The withdrawal/detoxing process begins when the ongoing administration of the drug or alcohol stops abruptly. Withdrawal symptoms are generally the opposite of the effects induced by the substance itself. Symptom severity varies based on several factors:

    1. the type of substance
    2. frequency of use
    3. regular dosage
    4. duration of use (how many weeks, months or years the user has been using the substance)
    5. physical health of the user
    6. mental and emotional state ("attitude")
First, let's define 'detoxing.' A 'toxin' is anything that impedes normal functions of the body, or causes stagnation, ,congestion or dis-ease. What keeps things from being toxic? The circulatory, lymph system, colon, liver, urinary system, etc. 'Blockage' of any of these systems -- for example, by making them work too hard, or 'overloading them -- can ultimately result in toxins accumulating in the body.

"Detoxification" or 'detox' refers to the period of time it takes for the 'active' toxins to leave the body -- as little as a week or as long as several months. Appropriate medications are available for detoxing from opiates, benzodiazepines, alcohol and barbiturates. In some cases, particularly for the last three types of drugs, detoxing may be a medical necessity, and untreated withdrawal may be medically dangerous or even fatal.

The detox process, partly because it is short-term, is not designed to deal with the psychological, social, and behavioral problems associated with addiction; thus, it does not typically produce the lasting behavioral changes necessary for recovery. Detoxification is most useful, and has the greatest chance of making a long-term difference, when it incorporates assessment and referral to subsequent treatment programs.

To reduce some of the discomfort of detoxing, try some of these 'home remedies' which have proven to be useful:

    * Hot soaking baths can help the emotions as well as the body.
    * Drink plenty of water and clear liquids, just like for the flu.
    * Cranberry juice has been used effectively for years by recovery houses to help purify and cleanse the body.
    * Really excessive sweating can deplete the body of potassium, a necessary mineral. A few foods high in potassium are:
    melons, bananas, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and tomatoes.
    * Eliminate fat from the diet until digestion is better.
    * Greatly reduce or eliminate caffeine until the sleep pattern is more normal or the shakes are gone.
    * The old fashioned remedy for insomnia, a glass of warm milk before bedtime, helps some people. There are also some really soothing herbal teas on the market now.
    * Exercise not only helps depression and other unpleasant emotions, it helps the body speed up the healing process.
Detoxing from ALCOHOL
Detoxing from COCAINE
Detoxing from HEROIN
Detoxing from MARIJUANA

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