Addiction is a frighteningly common disease in the United States: studies show that in 2011, 30 percent of men 12 and older and 13.9 percent of women had reported binge drinking in the past month. Binge drinking is considered to be drinking five or more drinks during one occasion, and frequent binge drinking is an obvious sign of alcoholism. But if you or a loved one exhibit signs of alcoholism or another form of drug abuse, where do you turn for treatment? Do you talk to a family medicine doctor or even your family doctor?
The answer, perhaps surprisingly, can depend on the addiction at hand: detoxification, an important step towards sobriety, varies in length depending on the patient, the drug or drugs they were taking, and the atmosphere the patient is being exposed to. Detoxification, as defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health and Human Services Administration (SAMHSA), is “a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal.” This means that a number of different methods can be classified as detoxification. However, drug withdrawal can be extremely and difficult to endure, and therefore may not be included in the average family doctor job description.
If you do consult your family doctor about an addiction issue, they will most likely refer you to a local rehab detox center. Because withdrawal is such a difficult process, SAMHSA recommends supervised detoxification to prevent potentially life-threatening complications and also better ensure the success of the detoxification. However, if you are consulting your family doctor, it is important to be honest about the details of your or your loved one’s addiction: an alcohol detox center is going to focus on a different method of detoxification than rehab detox centers for harder drugs. Drugs like oxycodone, heroin, oxycontin, morphine and methadone may need to be treated with a special form of detoxification called suboxone treatment, which is performed at separate suboxone treatment centers.
The consequences of addiction affects individuals, families, friends and communities in a variety of ways. While detoxification can be a difficult process, it is an important and necessary step towards a life without alcohol or drugs. Are you or a loved one suffering from the effects of substance abuse? Contact your family doctor today to find a local treatment center. Research more like this: www.browarddoc.com
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