If you have ever wondered about the term “detox”, you may have been looking for a detox center near me or detox programs. What does medically supervised detox mean and what does it involve?
Detox is a process that forms the foundation for future sobriety and recovery, and a medically supervised detox takes advantage of a safe, secure facility staffed with doctors and other medical professionals to help ensure as smooth a withdrawal process as possible.
Unfortunately, many people have a bad idea of detox programs. If you need to go to detox, then you should know how it works, what the process is, and what to expect. Rather than look at it as a terrible experience, you can view it completely differently. There is no reason to avoid treatment for addiction out of fear of detox and withdrawals.
At Find Addiction Rehabs we can connect you with medically assisted drug detox to help you get through your addiction and to the other side.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids include the following prescription pain medications:
In addition, the illicit drug heroin and synthetics like Fentanyl. These are known for high risks of misuse and addiction.
Why does Medically Supervised Detox help?
Substance abuse makes physical changes to your body, but also chemical changes in your brain. When you feel the need to drink or take drugs, it is because of this physical or chemical dependence. This is because your brain has developed a need for the substance.
This is why addiction is seen as a disease. Addiction is a disruption of how your body functions. This is why the first step in treating your addiction is to remove the substances from your body. You need to clean out your system. This is called detoxification. Detox varies from person to person, but overall there is usually a doctor overseeing the process the entire time.
What is Detox?
Detoxification, also known as detox, is the process of removing drugs from your body. The purpose of a medically assisted detox is to safely manage withdrawal symptoms. When you stop taking drugs or alcohol these can be mild, but they can also be extremely painful. This is why going through detox under the care of a professional is the best option.
What Happens During Withdrawal?
It can take days or months to get through withdrawal symptoms. For most people, it takes around 10-30 days, but the length of withdrawal depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Type of substance you are addicted to
- Length of your addiction
- Severity of your addiction
- Method of abuse (whether snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing)
- The amount of a substance you need to take at one time
- Family history
- Genetic makeup
- Medical condition
- Underlying mental health conditions
Detoxing at Home
Choosing to detox at home can be deadly. Although many people suggest quitting “cold turkey” this is not a good option. Quitting cold turkey means quitting without medical supervision, which can lead to serious issues. Some of these issues include seizures and severe dehydration.
Why choose Medically Supervised Detox?
Instead of detoxing at home, there are medical detox programs that can help to prevent these complications. There are inpatient and outpatient detox programs so that you have variation. Despite this, people with severe addictions should always seek inpatient detox. This is essential because withdrawal can be fatal. Inpatient detox includes 24-hour support and monitoring.
Because of the opioid epidemic in the United States, communities across the country have begun to face increased demands for prevention and substance use services. The CDC has stated the following:
- Heroin use more than doubled in the past decade with young adults
- More than 90 percent of people who use heroin also use another drug
- 45 percent of people who use heroin are also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers
- Prescription opioid drug overdoses tripled in three years.
One of the most effective methods to combat this crisis is medication-assisted treatment, known as MAT. Behavioral health organizations are increasingly utilizing this evidence-based practice.
What is Medication Assisted Treatment?
This treatment program is when medications such as buprenorphine and methadone are used to effectively treat opioid use disorders. In addition, extended-release naltrexone has also been approved for the treatment of opioid dependence. This has shown great evidence of being effective.
Naloxone has become an increasingly important component. This has helped to combat opioid overdose and death. Increasing access to these and other medications is helping to solve the issue of the opioid epidemic. Those who have been using Medication assisted treatment, can truly see the difference.
Drugs Used in Medication assisted treatment
Using medications for addiction treatment (Medication assisted treatment) includes:
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex, Zubsolv, Probuphine)
These drugs help to help treat opioid addiction, by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings and helping to prevent relapse. Research has shown this is one of the most effective means of treating opioid disorders and maintaining long-term recovery.
How Medication Assisted Treatment Programs Can Help
When you stop using drugs or alcohol you may feel sick. This sickness is known as withdrawal. Along with intense cravings, withdrawal is a hallmark of opioid addiction. This can make recovery especially difficult.
Medication assisted treatment helps you to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Using medication assisted treatment also allows the body to heal, and for you to get back to your daily life.
- Focus on returning to your life activities
- Focus on responsibilities
- Rebuild relationships in healthier ways
- Learning to live without opioids getting in the way.
- Address cravings and withdrawal
- Use a comprehensive treatment approach
- Utilize therapy or counseling to address behavioral issues
- Prevent relapse
The Process of Detoxification at a Medical Detox Center
When going through detox everyone has different needs. Most often through, drug detox involves three steps.
- When you first go to treatment the medical team will screen you. This is important because the team needs to know about all the physical and mental health issues that you might have.
- If they do not know about your health issues, then they will not be able to treat you properly.
- You should also assume that you will be given a blood test.
