3418 Public Works Drive Knoxville, Tn, (PressExposure) May 12, 2009 -- While addiction or dependency is related to seemingly uncontrollable urges, and arguably could have roots in genetic predispositions, adult and adolescent addiction treatment is conducted by a wide range of medical and allied professionals, including Addiction Medicine specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and appropriately trained nurses, social workers, and counselors. Early treatment of acute withdrawal often includes medical detoxification.
Detoxification, or detox for short, is the removal of toxic substances from the body. In conventional medicine, detoxification can also be achieved artificially by techniques such as dialysis and (in a very limited number of cases) chelation therapy. Detoxification can also refer to the period of withdrawal during which a person's body returns to homeostasis after long-term use of an addictive substance. There are many forms of detoxification practiced today. Two major practices are alcohol detoxification and drug detoxification.
Alcohol detoxification as adult and adolescent addiction treatment commonly involves an abrupt stop of alcohol intake coupled with the substitution of alcohol with cross-tolerant drugs that have similar effects in order to prevent alcohol withdrawal. Detoxification may or may not be necessary depending upon an individual's age, medical status, and history of alcohol intake. Benzodiazepines are the most common family of drugs used for this.
Benzodiazepines such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan) or oxazepam (Serax) are the most commonly used drugs used to reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Dosing of the benzodiazepines can be guided by the CIWA-Ar scale. The scale can be made available online.
In the many adult and adolescent addiction treatment for drug addiction, drug detoxification is a collective of interventions directed at controlling acute drug intoxication and drug withdrawal. It refers to the purging of the substance of abuse from a patient's body who is acutely under the influence or dependent on the substance to which they are addicted to. The process of detoxification aims at lessening the physical effects caused by the additive substances. Detoxification programs do not necessarily treat the other implications of drug addiction - psychological aspects of addiction, social factors, and the often complex behavioral issues that are intermingled with addiction.
Drug detoxification varies depending on the location of treatment, but most detox centers provide treatment to avoid the symptoms of physical withdrawal to alcohol & other drugs. Most also incorporate counseling and therapy during detox to help with the consequences of withdrawal.