Drug detoxification, colloquially known as detox, refers to the process of breaking the physical bonds of addiction. These physical ties are often just as strong as mental; while users may want to quit using drugs or alcohol, the changes to the brain and nervous system that come with long-term use inspire cravings that can be too strong to reasonably handle.
Withdrawal, or the side effects that accompany an absence of substance, can be highly influential, driving people to make a choice they otherwise understand to be harmful or dangerous. Those who deeply want to quit are often unable to make healthy decisions, seeking out more addictive substances even if they are aware it is wrong or bad for them. Withdrawal symptoms vary strongly from one drug to another, but can include nausea and vomiting, anxiety and paranoia, muscle cramps, aching or weakness, irritability, seizures, hallucinations, and insomnia. Withdrawal can be a long process as well, lasting days or weeks.
Detox seeks to mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal, making breaking an addiction as comfortable and pain-free as possible. With oversight by doctors and nurses, a detox center can help even those with chronic substance abuse habits to manage the side effects that accompany addiction recovery. After a short stay in a residential rehabilitation program like The Detox Center, patients are prepared to move on to the next stage of recovery.