Scientific studies since the early 1970s now show that drug abuse treatment does in fact help many drug-use offenders change their behavior, beliefs, and feelings towards drug abuse; ultimately, avoid relapse; and ultimately leave a life free from drug abuse and addiction. The number of drug abuse treatment facilities and rehabs has increased dramatically in recent years. Unfortunately, too many of these facilities and rehabs have been found to be ineffective. Most of these treatment programs are based upon “tough love,” or a punishment-based approach to addiction recovery. Studies show that addicts require unconditional love, patience, and understanding in order to overcome addiction. Detoxification is an integral part of most drug abuse treatment programs.
A drug user’s body can experience various withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue their usage of drugs or medications. Some of these symptoms include nausea, dizziness, sleep problems, cold flashes, depression, cravings for addictive substances, anxiety, paranoia, mood swings, and insomnia. While these symptoms are quite common, detoxification can occur only after prolonged periods of absence from drug use, which may take weeks, months, or even years. After detoxification, return to normal activities may be more difficult as your body has been accustomed to suppressing the powerful neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. For this reason, detoxification can often be a lifelong commitment.
An alternative to inpatient detoxification is outpatient detoxification, which may include medication sessions, counseling sessions, therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes. Many people who suffer from drug addiction are not ready or do not want to make life-long commitments. Fortunately, outpatient detoxification is available for those who are uncomfortable with staying inpatient for long periods of time. Through outpatient detoxification, recovering addicts can enjoy the benefits of outpatient treatment facilities located in hospitals or other medical centers. This type of treatment allows those who are unable to commit to a lengthy stay in a residential treatment center to still get help for their addiction.