Simon Stephens writes about safe Alcohol and Drug Detox
Medical Detox is a term used when ceasing to take drugs or alcohol which forms our physical addiction. In most cases coming off our drug of choice without professional support will be unpleasant and in some cases dangerous. In the case of alcohol the primary danger is withdrawal fits. About sixty to ninety people die each year die from attempting to withdraw from alcohol without the aid of medication. More people go on to suffer from brain damage. Obviously this is only a small proportion of those with a physical addiction who chose to stop drinking but it is never the less a significant figure.
It is often Thought that all that is need is some pills from the doctor, however there’s a lot more to a correctly manage detox than just collecting a prescription. Whether the procedure is been carried out in a residential setting or at home, thorough preparation is essential. Unless the organisation carrying the work for you has procedures for assessing the current state of your physical and mental health and what your current medical condition is, consider carefully your options before contracting with them for help. There are some service providers who think that offering home detoxes is a quick way to “make money”.
Addictions UK uses four separate paper tests including well-being and depression scores and a physical examination before determining that a detox is safe and right for you. In the case of a home detox we prefer to have a chaperone close at hand during the physical examination and a responsible adult to help you with the medicines. Few people realise how disorienting the medication can be, hence why the help of a responsible adult is a priority. The same planning is also a vital pre-requisite for a residential detox. In all cases regular support and checking should be provided by those organising the detox.
In the case of drug addiction where a detox is needed, the same planning is really important. Whilst it is general considered that risk to life is much lower it is true to say that the withdrawal symptoms can be far worse in terms of discomfort.
Where ever you chose to get your detox, be sure to ask plenty of questions, if it’s at home, is there an emergency contact? If it’s in a residential setting, are there staff on duty or is it simply bed and breakfast with visit from a local GP?
For further information please contact contact Addictions UK on line or telephone Simon Stephens, the writer of this blog, on 0800 140 4044.
Addictions UK is the leading provider of Detox at Home Services in the United Kingdom.