In the addiction treatment center where I work as a therapist, I help many people who have come to treatment because they are facing Utah DUI charges. With the help of a Utah criminal defense lawyer, they soon find themselves relieved to have the option of treatment over jail.
However, most cannot go straight into residential treatment. Many must start in medical detox at a local hospital. This is because withdrawing from drugs can be a dangerous and even potentially deadly affair.
Alcohol is one of two major mind-altering drugs that can kill people in the withdrawal phase. Urum tremens, or delirium tremens, is a seizure state that can occur in withdrawals from heavy chronic alcohol consumption. While not everyone goes through this, a notable percentage does. Of those who do, many can die without treatment.
Benzodiazepines are the second class of drugs that leads to the most withdrawal deaths. Benzodiazepines include Xanaax and Valium. They are tranquilizer or anti-anxiety drugs that depress the central nervous system.
When someone has been using these drugs in high enough quantities over a long enough period of time, the withdrawals can be potentially fatal. The central nervous system kicks back into hyperdrive, over correcting, and can lead to extreme hypertension, stroke, or heart attack.
Finally, almost any drug used in sufficient quantities over time, while less likely than with alcohol or benzodiazepines, can lead to death in some cases. With stimulants, the blood pressure can plummet in withdrawals. With downers, the blood pressure can spike.
Regardless of the drug, it is important for addicts to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if medical detox is necessary. Trying to do it “cold turkey” at home could be the last mistake you ever make.