Drug & Alcohol Detox
Detoxification is a process most substance abusers go through before they can begin their full addiction treatment program. This program is usually performed separately from addiction treatment, especially if the individual is experiencing withdrawal symptoms that are severe, painful, or which otherwise make it difficult for the patient to focus on their recovery.
If you are currently going through withdrawal and need a safe, effective detox program to help you, call 800-662-HELP (4357) (Who Answers?) now. We can help you get into a detox center that’s right for you.
What is Detoxification Treatment?
Detoxification is a medical program that manages the physical and psychological symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal once an individual decides to stop their use of these dangerous substances.
A combination of medications, therapies, and other methods are used to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and to generally make the process less difficult and traumatic for the patient. Tests, including a full physical examination, are also performed so a doctor can get a sense of what the patient needs.
Certain medications may be given in detox and then gradually tapered off in order to minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms. These medications are often in the same class or mimic similar results to the drug the individual was abusing without causing euphoria and other problematic effects. For help finding a safe detox program that’s right for you, call 800-662-HELP (4357) (Who Answers?) .
Medical intervention such as the provision of medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms allow the patient to feel less of the aftermath of quitting and for the entire process to be much less painful and uncomfortable. These medications can help to reduce the rate of early relapse. In some cases, no specific medications are approved for the withdrawal syndrome as a whole, but certain drugs may be administered to treat specific symptoms as they occur.
As withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, the patient will no longer need to be given specific medications at all, or in cases in which an potentially habit forming drug was administered the individual will be weaned off the medication slowly. At this point, the individual is ready to begin addiction treatment.
How Long Does Detox Take?
Depending on the substance, detox can take anywhere from a few days to a week to a month or more. Some substances, like opioids, cause a syndrome that is uncomfortable and painful but is usually over in 6 to 8 days.
Cocaine and other stimulants, on the other hand, cause a much longer lasting withdrawal syndrome, and an individual is likely to still experience lingering effects even after their detox––and sometimes their entire addiction treatment regimen––has ended.
However, based on the medications you are given and how your doctor decides to treat you, your syndrome may be shortened or prolonged from the normal length of withdrawal time. This is because every individual goes through the process at their own rate, and different medications and other treatments may make your withdrawal faster or slower.
It is important to discuss this question with your doctor before you begin detox treatment.
Is Detox a Treatment Program for Addiction?
No. Even though you go through detox treatment and withdraws from the drug, this does not mean you are no longer addicted to it. Many will leave treatment early, right after detoxing, believing they are fully recovered from their substance abuse. These individuals often wind up relapsing back to drug use and even worse, overdosing on drugs or alcohol. This is why it is very important to understand the difference between detox and addiction treatment and to continue and finish the entire program.
Detoxification vs. Addiction Treatment
- Focuses only on the treatment of withdrawal symptoms
- Helps minimize the severity of these symptoms in the early stages of recovery
- Allows patients to quickly and safely move through the withdrawal process
- Is often used by programs that focus on complete abstinence from mind-altering substances as a goal
- Is the first step in addiction treatment, not the final goal
- Addiction Treatment
- Is a full, well-rounded treatment program that focuses on overall recovery, not just one’s withdrawal symptoms
- Utilizes both medication and behavioral therapy to treat addiction
- May contain maintenance treatment, which is different from detox
- Is the overall treatment program, for which detox is usually only the beginning
Why Is It Unsafe to Only Attend Detox?
Because detox treatment is only the first step in a long journey, you are putting yourself at serious risk by just attending this program and not continuing on to rehab. Relapse becomes much more likely for those who do not attend addiction treatment after detox has ended because, as stated before, they are still addicted to the drug and are still likely to return to its use as the result of cravings, triggers, pressures, and stresses in their lives.
In addition, many individuals who do detox and then relapse after not attending treatment are in danger of encountering deadly overdoses. Drugs like opioids, stimulants, and sedatives can cause respiratory depression, heart attack, stroke, and other effects when taken in incredibly high doses, and those who have gone through detox usually don’t realize their tolerances for their substance of choice has minimized considerably. As a result, they take a large amount of the drug they abuse and overdose.
Call 800-662-HELP (4357) (Who Answers?) to find a detox center and to learn more about how to attend one of these programs safely. We can help you find many detox facilities that provide safe and effective transition programs that will help you attend addiction rehab afterward.
Types of Detox Centers
Like rehab centers, detox facilities are either inpatient or outpatient based. Inpatient detox is necessary for those experiencing severe withdrawal effects such as seizures, hallucinations, severe depression, etc.
Certain substances, like alcohol, cocaine and other stimulants, sedatives, and others, may cause symptoms severe enough to require inpatient care. You may also just need to go to an outpatient center in order to receive the medication and care you need. We can help you find a treatment facility that will be able to attend to your needs and help you withdraw as safely as possible.
What to Expect in Detox
Detox will usually begin with your doctor evaluating the severity of your symptoms as well as taking tests to verify your current physical and psychological state. You will be given medication to go through withdrawal safely and to avoid experiencing severe or painful symptoms. Depending on the center you attend, you may receive additional treatment methods, including holistic options.
It is important to make sure that you call the detox center before you decide to attend treatment and ask:
- What treatment options do you provide?
- How long does your program last?
- Will you take my insurance?
- What is your program’s success rate with patients?
Slowly, you will be weaned off the medication as your withdrawal symptoms reduce. Then, once you are ready to discuss the process, you and your doctor can decide how to move on to addiction treatment and what type of program will be right for you.
Seek Detox Treatment Today
One of the quickest ways to go through withdrawal and transition into addiction treatment is to attend a professional detox program. It is also much safer to do this than to attempt to withdraw from the substance yourself. Call us at 800-662-HELP (4357) (Who Answers?) and we will help you find the detox program that will best suit your needs before you begin your official addiction rehab. This is your first step toward recovery; start today.