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Detox and Pre-Existing Conditions

Detox is not always a straightforward matter of treating an addiction to one drug. Often, other health concerns that require special considerations. When you check into detox, be sure  to tell them about all your health concerns, whether or not you think they are relevant to your addiction. It’s best to involve your primary care doctor too, if possible. The following are common conditions that require specialized treatment.

Mental health conditions. The co-occurrence of addiction and some other mental health challenge is high–somewhere around 50 percent. That is to say, about half of people seeking treatment for addiction will also require mental health treatment. Depression and anxiety are common challenges, but it may be something else, like schizophrenia or a personality disorder. Depression and anxiety are common withdrawal symptoms from many drugs. Anxiety typically occurs earlier and more reliably than depression. If depression and anxiety are solely caused by withdrawal, they will eventually go away as the brain chemistry returns to normal. If depression and anxiety were a problem before addiction, they require special attention during detox and treatment. This is especially important as recovery progresses because untreated mental health challenges are among the most common causes of relapse.

Heart disease. Common symptoms of withdrawal from many drugs–particularly alcohol, sedatives, and opioids–include elevated heart rate and blood pressure. These can worsen pre-existing heart problems and require special care. Be sure to tell the healthcare staff if you have a history or family history of heart disease. Some medications are effective for treating high blood pressure and heart rate during detox.

Chronic pain. In many cases, treatment of chronic pain is what led to addiction in the first place. For years, doctors over-prescribed opioid painkillers, believing them to be safe and non-addictive. Unfortunately, many patients ended up addicted and the pain came back anyway. Opioid detox is typically painful for anyone and it is likely to be more painful for people with chronic pain. Opioid withdrawal is not likely to be dangerous for people with chronic pain, but if the pain continues to be an issue, it may become a trigger for relapse. There are other ways to treat chronic pain and they should be part of addiction treatment. They may include physical or cognitive therapy, or they may include alternative approaches such as massage or acupuncture.

Recovering from addiction is rarely simple and never easy. When you are admitted to Gardens Wellness Center, our staff will ask you about your medical and psychiatric history to be sure you receive effective, individualized care. We have the resources to deal with challenges related to medical conditions, mental health challenges, and chronic pain. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at