The detox doctor plays an essential role in in-home detox. They are the leader of the clinical and medical team and play the deciding role in determining the best course of treatment for your recovery. With extensive medical training, as well as specific training to treat substance use disorders, a detox doctor can ensure your health and safety throughout this initial stage of abstinence and help guide you towards freedom from addiction.
What is Detoxification?
Medical detoxification is a treatment that helps people overcome the first stage of addiction recovery. People with a substance use disorder often face severe mental and physical health challenges when they suddenly stop, a phenomenon known as withdrawal. Every misused drug – including marijuana, opioids, amphetamines, and alcohol – can cause withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to overcome on your own.
While each specific drug has its own set of symptoms, there are common threads throughout every drug’s withdrawal phase, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Intense drug cravings
Certain drugs, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can cause withdrawal symptoms that are life-threatening. These drugs require medical detoxification for a person to achieve abstinence safely.
What is a Detox Doctor?
A detox doctor is the primary physician in charge of the medical detoxification process. They are the ultimate decision-makers, ensuring that a person striving for recovery gets the treatment they need to be successful. Their extensive training prepares them to deal with a variety of different physical and mental health symptoms. They ensure that each person gets holistic health care recommendations throughout the detox process.
A detox doctor takes several variables into account when leading the treatment team. They consider such implications as:
- Pre-existing health conditions
- Co-occurring mental health disorders
- Current medication regimens
- Specific drug withdrawal effects
- Patient-specific preferences
- Drug allergies or sensitivities
Throughout the entire detoxification process, a detox doctor closely monitors each patient’s progress and can make changes to the treatment plan in order to ensure their patient’s health, safety, and comfort.
How Detox Helps
The first stage of abstinence is often the hardest to break through. When a person suddenly stops taking drugs or alcohol, their body experiences a “rebound effect–which creates the well-defined withdrawal symptoms that are so characteristic of early abstinence. But another system is at work besides the physiological response: the mind begins to crave drugs, rationalize substance use, and deny that there was ever a problem to begin with.
A detox doctor uses every tool available to treat both the physical and psychological aspects of withdrawal. Targeted medications can alleviate physical withdrawal symptoms, help to manage drug cravings, and show you that the path to abstinence is achievable. Alongside these medications, targeted therapies and clinical support can strengthen a patient’s resolve to maintain their sobriety. This support is vital – as people without a strong network of support will often relapse before breaking through the withdrawal phase.