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Oleh: Dr Izani Uzair bin Zubair Ketua Penolong Pengarah(Perubatan) Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Pulau Pinang


detox is the first step in comprehensive rehab program that offers all the tools for recovery. Focus of detoxification is physiological healing after long-term drug addiction first, through stabilization and then through detoxification. After stabilization, the focus of detox is on the processes of the body as it rids itself of the drug of choice and treating the withdrawal symptoms that result.


to note that -detox is not a whole treatment for drug addiction. patients undergo psychotherapeutic treatment to address the issues of cravings and changes that were made in the brain by chronic abuse of the drugs. Detox alone may help the patient to stop abusing drugs and alcohol, but without follow-up care and therapy, relapse will soon follow and a return to full-blown addictive behavior is rarely far behind.

The First Stage of Drug Detox


first hours and days of detoxification can be intense for many patients, and medical and psychiatric staff members will be on hand constantly to provide effective support Issues can come up for patients in their first few hours of detox and the most urgent need will be addressed first followed by the next and the next until full stabilization has been established.


examples of possible issues include: -Violence+ -Symptoms of psychosis+ -Injury+ -Medical illness+ -Threat to self+ Once these acute issues have been assessed and identified during evaluation, they will be immediately treated until they have passed or the patient has been stabilized.

Drug Detoxification Withdrawal Symptoms

different classes of drugs mean different withdrawal symptoms also vary from person to person depending upon: Withdrawal: The length of addiction The combination of drugs abused, including alcohol The dose of the drug of choice at the time that the patient enters detox The existence of co-occurring physical or mental disorders

common withdrawal symptoms that affect patients no matter what their drug of choice include: Mood disturbances. This can mean mood swings, irritability and/or agitation.

Sleep disturbances. Insomnia despite intense fatigue is common.

Physical issues. These may include chills, sweating, tremors or shaking, flu-like symptoms including runny nose and headache, nausea and vomiting.

Cravings. The desire to use the drug of choice in order to stop the withdrawal symptoms is strong.


opiate-based medications, and benzodiazepines can cause seizures and/or aural and visual hallucinations during the detox period. Heroin and other opiates can also cause muscle and bone pain. When detox from stimulant drugs like cocaine and crystal meth is an issue, depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings are often a significant issue.


rare occasions, withdrawal symptoms can lead to complications and serious health issues that require immediate medical attention. never recommended that patients attempt detox at home

Types of Detox

upon the drug of choice and the withdrawal symptoms experienced by the patient. -Outpatient detox+ -Inpatient detox+ -Opiate detox+ -Alcohol detox+ -Psychological withdrawal and detox+

Drug Detox Methods


have different options in drug detox methods. drug of choice, the dose you are taking at the time you start detox, how long you have been using that drug, and whether or not you are using other drugs will determine the type of detox that is most appropriate for you.


Cold Turkey Detox


your use of all drugs and substances with nothing more than medical supervision to aid you in case of an emergency. your use of all drugs and substances with nothing more than medical supervision to aid you in case of an emergency


Short-Term Medical Detox


you experience withdrawal symptoms, you take medication to ease your discomfort For example, if you are having a hard time sleeping, you may be prescribed a non-addictive sleep medication.

Long-Term Medicated Detox


may have the option to take long-term medication like methadone or Suboxone to stop you from experiencing the brunt of the withdrawal symptoms.

Drug Detox at Home


short answer is yes, its possible. However, it is not safe and it is rarely effective.

Duration of Drug Detox


detox will last as long as the withdrawal symptoms and for as long as it takes for the patient to stabilize physically and mentally.
goal of detox is to help prepare the patient physically and mentally for the work that lies ahead in therapy. some cases, antidepressant medications or antipsychotics may be necessary if there are co-occurring issues of depression or a mental health disorder.




that not every patient will successfully complete detox on the first try

Medications Used

can be extremely effective in helping patients to safely stop abusing drugs and alcohol.
may address the changes in the brain that occur due to chronic drug abuse or help to mitigate cravings. In some cases, they may even mimic the action of the addictive drug in the brain and help patients to avoid the bulk of withdrawal symptoms



all substances of addiction have medications that are approved for use during the withdrawal process. The following drugs may assist with detox: Methadone+ Buprenorphine+ Naltrexone+ Acamprosate+ Disulfiram+

Drug Detoxification Is the First Step to Recovery


alone is not a complete treatment for addiction to any drug, including alcohol. many cases, pre-existing psychological issues due to sexual trauma, grief, violent attack, and major changes in life like divorce or loss of employment can increase the chances of addictive behavior when drinking or abusing other drugs.


Some effective therapies include: Personal therapy. Here the real work on underlying issues will occur. Family therapy. Family members can make or break effectiveness of treatment. Therapy that addresses problems at home will increase the chances of success. Medical services. For chronic illnesses and/or cooccurring disorders, proper medical care can help patients avoid self-medication with drugs and alcohol. Educational classes. Learning the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and body can help patients to avoid relapse


prevention. Creating an actionable plan to implement when faced with temptation will increase the chances of avoiding relapse. skills classes. Learning how to function and keep up with normal responsibilities will help addicts to feel more in control and less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol.