Drug Detox – Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment Programs
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What Is Detox?
Types of Detox
Duration of Drug Detox
First Stage of Detox
Detox Is the First Step to Recovery
Find a Detox Program
Drug detox is the first step towards recovery, and is an integral component of many comprehensive rehab programs that offer all the tools required for abuse substance rehabilitation. The focus of any detoxification period is both the psychological and physical healing that takes place after long-term drug addiction.
Many residential treatment centers – whether they offer standard rehabilitation or more private, luxury or executive treatment – incorporate a structured detox period at the beginning of a 30-, 60- or 90-day treatment period.
What Is Drug Detox?
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Detox is the process your body goes through as it rids itself of any drugs left in the system. During this process, your body may begin to experience a number of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
These withdrawal symptoms occur as the body is suddenly coping without the constant presence of drugs that it has grown accustomed to. In detox treatment programs, your withdrawal symptoms can be carefully monitored and often minimized with medications.
Drug Detox – Just One Part of the Whole Equation
It is important to note that detox alone is not sufficient treatment for drug addiction – no matter what your drug of choice. Whatever type of treatment program you choose, drug detox is usually followed by some combination of group and individual therapy.
Because addiction is both physical and psychological in nature, it is imperative that you also undergo counseling to better manage your cravings and behaviors that have developed as a result of long-standing drug abuse.
Group and individual counseling can help safeguard against relapse by providing social support as well as behavioral modification techniques.
If you would like to learn more about the detox and addiction treatment resources available to you or if you need assistance determining which type of rehab program will best treat your issues with drug abuse and addiction, contact us today at 1-888-744-0789.
Drug Detoxification Withdrawal Symptoms
Different classes of drugs can mean different sets of withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, the specific withdrawal syndrome experienced and its intensity will also vary from person to person depending upon:
- The length of addiction.
- The combination of drugs abused, including alcohol.
- The average amount of drugs being used at the time you enter detox.
- The existence of co-occurring physical or mental disorders.
There are, however, some broad commonalities among withdrawal symptoms for most drugs. These frequently encountered withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Mood disturbances. This can mean mood swings, irritability or agitation.
- Sleep disturbances. Despite intense fatigue, insomnia is still a common withdrawal symptom.
- Physical effects. Physical effects may include chills, sweating, tremors and flu-like symptoms – including runny nose and headache, nausea and vomiting.
- Cravings. The desire to use your drug of choice in order to stop the withdrawal symptoms is usually strong when your body is going through withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, opioid medications and benzodiazepines, for example, can cause seizures and auditory or visual hallucinations during the detox period.
Heroin and other opioids can also cause muscle and joint pain.
If you are detoxing from stimulant drugs such cocaine and crystal meth, depression and suicidal thoughts may also be significant issues.
Safest Way to Detox
No matter what drug you are needing to recover from, detox at a medical facility is always a safe choice. This is especially true in situations where the recovering individual has significant coexisting medical or mental health issues.
On rare occasions, withdrawal symptoms can lead to complications and serious health issues that require immediate medical attention. For this reason, it is not usually recommended that patients attempt detox at home.
Instead, enrolling in an inpatient detox program can provide you with 24-hour medical assistance, ongoing medical monitoring and often a therapeutic follow-up program or support group.
Types of Detox
There are a number of different types of detox and, depending upon the drug of choice and the withdrawal symptoms experienced by the patient, different types of detox may be more or less appropriate.
Outpatient or Inpatient Detox
Detox programs may either occur on an outpatient (non-residential) or an inpatient (residential) basis.
In some cases where medication is available by prescription or a specialized clinic (e.g., methadone clinics) will provide close follow-up and acceptable detox care, then an outpatient program may be a valid option. In instances where money is an issue or the patient must stay engaged at work or home, checking in regularly with an outpatient detox clinician can ensure that you are being provided with adequate treatment.
In many cases, inpatient or residential detox is preferred in order to help patients avoid relapse and make sure that they have medical care in the event of an emergency. Most structured detox programs are inpatient and many of them will be packaged with an ongoing inpatient or residential addiction treatment program that will resume formal substance abuse treatment once detox is completed.
Drug Experiences That Do Best with Inpatient Detox
If you are attempting detox from certain types of substances – such as opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines and other sedatives – it may be safest for you to consider inpatient drug detox programs. Inpatient programs provide 24/7 residential care to most effectively meet the medical and psychological needs you’ll have during detox.
