The detoxification process in early drug rehabilitation can be a difficult time for many addicts. Depending upon the drugs used, an addict may experience many severe symptoms that can bring great risk to the individual sufferer. Because of these factors and the overall painful side effects of withdrawal, many facilities use medication-assisted detoxification as the first step in the recovery process.
Not all addicts wish to introduce more medications into their systems. There are ways to cope with the serious symptoms of withdrawal without using prescribed or over-the-counter medications. However, choosing to undergo detoxification without the help of medical professionals and medication can be unnecessarily harmful in some cases.
One of the most basic truths about the human condition is that the human mind is a powerful instrument. Focusing attention and creating an atmosphere of quiet can bring an attitude of calm to an individual through the use of meditation techniques. It is important to remember, however, that someone not experienced with meditation might have more difficulty implementing it during the difficult detoxification process. Many facilities that offer alternative therapies will have meditation guides and experts on hand to help the addict through the difficult moments.
There are many forms of relaxation techniques that have been shown to help individuals suffering withdrawal. Reiki, therapeutic massage and other techniques can help soothe the person going through withdrawal, combating the sleeplessness and restlessness that are common during the first few days of detoxification.
The individual addict should make the decision of whether to use medication or relaxation techniques based upon how well they know themselves. However, the individual should listen to the advice of others based upon the addict’s history of drug use and the memory lapses that may have occurred. Many addicts do not know themselves as well as they might like to simply because they have been operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Education and Understanding
It has been said that knowledge is power. Learning as much as possible about their addiction can help an addict fight through those first, intense days of life without drugs. Understanding that the withdrawal phase is temporary and that once the drugs have metabolized out of the body, the immediate and acute illness will pass, can give can them strength to make it through.
The choice of whether to use medication during the detox period is a very personal one. The important aspect is that the addict receives the treatment that is right for them. If they are more likely to successfully complete detox through the use of medication, it is important that the option is available. If they are adamant that they will defeat their personal demons without that help, it is still important that the properly trained experts are available for assistance and guidance.
None of these alternatives to medication will completely alleviate the symptoms associated with withdrawal. Like medication, unfortunately, they can only help the individual sufferer make it through those harrowing hours. Rather than eliminating medications altogether, an option may be to prepare a contingency plan for specific withdrawal symptoms and how each should be addressed-either with or without medication.