Detoxification in Drug Addictions

Detoxification therapy is the first step in the overall complex of drug addiction treatment. The elimination or neutralization of metabolites of the drug used helps to quickly improve the general physical condition and well-being of the patient, which makes it possible to move on to further stages of therapy coding and rehabilitation of drug addiction.


Strictly speaking, the main indication for detoxification is the fact of the use of narcotic drugs, regardless of whether they are “light” or “hard” drugs.

Speaking more specifically, a detoxification course is necessary in three cases:

  1. Acute drug poisoning. The fastest possible elimination of the narcotic substance and its toxic metabolites from the blood will help to normalize the functioning of the cardiovascular and / or respiratory systems as soon as possible, reducing the likelihood of developing acute critical conditions that could require urgent resuscitation measures.
  • Upcoming drug addiction treatment. As mentioned above, detoxification is required to improve the well-being of the patient, because otherwise he will be physically unable to undergo individual psychotherapy.
  • Treatment of the consequences of drug use. Sometimes narcotic substances cause permanent physical impairments that persist even after prolonged abstinence from drugs. So, for example, drugs of the opiate group can provoke severe skin itching, which is extremely difficult to eliminate by external means. In such a case, the patient will also need to undergo a course of detoxification cleaning.

Ways to detox

There are seven active detoxification methods that are used by modern drug addiction:

  1. Enter sorption: oral intake of sorbents (activated carbon, Enterosgel, etc.). The method has a very limited effectiveness: sorbents absorb drugs only in the gastrointestinal tract. If drugs were injected directly into the bloodstream or were taken orally more than three hours ago, then the use of enter sorption is meaningless.
  • Forced diuresis: intravenous administration of large volumes of gemodez, sodium chloride solution or 5% glucose solution. The resulting diuretic effect contributes to the rapid removal from the body of a significant proportion of toxic metabolites of narcotic substances.
  • Plasmapheresis: a hardware method during which a certain amount of blood is withdrawn from a patient, plasma is removed from it in a laboratory way, accumulating all toxic substances in itself, and then the purified blood is poured back into the patient’s bloodstream.
  • Hemosorption: the required amount of blood is also withdrawn from the patient, which is passed through a sorbent (activated carbon, ion exchange resins, etc.), and then returned to the circulatory system.
  • ILBI (intravenous laser blood irradiation): the blood stream is irradiated with a low-intensity laser beam that stimulates the breakdown and elimination of toxic substances. The detoxifying effect of ILBI is moderate, and therefore the method is used for mild drug poisoning.
  • UV blood: the method is similar to the ILBI method, but with the difference that the blood is exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
  • UROD (ultra-rapid opium detoxification): the patient is immersed in a state of anesthesia, after which his blood is purified by introducing the necessary pharmacological preparations. The main advantage of UROD: the patient skips the painful stage of withdrawal and wakes up after his body has been cleared of narcotic metabolites.

The choice of the optimal method of detoxification is determined by the attending narcologist in each case individually.

About home detox

At home, only enter sorption and forced diuresis are possible. Both methods are effective for mild drug poisoning or as a means of routine blood purification before upcoming coding.

In the case of acute drug intoxication, accompanied by damage to vital organs and functions, forced diuresis is used exclusively as a means of first aid so that doctors can take the patient alive to intensive care.

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