Last Updated on by Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley
As a parent, you are struggling with how to help your child with drug addiction and wonder if he needs medical detox or will drug rehab be enough.
The answer is, as a parent, you may just not know the answer to that question and that’s okay! You may not know what drug(s) your son is taking, in what quantity, through what route of administration and for how long. Even if you believe you do have the knowledge, your son may not be completely forthcoming with you. It is best to have your son complete a drug addiction screen to ensure he receives the most appropriate level of care – whether it be medical detox or drug rehab.
A person is said to be “dependent” on a drug if the person is going to have uncomfortable physiological symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Many times a person will continue taking the drug, not because they believe that it is helping them, but because stopping the drug will be very painful for them and will possibly prevent them from working or doing their normal activities for days or even weeks.
A person is said to struggle with drug addiction if the person not only is dependent but is drinking alcohol or taking the drug because of the way it makes them feel and gets them “high”. If they stop drinking or taking the drug, they will not only have uncomfortable physiological symptoms but will also have emotional issues.
A medical detox is where a person goes to an inpatient medical center for their drug withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal. Some drugs are dangerous to detox from without medical supervision or a medical detox. These drugs include alcohol and benzodiazepines. Other drugs such as opiates, cocaine and amphetamines may not pose a danger to stop using, but can cause extreme withdrawal symptoms that people have a difficult time tolerating.
Detox is short for detoxification. Detoxification is the removing of toxins (poisons or harmful things) from the body. Drugs and alcohol are toxins. Medical detox means that the detoxification process is done under medical supervision. However, the product of a successful medical detox is not the total elimination of all the toxins from the body or the elimination of any cravings for the drug or alcohol. The product of a successful medical detox is that the person, in a more comfortable way, no longer has any medical risks caused by no longer taking the drug or drinking alcohol. The person is then ready to go into a drug rehab facility or, if the person was just dependent, return to their life.
In America, some 22.7 million individuals need treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. But every year, less than 1% receive the help they need. You don’t need to be physically addicted to a substance to need drug rehab. If substance abuse is causing negative effects in your life, you are a candidate for a drug rehab program.
Below are signs that drug rehab is warranted for your son:
• You have driven a car while high or intoxicated
• Your doctor tells you that you have health problems as a result of your drug or alcohol use.
• Your friends and family have asked you to stop using drugs or drinking.
• Your freedom has been threatened due to choices you have made under the influence (i.e. jail)
• You have harmed yourself or others while under the influence.
• You have lost your job or been kicked out of school due to drug- or alcohol-related issues
• You have tried to quit but been unable to do so for any length of time.
• You have lied about your drinking or drug use.
• You want to stop drinking or using drugs but don’t know how.
Drug rehab refers to programs which seek to help a person addicted to drugs or alcohol overcome their psychological and emotional need for the drug or alcohol. As previously mentioned, a qualified professional conducting a drug addiction screen will be able to assess the need for medical detox or drug rehab. This person can also assist in determining if your son is solely drug dependent or is a drug addict.
For more information on medical detox, drug rehab and drug addiction, please contact Revive Detox of Los Angeles, CA at (844) 467-3848.
Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley is the CEO and Founder of Revive Detox, a Joint Commission Accredited and Legit Script Certified Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in Los Angeles in 2007 and has extensive experience working in the addiction and recovery field and the LGBT community. To learn more about Dr. Calvert-Conley click here.