Detoxing differs from methadone and Suboxone treatments because it requires the patient go cold turkey and get clean naturally from all substances. Methadone and Suboxone are options for people who are addicted to opioid drugs, as they are also derived from opiates, but do not have the same harmful effects as their addictive counterparts.
Detoxification is the process of the body rejecting all of the toxins that have been ingested. People practice food detoxes and cleanses when they want to purify their bodies of unhealthy foods, and only replenish themselves with healthy, clean nutrients. Drug detoxification is similar in that it allows the body to purge all of the toxins from substance use, and become independent from them in a clean and natural way. This process takes time because different substances stay in the human body for different periods of time. Urine drug tests work because they can identify the presence of drugs in the body in the past few days. Hair strand tests can trace drugs further back in time, like a matter of weeks or months, because of how slowly hair grows. By detoxing the body, a drug addict is able to expel all of the toxins left behind by their drug use, leaving them clean and less likely to crave the drugs again.
Detoxing requires going cold turkey. It means drug use ends the moment detox begins, and it is hard. Drug addicts experience withdrawal, which can be very painful and uncomfortable. It often involves chills, sweating, fever and muscle and body aches. Some rehab facilities have saunas where patients can sweat out the toxins, which can make detoxing easier.
In addition to the detoxification process, it is recommended that recovering addicts find productive things to do in order to avoid succumbing to the cravings. Exercise is a healthy way to engage the mind and body and stay away from drugs. The key is to find something healthy to replace the cravings with, rather than becoming dependent on another substance, like cigarettes for example. Finding a healthy replacement for the recreational use of drugs is a strong way to steer clear of them.
Methadone and Suboxone provide alternative treatments to drug recovery. Depending on the drug in question, weaning off of it completely can be extremely difficult. Some drugs have such harsh effects on the brain and the way the brain operates that getting clean of them is nearly impossible. Detoxing from them is too difficult, so doctors have created synthetic drugs that offer comparable satisfying results without all of the destruction associated with drugs. By recovering from opioid drug addiction, like dependency on heroin, through one of these therapies, the patient can live a clean and fulfilled life off of drugs. They will require methadone or Suboxone treatments regularly, possibly for the rest of their lives, but they won’t suffer the negative health results or lifestyle consequences of drug addiction. Discussing the specifics of your drug addiction with your doctor and addiction counsellor will help you decide which route is the best for you.