- This is done to measure the number of drugs in your system and determine how much detox medication is needed.
Stabilization through Medically Supervised Detox
The next step is to become stabilized. This needs to be done with both medical and psychological therapy. The goal of stabilization is to prevent any form of harm. You may then go into medication assisted treatment, and do so to prevent complications and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Preparing Entry into Treatment
This is the final step. You should expect to meet the doctor, and be familiarized with the treatment process. It is known that inpatient rehab offers the best chances of success after detox, even and especially after medically supervised detox.
Side Effects of Detox
The process of drug detox can be painful and dangerous. This is why it is extremely important to go through medical detox. This will allow you to detox in a safe and comfortable environment. Supervision is different when it comes to inpatient versus outpatient services.
Medically supervised detox can greatly prevent dangerous complications of drug and alcohol withdrawal. Although medical detox limits the symptoms of withdrawal, some are unavoidable. The most common side effects include:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Body discomfort
- Mood swings
- Poor sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
Drug Detox During Pregnancy
When a pregnant woman is addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is essential to quit for the sake of the baby. Not only can this harm the mother, but also the unborn child as these substances cross the placenta to the baby.
When detox is done without tapering down, the baby may go into preterm labor or severe fetal distress. Detox with medical supervision is completely necessary for pregnant women. Withdrawal symptoms can be harmful to the fetus, so the goal of detox for pregnant women is to prevent relapse and manage pain.
Detox specialists can keep babies safe and healthy. This can be done by treating pregnant women in detox. Doctors often prescribe medications to stabilize pregnant women in detox. Typically alcohol and opiate detox pose the most risks to unborn children.
Detox by Drug Type
Detox is more difficult for some people depending on the drugs they used. It can be physical or mental.
- Cocaine withdrawal: Psychological, involves managing cravings and anxiety.
- Alcohol withdrawal: Physical symptoms that can cause seizures or death in some cases.
Detox often usually includes medications that mimic the effects of drugs to reduce withdrawal symptoms. These medications may also target co-occurring disorders or general discomfort.
Drugs that are most dangerous to detox from:
Drugs considered the most uncomfortable to detox from:
The Risk of Rapid Detox
Rapid detox is a method of removing substances from the body in a faster method than other forms of detox. This is a bad way to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and they typically will come on very strong.
- Rapid detox can be dangerous
- Rapid detox can be expensive
- Rapid detox is done in a medical facility
- You will be sedated with anesthesia and given medications
- These will work to replace the drugs in the body
- This method was originally developed for people addicted to opiate drugs
- It works best for drugs like heroin and painkillers
- The risks of rapid detox often outweigh the benefits
- “Ultra-rapid detox” programs can take as little as a few hours
- 1 in 500 people dies from ultra-rapid detox
- Traditional rapid detox programs take about two to three days to complete
- There is less danger in traditional rapid detox, but it can cost up to $10,000
- Rapid detox is not recommended nor covered by insurance
- Most people who complete rapid or ultra-rapid detox report continuation of withdrawal symptoms
- Patients who choose rapid or ultra-rapid detox are much less likely to continue on in treatment
- Most rapid detox patients do not end up attending inpatient or outpatient rehab
- Rapid detox patients are less likely to work on prevention, co-occurring mental health conditions, and life planning
- Rapid detox frequently results in relapse, a result of less social support for recovery
Risks of Rapid Detox
- Heart attack
- High body temperature
Common Detox Fears
Many people are not scared of treatment, but the initial detox treatment portion is daunting. Withdrawing from a substance can be painful, and therefore it is good to debunk common fears of detox.
- Fear of withdrawal symptoms or pain: The most common fear is fear of pain or symptoms. Going through a proper detox program means you will be in a safe, humane, and properly supervised situation and staff.
- Fear of the future: You may be afraid of what happens next. This is a natural reaction when facing the reality of addiction. You may also be going through other important life events. It’s okay to be afraid, and our staff can help get you through it. We will support you through the entire detox and treatment process.
- Fear of the unknown: This is a completely rational fear, and we grow accustomed to dealing with our addictions. You may think that this is your life and nothing will ever change. Going to detox gives you the fear of the possibility of that state being changed. It can trigger fears. You never know what your life will become, but it will get better.
When facing any of these fears, remember that there is a better life out there. You must go through fear to reach it.
Move on to the Next Chapter
Detox is the beginning of rehabilitation. It’s the second step, after admitting to yourself, on the road to recovery. The first is asking for help and once you have done that you are getting halfway there.
Because of both medications and clinical supervision, the detox process has become a safe, empowering experience. If you are afraid of going to detox, give us a call and we can help to show you the light.
Life After Addiction
Detox is just the first part of addiction treatment. Contact us today to learn about what we can offer you at Find Addiction Rehabs. There is no day but today to get started on your life after addiction.