Alcohol is the most “respectable” of addictive drugs. Patients fresh out of cocaine rehab centers can’t walk into a convenience store and grab more cocaine off the shelves. People who have had prescription drug addiction treatment at least need to get doctor approval for future medications. But alcohol is used openly by the best citizens,
Getting rid of a chemical addiction (or even just a growing dependence) is always a struggle, but never more so than when your addiction is to alcohol. Your peers probably don’t pass around heroin injectors at suburban parties; waiters in classy restaurants don’t ask if you’d like cocaine with your meal—but “won’t you have a glass of wine?” is an everyday question in the most respectable of settings.
Ah, Los Angeles—the city of Hollywood glamour and dream-chasing where youngsters from all over the U.S. have gone to seek their fortunes. Unfortunately, the “Los Angeles” image isn’t always so positive—especially as this is written in mid-December 2017, when the first suggestions you get from entering “Los Angeles” into a search engine are likely to involve record-breaking wildfires and tens of thousands of acres of scorched earth.
There’s a big difference between “sobering up” from one night on the town and full detox from alcohol addiction—and not realizing the difference can literally kill you. While “withdrawal” is invariably an unpleasant experience regardless of the drug involved, certain forms of withdrawal are considered particularly risky—and at the top of the list are benzodiazepine detox,
Perhaps because much of the public hears only about the horrors of withdrawal and the occasional scandal involving corrupt detox centers, many people who could be helped by drug and alcohol detox are afraid to try it. It’s time to set the record straight.
Misconception #1: Detox programs treat you like a commodity.
What picture comes to mind when you hear “drug detox center”? A roomful of people groaning on cots in the fetal position? An assembly line that guides patients through the worst of withdrawal, then turns them out with admonitions to “stay clean”?
Although most people can now easily find a drug or alcohol detox center in their area—Googling “drug rehab Orange County,” for instance,
If you suspect you have a drug-addiction problem, you may be aware of the dangers of “just stopping” but unsure of what professional help could really do for you. Well, professional detox treatment centers can do quite a bit:
1. Drug detox centers evaluate people physically and psychologically.
Since a high percentage of people with substance addiction also have co-occurring mental illness,
The idea of doing drug and alcohol detox at home is popular these days—unfortunately. It’s never safe to detox without medical advice, and the most commonly used addictive substance, alcohol, is also one of the most dangerous substances to attempt home detox from. Common risks include delirium, seizures, irregular heart rate and severe dehydration.
Ron Gad was born and raised in Los Angeles. At age 18, he left Southern California on what ended up being a multi-year, life-enriching adventure away from LA. He lived in New York state, where he graduated from Syracuse University and remained to teach high school English.