Medical Detox from Opiates, Alcohol, Benzos

Withdrawal for most drug users is never comfortable and sometimes can be very dangerous.  Opiates, alcohol, and benzos are drugs that should never be suddenly stopped without medical supervision.  The reason is some rehab treatment, that is preceded by a medical detox period, can last anywhere from a couple of day to weeks.

Opiates –   In most cases, withdrawals from opiates is not deadly.  Still there are some very important exceptions such as Methadone.  Methadone is a long-acting opiate often prescribed as a replacement for heroin and can cause death during withdrawal if it is consumed in high doses for a long period of time.

Alcohol – Alcohol withdrawal system can take on mild to severe forms.  If a person withdrawing from alcohol develops a fever, diarrhea, extreme nausea or DT (delirium tremens), they need to be rushed to see a doctor.   Alcohol withdrawal after heavy, chronic alcohol user is best managed by a professional medical detox unit that can administer medications that relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Benzodiazepines – Benzos were introduced as a replacement to barbiturates that were causing common overdose cases, many of which resulted in death.  Nevertheless, withdrawal from the extended use of benzodiazepines can kill you. Long term use of Benzodiazepines requires medical supervision to be completed with minimal side-effects and risk to patient.  Xanax, Ativan, Valium are included in these. The withdrawal process normally is managed by slowly reducing the dose and transferring patient from a slow acting, to a long acting form of the drug. Full resolution of benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome can take up to six months or longer.

Much of the danger in withdrawal from all these drugs has to do with the body’s response to extreme changes in the chemical processes going on in the brain and rest of the body.