1. Opioid Detox
Opioid detox is a bit different than detox options provided for other substances of abuse and addiction. There are medications that have been FDA-approved specifically for the treatment of opioid addiction and have given rise to a number of different opioid detox treatment approaches.1 Whether heroin or prescription painkillers are the opioid drug of choice, inpatient care and possible medication support are both recommended for optimum safety.
2. Alcohol Detox
When withdrawal symptoms are experienced from a sudden stop to drinking patterns, there can also be significant physical complications. Whether the individuals also has a coexisting medical or mental health disorder, residential care is also recommended to maximize the safety of the body’s detox phase.
3. Psychological Withdrawal During Detox
Some drugs have few specific or significant physical withdrawal symptoms but cause intense psychological withdrawal symptoms. Detox from stimulant drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine, for example, can result in serious depression and suicidal thoughts. Inpatient detox can help ensure the safety of the patient in these cases.
Duration of Drug Detox
The goals of detox need to be met in order for detox to be considered as complete. These goals include:
- Safely helping you stop the abuse of addictive substances.
- Supporting you through withdrawal symptoms.
- Preparing you physically and mentally for the work that lies ahead in therapy.
In some cases, antidepressant medications or antipsychotics may be necessary if you struggle with coexisting conditions of depression or other mental health issues. Finding a stable dose on these medications will help prepare you to begin the process of working through other issues that may be driving your addiction issues or making them worse.
It is important to note that not every patient will successfully complete detox on the first try. In some cases, multiple attempts will be made before sobriety takes hold. Addiction commonly involves relapse and is often chronic by nature.
The First Stage of Drug Detox
The first hours and days of detoxification can be intense for many patients. In a medical recovery setting, medical and psychiatric staff members will be on hand around-the-clock to provide effective support. Any number of issues can come up for patients in their first few hours of detox, and the most urgent need will be addressed first. The treatment team will address any subsequent developments to arise throughout the detox process until full stabilization has been established. Some examples of possible issues include:
Symptoms of psychosis+
The potential for patients to behave erratically and possibly hurt others or themselves may be increased if:
- The patient’s been awake for days under the influence of a stimulant drug.
- There is a coexisting mental health condition present.
- Substance-induced psychosis is an issue.
It’s important to address this issue before proceeding with treatment.
Threat to self+
Once these acute issues have been assessed and identified during evaluation, these individuals will be immediately treated until they have been stabilized. At that time, attention and focus can turn to dealing proactively with withdrawal symptoms associated with detox.
Drug Detox Medication Approaches
Depending upon the drug you’ve become dependent on, you may likely find you have more than one option in drug detox method you can choose. There is no one right method for everyone. Rather, your drug of choice, the dose you are taking at the time you start detox, the length of time you have been using the drug and whether or not you are also using other drugs will determine the type of detox that is most appropriate for you.
A “cold turkey” detox means stopping your use of all drugs and substances on your own without any medications – and sometimes even without any medical supervision to aid you in case of an emergency. Without any pharmacological assistance whatsoever, you will experience the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms for as long they last. For some drugs, these withdrawal symptoms can be quite intense and can last for a couple of weeks or longer. Withdrawal symptoms for other drugs may not be as physically difficult.
No matter what type of drug detox method you choose, it’s important that you opt for one that is done under the supervision of a medical professional and is followed up with psychotherapeutic treatment – or counseling. Contact us at 1-888-744-0789 today to find a drug rehab program that can provide you with what you need to leave addiction behind.
Medications can be extremely effective in helping patients to safely stop abusing drugs and alcohol. Medications may:
- Facilitate a gentler withdrawal experience by accommodating changes in the brain from chronic drug abuse.
- Help to mitigate drug cravings.
Research is ongoing in this area, and there are even vaccines in development that may one day help people avoid even experiencing the addictive high that often triggers addiction.2
Not all substances of addiction have medications that are approved for use during the withdrawal process, however, the following drugs may assist with detox3:
Drug Detox at Home
One common question among those who want to find the quickest, easiest way to recovery is, “Is it possible to go through drug detox at home?”
The short answer is yes – it is possible. However, for many substances, it might not be safe. Additionally, without the support of a treatment team, it may be less effective. Here’s why:
When you build up a physical dependence upon a drug or alcohol, your body comes to expect that you will continually maintain a certain supply of the substance in your blood stream. It adjusts its production of certain chemicals accordingly and – should you abruptly stop supplying that substance – withdrawal symptoms begin.
The detox experience can be extremely unpleasant, and in some cases life-threatening, depending upon:
- The drug(s) being detoxed from.
- The coexistence of underlying medical conditions (which you may unaware of).
- The dose you are at when you stop taking the drug and other drugs you use regularly.
