Mechanisms of Addiction
Tolerance and withdrawal are key factors when dealing with addiction. They are the main processes that cause addiction in the first place. First, the patient builds a tolerance for their substance, and they begin to use more and more to reach the same effects. When the patient wishes to stop their abuse, they experience withdrawal symptoms.
There are physical and psychological withdrawal effects when detoxing from substances such as alcohol. The person with an addiction may feel lost and hopeless. They may not see that they can reach out for help. In the absence of that help, it is like that the withdrawal symptoms will overwhelm the patient and convince them it’s better to keep using.
OPTIONS FOR DETOX
Tolerance is a physical and psychological process. The more times the patient has used the substance, the less sensitivity they will have towards it. In this situation, withdrawals are likely to be highly unpleasant; this is where medical detox comes in.
This type of detox is monitored by medical professionals in a setting where they can safely manage symptoms with the assistance of medicine. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Feeling sick
In more severe cases, seizures and hallucinations are possible. Medical detox will require the patient to stay in a facility under supervision as this stage can be dangerous or even deadly if not handled correctly. Medical professionals will ensure that the process is done right and is as comfortable as possible.
There are also psychological withdrawal symptoms, which can occur with substances such as methamphetamine. They include feeling anxious and depressed.
When the patient relapses because of withdrawal, they can either learn from it or restart the drug addiction cycle from the beginning. It can be hard to stop using all over again, but until you get through detox there is no moving on to the next stage of rehab.
For those whose withdrawal symptoms are mainly psychological, the treatment team may suggest avoiding medical detox in favor of social detox. The latter still requires the patient to stay in a facility under watch, but allows them to manage their detox by interacting with staff and other patients rather than using medication. During social detox, the patient will communicate with their therapist about their treatment plan and the services that can best help them heal.