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When someone has been using drugs, over time their body chemistry actually changes and this is what causes them to become dependent to their drug of choice. Drugs impact the pleasure centers in the brain and cause other changes in the body and mind, and these feelings of reward and pleasure caused by the drug are something which can't be replicated without it. So what happens when someone abruptly stops taking drugs is not only the polar opposite of the pleasure they experienced while under the influence of them, but the abrupt withdrawal from drugs also causes both physical and psychological symptoms which are actually very unpleasant, punishing and even life threatening in some cases. With this in mind, it is understandable why someone's addiction might persist, despite their desire to put an end to it. So for anyone experiencing a problem with substance abuse and for anyone who has a loved one who is, this is what you are up against and why attempting to use pure willpower and the "cold turkey" method aren't going to cut it in almost any instance that someone has a dependency to drugs.
Different drugs cause different symptoms when someone is detoxing from them, with some forms of drug detox being more severe than others. The severity of drug detox symptoms can vary depending on a variety of circumstances including how long someone has been taking drugs, at what dosage, and their current physical state. Any mental health issues must also be taken into consideration, as well as any prescription medication they may be taking or not taking for this. Administration of certain medications, whether they are being taken with a legitimate prescription or abused non-medically, should actually never be stopped abruptly unless someone is having the drug detox process overseen by a medical professional. Abrupt cessation of certain medical drugs could actually have negative side effects, which can be life threatening, including death.
Taking all of this into perspective, it is not beyond comprehension why someone who has the intention to stop taking any drug including medical should always do this in a professional treatment setting. This could be a licensed detox facility, or a drug rehab program which can accommodate the type of drug detox the person will be experiencing. Some facilities for example specialize in certain types of drugs while others can accommodate any type of detox. Drug detox in these settings will be closely monitored by detox specialists and supervised by medical professionals in most cases, and at the very least the facility works with medical liaisons who can intervene at any time when someone needs medical intervention during the detox process.
Being in a drug detox facility offers additional benefits as well, because not only can individuals who are detoxing have the close supervision necessary to make it a safe process, but also the necessities to make it a much smoother one because detox professionals can provide services in many cases to manage symptoms better. This alone makes drug detox in a professional detox or rehab facility a much more ideal and positive experience, and one which doesn't have to present any danger or discomfort which can be well-managed and in some cases avoided entirely with the help of detox professionals.
Being supervised and surrounded by a robust support system during drug detox while in a detox facility or rehab program can significantly reduce relapse rates while significantly raising a person's chance of remaining stably abstinent for several reasons. Professional drug detox facilities are more successful than not using one because it prevents access to drugs while a person goes through withdrawals. Likewise, individuals who go it alone wouldn't have the system of support not only from detox professionals but from peers who are also experiencing similar challenges during detox who they can lean on for support. Individuals who detox on their own have a tendency towards isolation, which means they have no system of support and encouragement to help them through it. This can make drug detox a lot more difficult due to the physical and psychological challenges they will have to endure all alone, making the chances of relapse much more significant and relapse in these instances can be very dangerous and even deadly.
With all of this in mind it is important to understand that it can take several months for someone to really stabilize fully, even after acute drug detox symptoms have subsided. Getting through detox is only one step of a much longer process if someone wants to be able to live a healthy and productive life without ever having to be burdened by the compulsion to abuse drugs in the future. Individuals who have newly abstained from drugs may have cravings and temptations for quite some time, and without the knowledge and tools to know how to manage and control these things being permanently abstinent just isn't realistic. This is why people who only detox (no rehab) have extremely high relapse rates. The relapse rates for such individuals is actually just as high as someone who never received professional detox services.
There is a bright side however. Once someone is in a professional detox setting, it is a very smooth and natural transition to a drug rehab program that can fulfill the other steps of the process, which can help someone make a full and lasting recovery so they aren't plagued by constant compulsions to relapse. Following drug detox and while in the best frame of mind to pursue further treatment that can address the other aspects of the problem which can provide full resolution, it is crucial for drug detox clients to transition into a drug rehab facility that is suitable to their type of addiction and can help meet any other criteria for their unique circumstances. Some individuals will need to be in a long-term drug rehab program for example, because they have experienced a chronic drug problem for which a more intensive treatment episode is necessary.
One aspect of drug detox that should also be considered is whether or not to receive services at a drug detox or drug rehab facility which administers medical drugs to assist in the drug detox process, or to participate in a process which is completely drug free. This is something that is always a personal choice. However, choosing a drug free drug detox provides individuals with an opportunity to never be dependent to any drug ever again, whereas facilities which use drugs during the drug detox process typically encourage the use of medical drugs as a means of maintaining one's cravings and avoiding the withdrawal symptoms one would experience when completely stopping all drug use. Drug free drug detox facilities help and individual transition into a completely drug free lifestyle, without any need for future drug maintenance therapies. This can of course greatly enhance an individual's quality of life and provide them with a much healthier lifestyle so that they can move forward without being held back by chemicals and the need to maintain anything but their happiness.