Drug detox is a lengthy process, especially if the person seeking detoxification has had a long-term addiction problem. Since detoxification implies that the person has to quit drugs, there may be some challenges during the initial stage.
It is good to be aware of these issues because it may help the person seeking detox be prepared. Moreover, since some of the effects may be life-threatening, the caregivers and family members must be aware of them. Some of the important issues one may face during the initial stages of drug detox are:
Violence: Some drugs may induce violent behavior in a person when he/she stops using them. This is especially applicable to people who abuse cathinones or “bath salts.” Such people are at a greater risk of harming themselves or others. These patients need to be sedated to protect the caregivers as well as themselves. However, sedation or restraint is only required if and when the patient is physically aggressive and is poised to hurt themselves or others.
Injury: Some drug users might have hurt themselves or been assaulted before coming for a drug detox. This may happen because some drugs offer a false sense of increased strength. For example, PCP or phencyclidine is a drug that induces feelings of increased power which may excite the drug user to take risks as they may feel invincible. These people also have suicidal tendencies and may take an extreme step due to the ill effects of the drugs used. All types of injuries must be treated first before opting for the detox process.
Psychosis: Some patients may experience psychosis during the initial stage of detox. Drugs like cocaine can lead to dangerous complications like psychosis. If a person uses excessive cocaine, he/she might become paranoid or have a full-blown psychosis. The common symptoms include hallucinations (both visual and auditory) and delusions. People can also have psychosis if they have a co-occurring disorder, like schizophrenia. People suffering from psychosis have an erratic and unpredictable behavior. Therefore, it needs to be treated first before starting the detox process.
Other medical illnesses: An individual opting for detox may experience other medical illnesses as well. For example, when a person dependent on painkillers starts detox, he may experience the pain again along with other medical symptoms. In such a case, it is important for the doctors and caregivers to know about the medical history of the patient and treat the person accordingly before proceeding with detox.
Threat to self
Withdrawal from some types of drugs may lead to suicidal thoughts or even death. Opioids and some other substances, for example, may induce or aggravate suicidal tendencies when their use is abruptly stopped. These patients need constant monitoring and special care. If any person exhibits suicidal behavior, he/she must be taken care of and given the appropriate treatment for being stabilized.
Withdrawal symptoms in the initial stages
People who stop using drugs may also experience some initial symptoms apart from the above mentioned problems. These symptoms may be present alone or together with others and it is important to be aware of them while preparing for detox.
The common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Profuse sweating
- Excessive yawning
- Agitation and palpitations
- Muscle pain
- Increased watering of the eyes
- Running nose
The presence of any of these symptoms should be reported to the doctor.
Choosing the right detox center
It is important to approach the right detox facility for a successful treatment. If you are looking for an effective detoxification program, contact the Arizona Detox Helpline. You can chat online with our executive to know more about detox treatment centers in Arizona. Alternatively, you can dial our 24/7 helpline number 866-593-8453 to know more about detox centers in Arizona.