If you're interested in quitting an addiction, you are probably looking at various medical detox centers in Framingham. The term medical detox, while widely in use and commonly recognized, is a misnomer, a holdover from the past when the process of ending drug use was thought to involve cleansing. Today, modern understanding of the process recognizes that ending drug use causes health complications for entirely different reasons, not the presence of toxins in the system. These complications occur as part of the brain's effort to adapt to the changes in brain chemical balance caused by the cessation of drug use. The World Health Organization and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, today, favor the use of the term withdrawal management.
Drugs present a challenge to the brain: they mimic the function of natural opioids produced in the brain stem. Natural opioids are also present in breast milk.
Natural opioids have various functions related to the feeling of pleasure and the creation of lifelong attachment. In interactions between mother and child, for instance, the action of opioids on the learning and reward center of the baby's brain creates lifelong love and attachment. Opioids are also produced every time a person receives a hug from a loved one; the opioids create love and attachment there, as well.
Since drugs are able to mimic the action of natural opioids, they are able to stimulate the brain's learning and reward center to produce very deep attachment -- to themselves.
It is possible, then, to liken addiction to love. This is the reason it is often very hard for anyone trapped in drug addiction in Framingham to understand why their habit should be bad.
When drugs and alcohol chemically interfere with the functions of the reward and learning centers, the brain's own chemical systems in these areas become redundant. The brain's native systems are forced into dormancy, and the brain becomes fully dependent on the presence of these chemicals to manage and operate these vital functions. A brain in this state is physically dependent.
When an attempt is made to stop taking drugs and alcohol, however, the dependent brain is thrown into chemical turmoil. It ends up without the alcohol or drugs that it depended on to operate the reward and learning center, and its own systems lie dormant. As the brain brings these systems back online, its chemical levels go haywire, leading to terrible symptoms. They may range from anxiety, violent tendencies, suicidal depression and anxiety to physical pain, nausea, tremors, and insomnia. Among those with deep, long-lived addictions, these symptoms can extend to seizures and hallucinations. Cardiac arrest is a possibility in some cases, as well.
You need medical detox for drugs and alcohol in these cases merely to safely make your way out of the withdrawal symptoms experienced.
The process of medical detox takes aim at the chemical imbalances experienced in the brain, and attempts to chemically correct them to help the patient go through the process in a safe manner. In cases of mild addiction, these symptoms may be bearable enough. The patient is able to accept treatment while living at home, and taking prescription medications. In cases involving deep and complex addictions -- ones that have lasted a long time, involve more than one drug and so on -- the withdrawal symptoms may be serious enough to warrant residential treatment.
Medications such as naltrexone, methadone, buprenorphine, and disulfiram are used to help with cravings. In general, it is the function of these drugs to replace some of the pleasure of drugs, to bring cravings under control and to block pleasure.
Cardiac stabilizers are used to stabilize heart malfunction, anxiolytics help with anxiety, antiemetics help with nausea, and various medications help with insomnia.
There is considerable research to indicate that the medical detox process offers the best results when treatment lasts at least three months. While shorter-term programs do exist, they tend to not be very effective.
When you look for medical detox centers in Framingham, it's important to find a program with an evidence-based approach -- individual assessment, three months of treatment, inpatient treatment, and detox followed by relapse prevention in Framingham. With quality treatment, freedom from drugs is a virtual certainty. Call Framingham Alcohol Treatment Centers (508) 598-9115.