As we all know, some drugs are more dangerous than others, especially when it comes to getting off of them. However, many people would be surprised at which drugs are actually deadly if detoxed from outside of a medical detox. Despite the current fentanyl epidemic that is killing hundreds every day, the actual most dangerous drugs to withdraw from are actually alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates.
Why Can’t I Just Quit “Cold Turkey”?
When someone who has developed a dependence or addiction to a substance abruptly stops taking said substances, they can experience a host of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that are extremely uncomfortable, painful and have the potential to be life-threatening.
In order to help minimize the effects and danger that withdrawal symptoms can pose, it is important that addicts undergo medical detox before entering drug treatment. Depending on the severity of addiction, the frequency of use, the length of time a person has been using, and whatever ingredients are in their preferred cocktail, medical detox can range from necessary, to life-threateningly necessary.
While many drugs have significant withdrawal symptoms, the following four substances have potentially life-threatening withdrawals that will require medical detox.
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Despite many people thinking heroin would be at the top of the list, it is actually alcohol.
- Estimates of death rates among people who have been linked to alcohol withdrawal lie somewhere near 1 in 400 people.
- There are over 15 million people in the United States who suffer from alcoholism, so 1 in 400 is a pretty high number!
The reason why alcohol is so dangerous to detox from is that of the body’s ability to essentially go into a state of shock. Usually occurring within a few hours, alcohol withdrawal takes place in both the brain and the body.
The first phase side effects usually look like:
Nausea and Vomiting
The Second Phase of Alcohol Withdrawal Looks Like:
Increased Heart Rate & Blood Pressure
|Severe Stomach Pains|
The last and most Dangerous Phase of Alcohol Withdrawal presents itself in hallucinations, fevers, seizures, possible liver or kidney failure, heart attack, and delirium tremens.
This is all depending on the severity of consumption, length of time drinking, etc. Nevertheless, even for people who have only been drinking a short time, but in large amounts, should absolutely consider medical detox the safer bet when they are ready to stop drinking.
Alcohol detox would be required in cases such as this in order to control the shakiness and agitation, and detox staff can perform a full evaluation of any underlying medical or mental issues. In the detox process, anticonvulsant medications, beta blockers or benzodiazepines can be administered to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Medical Detox for Benzodiazepines
For some strange reason, it has become increasingly more popular among young adults to abuse benzos such as Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan. Many of these young adults and adolescents are initially exposed to these medications by a doctor, as rates of depression and anxiety have reportedly skyrocketed among young adults over the last decade.
The danger of these drugs comes in the fact that they build up in the brain over time, as that it the way they were designed to work. When a person abruptly stops using them, it can wreak potentially life-threatening damage on the brain, and usually requires a medical detox to safely withdraw from.
- It can take the body up to 40 hours to eliminate half the dose a person takes of Xanax at any given time.
- Since the actual effects of the drug only last a few hours, many people take more to achieve the high they are looking for, unaware that there is already a substantial amount being stored in their system.
The Main and Most Severe Withdrawal Symptoms of Benzos are:
Increased Heart Rate
Convulsions and Seizure
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
Much like alcohol, those who undergo medical detox for Benzodiazepines are given medications in order to help the sufferer slowly wean off the drug. Healthcare professionals at the medical detox can provide patients with non-addictive medications that will help smooth out the detox process.
It is important to note that any medications given during detox are gradually tapered off and given on a set schedule that is carefully monitored and supervised by experienced and licensed medical detox personnel.
Heroin and Oxycontin
Oxycontin belongs to a family of drugs known as opioids, which are synthetic derivatives of natural opiate drugs such as heroin, morphine, and opium. Used to relieve the pain of surgical and medical procedures, Oxycontin is extremely addictive and users can easily become hooked.
Many people who start out with using Oxycontin eventually find their habit too expensive or difficult to continue, and gradually transition towards the cheaper and more rapidly available, heroin.
For those who abruptly stop the use of the drugs, the effects are often described as being the worst case of the flu. The withdrawal symptoms, while not particularly life-threatening, are extremely painful and many who are addicted end up using again in order to stop the pain they are experiencing.
Common Opioid withdrawal symptoms include:
- Frequent nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision and overactive tear ducts
- Anxiety, agitation, and mood swings
- Extreme abdominal and muscle cramps
- Restless Legs
- Cold Sweats
- Extreme Fatigue and lethargy
Medical detox is crucial in helping those addicted get to a substance-free state and is fully prepared for treatment. If you are looking for medical detox and drug treatment services that are effective, proven to work and run by compassionate and experienced staff, FindAddictionRehabs.com is your first choice. Our facilities are safe, secure and comfortable, and our staff provides around the clock monitoring, evaluation and supervision to ensure that the withdrawal process is as safe and pain-free as possible.
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