How Healthy Does Detox Get Me?

Detox is an important part of fighting addiction to drugs like Tramadol, but it’s only a single step toward recovery. Going through the detox process without follow-up treatment leaves out the dramatic psychological changes offered by evidence-based treatments.

Detoxification During Addiction Treatment

Medical detox from drugs and alcohol occurs in a variety of settings. Some people may go through the process at a hospital while others enter a treatment facility. In addition, some drugs require a more intense process than others. For example, people with severe addictions to alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines and barbiturates may need medications to alleviate painful or dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The process is also more complicated for people addicted to multiple substances, such as alcohol and cocaine.

Not all drugs require medically supervised detox. When a person takes stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines, etc.), hallucinogens (LSD, PCP) or aromatic petro-chemical inhalants, the withdrawal symptoms do not require intervention unless the person also takes alcohol, opioids or sedatives. Insurers also consider this information when admitting a patient for detox, so it’s important to speak to an admissions coordinator before stopping any drug. To be safe, do not attempt an unsupervised detox.[2]

The detox process incorporates several interventions. The purpose is to clear toxins from the body and limit the physical harm caused by substance abuse. A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) publication devoted to optimal detox describes the elements of the process including the following:

  • Patients should be evaluated by testing the blood to determine the presence and concentration of any substances. This process should also include a mental health screening and an assessment of the patient’s psychological and social needs.
  • The stabilization process then begins to support the patient through the medical and psychosocial process of ridding the system of toxins and reaching a medically stable substance-free state.
  • The patient is then prepared for the next stage of treatment through education and therapeutic interventions that emphasize the importance of continued treatment.

It is crucial to continue with treatment after the detox process. People in the initial stages of sobriety are physically weak and vulnerable to temptations to use again. Professional addiction treatment gives them the skills to fight cravings and therapeutic interventions that counteract negative thoughts and lead to rational decisions.

Addiction to drugs like Tramadol is a chronic disease that requires multiple treatments, particularly psychosocial help, to manage ongoing symptoms. People suffering with addiction experience cravings for drugs and alcohol and associate substance use with daily activities. Changing associations requires rewiring the brain to manage situations differently. Ridding the body of harmful substances prepares a person for healing, but the process is only just begun.

Addiction and Detoxification

Researchers continue to look for a cure to addiction to drugs like Tramadol, but the path to long-term sobriety is challenging. Addiction is a chronic disease—it exists due to changes in the brain from chronic substance use and behavioral and psychological factors. When a person uses drugs as a way to escape from her dysfunctional family, getting clean doesn’t fix her family problems. The detox process is a necessary first step to health, but when offered on its own, it is nothing more than a bandage covering a chronic wound. The societal and psychological problems that contribute to addiction must be addressed on multiple levels. For example, someone with depression who abuses alcohol needs treatment for both diseases to make progress. There are many evidence-based treatment for addiction that show good outcomes over time. To be effective, a person must stay in treatment until she can effectively manage her cravings and has an adequate support system to help her maintain sobriety.[3]

Need Help Finding Addiction Treatment?

Addiction is a brain disease with physical and behavioral components. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to drugs like Tramadol, there are many effective treatment options that offer healthy ways to cope with the disease. Do not let an addiction drag you further away from a healthy and fulfilling life. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at our toll-free helpline to offer options for effective treatment.

New research shows addiction is a highly treatable disease, despite the old ideas people may have about it. People who seek help learn skills that improve day-to-day life and enrich their relationships. Call us today, and start on the path to a better life.


[1] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment (TIP 45). Retrieved Jan. 17, 2016 from https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA06-4225/SMA06-4225.pdf.

[2] New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services. Addiction Services for Prevention, Treatment, Recovery. “Guidelines for Detoxification Triage.” Retrieved Jan. 17, 2016 from https://www.oasas.ny.gov/admin/hcf/documents/detoxguide.pdf.

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction. Retrieved Jan. 17, 2016 from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction.