Medical detox is an awesome step in the move towards a drug-free life for people struggling with addiction. This process entails restoring the body to its original state, i.e. in the state, it was before the patient got hooked on substances.
Normally, Medical detox is a 3 step process, which if followed strictly, prepares the individual for full treatment and recovery from substance abuse. The best thing about medical detox is that it deals with withdrawal symptoms, which is also the hardest step for people seeking treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. It is this role in the addiction treatment process that makes medical detox appear similar to MAT (medically assisted treatment).
However, medical detox is not exactly the same as MAT. One of the major differences between the two is that medical detox aims to restore the body to its original state by clearing the brain and body of drugs. On its part, MAT aims to block the effects of getting rid of these substances from the body.
The other difference between the two is that medical detox prepares the body for psychosocial treatment, while MAT incorporates it. This treatment entails helping the patient get used to a life without drugs. For instance, once the body is back in its pre-drugs state, the patient can be helped establish social connections that don’t trigger them to relapse. While this is not part of medical detox toolkit, the patient is fully prepared for this step after undergoing detox. In essence medical detox prepares the body for MAT, and other forms of treatment to take over.
Nonetheless, the two of them are similar in a number of ways. The most important of them is that they both use drugs that are approved by authorities. For instance, in the U.S.A, both medical detox and MAT use drugs that are approved by the FDA. They are both recognized as legal medical procedures in the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions.
For an individual dealing with alcohol addiction, it is best to go through both medical detox and MAT. This is the best bet in dealing completely with the problem of drug addiction. Not only does it make the process less painful, but one also emerges as a better person, ready to face the world drug-free. For context, the biggest problem that addicts face is that of excessive withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be so severe, that an addict may need specialized care. This turns off most people from seeking treatment for addiction. With medical detox, withdrawal symptoms are dealt with in a manner that is easy on the patient.
Once the patient is past this stage, the next step is to ensure that they stay the course, by avoiding relapsing as a result of cravings. This is dealt with by MAT, where the patient is treated with drugs that inhibit such cravings. They are taken through counseling therapy. A result is a drug-free person, who is ready to face life afresh. Without a combination of these two treatments, a patient is very likely to relapse.