For most people drug detox is just the start of full rehabilitation. It is primarily a method of withdrawal, and does not address why the person became addicted in the first place – for that you need a successful drug rehab program. Nevertheless, withdrawal is the necessary first step to rehab and to get someone with a prescription drug addiction problem to even agree to quit, it is often necessary to find a drug detox program that can effectively handle prescription drug addiction detox, is safe, and is as comfortable for the addicted person as possible.
Some drug detox programs simply provide a setting where the person is kept away from all drugs, fed, housed, and watched over to ensure they don’t encounter any serious medical problems. They are basically withdrawing ‘cold turkey’, with nothing to relieve the pain or other withdrawal symptoms. For many with a prescription drug addiction problem, this type of drug detox is very hard on the body, and very traumatic.
Another type of drug detox program basically amounts to substituting a different drug for the one the person is already taking. The person arrives at the detox center, is given a drug that helps relieve the symptoms of withdrawal, and leaves the center on the substitute drug - possibly chained to it forever. If they want to get off the new drug, they may well have to go through another drug detox. This is obviously not a good choice for someone with a prescription drug addiction as they have just replaced one prescription for another.
Then we have ‘rapid detox’, promoted as the fastest route. You arrive at the facility, usually a hospital, and, after medical examination and other preparations, are put under general anesthetic for between four and six hours - the person is basically ‘out’ while a strong drug is pumped through their system.
The most talked about aspect of the rapid detox method is the fact that you are technically done within hours. However, recovery from the anesthetic and physical stress put on the body can take several days, and the person is likely to continue to have side effects and symptoms for weeks. In fact, most people leave rapid detox centers on medications designed to handle the after-effects of the detox.
The best method of detoxing from prescription drugs is the gradual withdrawal technique. The person checks into a medically-supervised, comfortable facility where they are helped through withdrawal by the use of drugs that help alleviate the symptoms. This differs from the ‘substitute drug’ method as the person is given the withdrawal drugs only for a short period of time, and is no longer taking that drug when they leave.
There’s no quick fix for drug addiction. The first step is a drug detox program that can successfully deal with prescription drug addiction. Then finish up with a drug rehab program that addresses the reasons behind the addiction. With these steps done, the person can get their life back.