The Need for Drug Detox Centers
If you’re planning on getting off of drugs, or have a loved one who is hoping to do so, you may be thinking that you can do this by simply stopping using the drugs you take. If you have been abusing drugs for a long time, however, this may not be so easy. Drug detox centers exist to help people safely and securely detox from drugs like heroin, prescription painkillers, marijuana, methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, and more. Many of these drugs are associated with a withdrawal syndrome that is experienced when your body is dependent on the drugs and does not have them. It usually involves physical and psychological symptoms that make it difficult to stop using the drugs.
If your body is dependent on substances, and especially if your brain is addicted, you are sure to have a reasonably tough time getting off of them. Withdrawal and drug cravings often make people unable to stop on their own. Detox centers provide medication, counseling, and other types of therapy and guidance to help people successfully get off of their substance of choice, and the resources to continue a life without them. This is best understood with an explanation of different drug withdrawal syndromes.
Opiate withdrawal occurs when someone who abuses, is dependent on, and/or is addicted to opiates abruptly stops using them. This includes heroin, opium, most prescription painkillers, morphine, and other opiate-based substances. According to the US National Library of Medicine, opiate withdrawal is most commonly described as feeling like a terrible flu, and the worst of symptoms usually dissipates within a week of the last drug use.
Symptoms of opiate withdrawal may include:
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramping
Coupled with cravings and a lack of a controlled environment, these symptoms are often so intense that people seek out opiates to relieve the ‘dopesickness’. At opiate detox centers, medical and treatment professionals can provide medications such as methadone or Suboxone to help relieve cravings and keep these symptoms at bay. Inpatient centers provide a completely temptation-free environment where even if someone wanted drugs, they would be unable to get them. They also can provide counseling to help people deal with cravings and ease into a drug-free life.
Methamphetamine, meth, or crystal meth also has a withdrawal syndrome. Methamphetamine greatly impairs cognitive function and decision-making in chronic users, and one of the strongest symptoms is drug cravings. Coming off of meth can be very hard because of these cravings, and because of an impaired ability to control them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, other symptoms include anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, and problems with memory and concentration.
Meth detox centers can provide therapeutic ways to deal with these symptoms as well as a safe and temptation-free environment to undergo detox in. In addition, detox centers usually provide counseling that helps meth users regain their cognitive function and learn how to say no to meth.
Cocaine Withdrawal Syndrome
Cocaine withdrawal does not have many physical symptoms, but the psychological symptoms can be difficult to manage. Cravings and depression are two of the main symptoms, and these can last for months after cocaine use ends for chronic users.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:
- Agitation and restless behavior
- Depressed mood
- General feeling of malaise
- Vivid, unpleasant dreams
- Slowing of activity
As with methamphetamine and opiates, cocaine detox centers help people safely stop using drugs, and learn how to avoid them despite these unpleasant symptoms. Especially given the fact that cocaine cravings and depression can last for a long time, it can be helpful and necessary to get professional help. Counseling techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you learn to recognize triggers that lead to drug use and to avoid them. It can help with the management of cravings, too. Drug detox centers can provide medication to deal with psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety, if necessary, as well.
The same can be said for other drugs, such as marijuana and crack. Drug detox centers help people cope with withdrawal, manage cravings, and set the stage for a drug-free life.