The other half of addiction – in addition to the physical dependence – is a psychological dependence upon your drug of choice. Cravings are fierce during detox. You’ll want the drug more than you’ve ever wanted anything before during this detox period. As you are dealing with extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, it can often feel like too much temptation to resist the drug – knowing that all you have to do to feel better is to go back your drug of choice.
Unfortunately, many people who attempt to detox at home end up overdosing when they relapse. Their body chemistry changes during the sober period, and they can no longer tolerate as high of a drug dose as that which they routinely took before getting off the drug. In attempt to more quickly get rid of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, they often end up taking too much of the drug.
Drug Detox Kits Are Dangerous
Drug detox kits are available for a wide range of prices and based on any number of different philosophies. Some require you to take a handful of supplements each day for months on end, each one more costly than the last. Others require you to change everything about your lifestyle or conform to a certain set of religious standards.
Drug detox kits are generally not safe because they do not take into consideration your personal needs. If you are diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health disorder or living with an active dependence upon a very high dose of an addictive drug – or multiple drugs – there is no medical care available to come to your aid in the event of a complication. Should you relapse, your chances of overdose may be extremely high and, again, there is no one there to help you.
Professional Detox Is Safe and Effective
It is safer and far more effective to undergo drug detox under the supervision of medical professionals rather than independently. Call 1-888-744-0789 to find a rehabilitation program that can provide you with a drug detox program that fits your needs and circumstances. Make a solid first step towards your recovery with the help of someone who can guide you through your options.
Drug Detoxification Is the First Step to Recovery
Detox alone is only the first part of treatment for addiction to any drug, including alcohol.
In many cases, pre-existing psychological issues or events that led to addictive behavior in the first place need to be addressed through therapy once the withdrawal symptoms have passed, and the drug toxins are no longer in the body. Examples of such psychological issues or events may include:
- Past sexual trauma.
- Past violent attacks.
- Grief or depression.
- Major life changes, including divorce or loss of employment.
- Coexisting mental health conditions.
If you have any of these issues, they will need to be addressed in therapy. Effective therapies that have been used in such cases may include5:
- Personal therapy. Individual, one-on-one therapy is often where the real work on underlying issues will occur.
- Family therapy. Family members can make or break effectiveness of treatment. Therapy that addresses problems at home will increase the chances of success.
- Medical services. For chronic illnesses or coexisting medical and mental health conditions, proper medical care can help you avoid destructive self-medication with drugs and alcohol.
- Educational classes. Learning the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and body can help you avoid relapse.
- Relapse prevention. Creating an actionable plan to implement when faced with temptation will further increase your chances of avoiding relapse.
- Life skills classes. Learning how to function and keep up with normal responsibilities will help you feel more in control and less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol.
Drug Rehab Facility Types
As you explore your drug treatment options, you will find you have a few different facility types available to you that offer detox and rehab:
- Luxury rehab programs offer 24/7 residential addiction treatment alongside a wide array of high-end, resort-like amenities designed to make your recovery process as comfortable as possible.
- Executive rehab programs provide many of the same luxuries as luxury addiction treatment – only they also offer the resources and program structure that allow you to maintain an active involvement in your place of work throughout your recovery.
- Standard rehab programs provide quality addiction treatment in either an inpatient (residential) or outpatient (non-residential) facility. These programs do not offer the same plush amenities offered by luxury and executive programs – however, they also come at a lower price tag and are often more affordable for many individuals needing treatment.
Learn More and Find the Best Detox Today
Whether you are experiencing physical or mental withdrawal symptoms today or are wanting to get started in the process of detox – there is a drug detox program that that is right for you and your circumstances. Call 1-888-744-0789 for more information or to get started on your path towards healing and recovery.
- Fishbain, D. A., Rosomoff, H. L, Cutler, R. (1993). Opiate detoxification protocols. A clinical manual. Ann Clin Psychiatry, 5(1), 53-65.
- Kinsey, B. (2014). Vaccines against drugs of abuse: where are we now? Ther Adv Vaccines, 2(4), 106-17.
- DrugFacts: Treatment approaches for drug addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- Buprenorphine: potential for abuse. (2004). National Drug Intelligence Center.
- Principles of drug abuse treatment for criminal justice populations – a research-based guide. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Don't hesitate to call if you're considering a executive Drug Detox center for yourself, a friend or a family member. Delaying will make a difficult situation even worse so please call today before dependence proves disastrous to you or the people you love. Our no-charge luxury Drug Detox help lines are available round the clock to help you find the addiction treatments you want in the comfort you deserve.