarity and relief from the adverse effects of drugs. By the tenth day, the patient no longer feels strong cravings for the drugs.
Cold Turkey is the least expensive and hassle-free drug and alcohol detox in which an addicted person abruptly leaves and forgets the habit of addiction without undergoing any medication to soothe the damaged neurotransmitters and neuro-receptors. This keeps the patient safe from further addiction of other chemical medication such as methadone which is a highly addictive medication. However, it should be noted that the sudden withdrawal from alcohol and drugs like benzodiazepines, opiates, and heroin can actually cause excruciating stress in the heart which may even lead to fatal seizures.
Suboxone is one of the popular drug detox methods known to treat dependence and cleanse the body from heroin, methadone, other opiate addiction and prescription drug addiction with Vicodin, Percocet, Norco, Demerol, and Oxycontin by combining two types of medications. These include the manipulation of buprenorphine and naloxene which works to ease the withdrawal symptoms of quitting drugs and hinder the patient from returning back to the old habit, respectively. Although this method has been proven effective for many drug addicts, long term medication of such can also lead to a new development of new drug dependence to suboxone.
Rapid detox has been known to be the quickest way to cleanse the body from drug metabolites and stop the person from being addicted to drugs. This type of drug detox is administered under an anesthesia so that the patient lays unconscious while effects of opiates and other drugs in the body is blocked. After 6 to 24 hours the person wakes up free from drug effects. Although this is the fastest means of detoxification, this method has the most terrifying effect to an addicted person.
How Drug Detox Can be So Dangerous to a Person
A drug addict can opt to detoxification for so many reasons. Aside that the law strictly prohibits drug addiction, negative drug test is highly needed to enroll at school, work for a job, and build a conscience-free and fresh new life. Quitting drugs and substance abuse dependence is not as easy as anyone may think. Even drug detox which is considered to be the best option available can bring up several side effects to physical and psychological aspects of a person. In every type of detox for a specific drug or substance, there are also corresponding dangers that the patient is at risk of.
The following are the general side effects that a person may suffer after drug detox:
- Fatigue or loss of energy during or after detoxification
- Nausea especially after quitting habits like smoking, caffeine and alcohol addiction
- Increased urination by drinking juice and water as natural detox agents
- Diarrhea or increased bowel movement as a result from the release of toxins from the body
The following are the dangers and side effects depending on the drug detox given to a specific type of drug and substance addiction:
Alcohol Drug Detox
The administration of benzodiazepines like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Hydrocodone poses the most dangerous side effects to an addicted person or alcoholic which immediately show within one or two weeks. In truth, the cutting off of alcohol contents in the body of a person who have been excessively involve in drinking alcoholic beverages leads to severe physical and psychological side effects. The side effects may start from mild symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, perspiration, restlessness, agitation, loss of appetites and insomnia; however, as times go by, these can turn into seizures and delirium tremens which then leads to excito-neurotoxicity. This is a condition wherein the neurotransmitters and neuro-receptors are damaged due to over activation. Aside that the person who suffers under this kind of condition is at risk for stroke and heart disease, the condition itself can be fatal.
Cocaine and Opiate Detox
Just like alcohol detox, cocaine and opiate cleansing done through rapid detoxification can result to intense feelings of depression which puts the person at risk for suicide. Especially on persons who have already been dependent on these types of drugs for many years, dangers may arise upon managing the urge for cravings, agitation, and irritability of the patient during the withdrawal phase. The following are the withdrawal symptoms which a person who undergo detoxification may suffer from.
- Severe drowsiness which results to fatigue.
- At times the patient becomes lethargic
- Severe anxiety
- Exhibits vivid dreams and nightmares which also triggers extreme paranoia and negative hallucinations
- Intense hunger and drug cravings
The side effects of marijuana detox immediately show up to its maximum level after the treatment. This is the time when the patient feels several uncomfortable symptoms which usually abates within three to four days but may aggravate further when not given proper counter treatments. The following are the side effects of detoxifying marijuana.
- Severe anxiety
- Fatigue or restlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Aggression and irritability
- Increased blood pressure that may trigger stroke and heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat and difficulty in breathing
- Severe muscle cramping and seizures
Methamphetamines have been known to cause intense addiction because of its effectual euphoric effect. Even so, a person who is excessively addicted to such drug may also exhibit and suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These are the following
- Increased hunger and cravings for the drug that may lead to further addiction and failure of detox
- Severe depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- Severe anxiety
The danger of heroin detox is greatly associated with over-dosage, especially when the patient returns back to addiction after the treatment. Even though this situation may have little impact to others, this must be taken seriously as drug overdose can be fatal. Withdrawal symptoms like severe vomiting and nausea can lead to lung infection while diarrhea can lead to dehydration. The following are side effects of heroin detox in a person:
- Flu-like symptoms associated with runny nose, teary eyes, heating body temperature, and headache
- Sweating while feeling drowsy oftentimes
- Memory problems
- Emotional imbalance and reduced physical coordination