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    Drug Detox Program


    Drug Detox Program, Process and Effects

    Drug Detox Program

    A comfortable drug detox program is the natural process of ridding a substance from the body.  However, a professional drug detox program, also sometimes referred to as “medically managed withdrawal,” entails using a set of interventions (such as medications and other therapies) to safely manage the side effects accompanying quitting drugs.  Drug detox aims to minimize the potential physical harm that may result from stopping a medication (or drugs) after a sustained period of use.

    It’s critical to realize the difference between a professional detox program and substance abuse rehabilitation.  However, ”detox” and “rehab” are often used interchangeably; substance abuse rehabilitation involves a conglomeration of ongoing services that aim to socially and psychologically rehabilitate someone suffering from drug abuse. 

    On the other hand, medical detox centers seek to medically stabilize patients, minimize their withdrawal symptoms, prevent the potentially harmful effects of withdrawal, and help them transition into a substance abuse rehabilitation program or another form of continued care.

    Side Effects of Drug Detox Program

    Those undergoing drug detox may experience symptoms and side effects of drug withdrawal. Side effects will depend on the substance of choice, but common side effects of drug detox may include:

    • Mood changes such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, and agitation
    • Body changes such as flu-like symptoms, shaking, nausea, and headaches
    • Cravings, particularly for the drug they are attempting to quit
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    Process of Drug Detox Program

    Professional detoxification from alcohol and other drugs involves three essential components.

    • Evaluation is where the clinical professionals at a detoxification center thoroughly assess patients’ physical and psychological condition and history.  The initial assessment may determine a person’s acute intoxication and withdrawal potential, biomedical needs, and more.  The clinical professionals can recommend a detoxification level of care from this assessment and create an individualized treatment plan.
    • Stabilization entails going to a detox center following an individualized treatment plan and its prescribed therapies and medications to assist a patient through a safe withdrawal experience.
    • They foster a patient’s entry into longer-term substance abuse treatment, which can increase a person’s chances of sustaining their recovery and avoiding relapse.  Detox alone is rarely sufficient to help a person maintain long-term recovery as it doesn’t address the complex psychological and social aspects of substance use. A decisive goal of detoxification treatment is to prepare clients for their next ideal phase of rehabilitation, which may be short-term residential treatment, long-term residential treatment, or outpatient care.

    Although these are some of the most standard components and goals of detoxification, patients’ individual goals, duration of treatment, and overall treatment processes may vary.  Detoxification is a professional detoxification facility that may also involve various medications to help patients manage their withdrawal symptoms safely, comfortably, and in a controlled environment.

    Drug Detox Program
    An alcohol or Drug Detox Program is generally the first step in one’s recovery treatment process.

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    Drug Detox Program and Tapering

    Tapering consists of weaning a person off medication to ease withdrawal symptoms.  This typically involves clinical staff administering medications in slowly decreasing doses following a specific schedule.  The technique is sometimes used when medications are administered for benzodiazepine, alcohol, or opioid withdrawal.  Tapering requires that clinical professionals in a drug detox environment exercise their best judgment and employ tools and protocols when making decisions about tapering.

    Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey

    Quitting one or multiple drugs “cold turkey,” or all at once, can prove dangerous for specific substances.  For example, alcohol can cause seizures, delirium, diarrhea, and sometimes death when stopped abruptly after chronic, long-term use.  Abruptly quitting opioids is rarely fatal, but suddenly stopping them can cause uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, and more.  Moderate to the severe withdrawal of opioids also often include drug cravings.  Experiencing these suddenly often prompts a person to relapse and return to opioid use.

    Therefore, it’s a good idea to consult a physician before quitting any cold-turkey drug.  It may also be helpful to contact a drug detox center to determine whether or not a medically managed detox program is right for you.

    Different Types of Drug Detox Program

    There are various professional detoxification programs to fit a patient’s clinical needs.  Many drug detox programs employ the “medical model” of detoxification, which means a clinical staff made up of physicians and nurses use certain medications to help people safely detox.

     Detox can take place in a wide variety of settings and at varying levels of intensity.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration identifies five detoxification “placement levels of care” within the detoxification realm of treatment, including:

    • Ambulatory Detoxification Without Extended On-Site Monitoring:  This detoxification program occurs on an outpatient basis and is typically only used when patients have a sound social support system outside of treatment.
    • Ambulatory Detoxification With Extended On-Site Monitoring:  This type of detoxification is similar to the placement level of care above but requires the availability of credentialed nurses who monitor patients for several hours a day.
    • Clinically Managed Residential Detoxification:  This type of detoxification provides 24/7 supervision and may sometimes be referred to as “social detoxification” because it has minimal medical oversight but focuses on peer and social support.
    • Medically Monitored Inpatient Detoxification:  This level of care is more restrictive than the Clinically Managed Residential Detoxification placement level of care.  Inpatient detoxification consists of 24/7 care, supervision, and support for patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
    • Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Detoxification:  This level of care is the most restrictive placement level of care in the detoxification program realm.  It provides 24/7 care and supervision for patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms in an acute care inpatient setting.

    Medical detoxification may be provided at inpatient, residential, or outpatient treatment. It may exist as part of a more extensive substance abuse rehabilitation program or operate independently.  Patients with complex medical or psychiatric needs are more likely to require detoxification in an inpatient setting.

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    Drug Detox Program at Home

    Many people turn to professional detox services to make their detox experience safe and comfortable. However, it may be more difficult for some to stay the course in their home environment; there could be people or things that trigger a relapse. In rare cases, it may also be dangerous.  Therefore, reaching out to a drug detox center near you may be beneficial to speak to your physician. You can also call a drug addiction helpline for information on detoxing from your drug of choice in a safe environment. Some detox centers even offer same-day drug detox, depending on their admittance capacity, location, and other factors.

    What Happens After Drug Detox Program?

    Detox alone is rarely sufficient in helping a person achieve long-term recovery. It is only the first stage of addiction treatment.  Often, patients decide to enter a substance abuse rehabilitation program once they’re finished with their drug detox program.  Effective treatment needs to address a person’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems. Treatment should be appropriate to the individual’s age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.  Medication may be included; however, behavioral therapies are the most commonly used treatment for substance abuse.

    Identifying success in addiction treatment may require people to reframe preconceived ideas about recovery.  Addiction treatment aims to return a person to productive functioning in their family, job or school, and community.  Addiction is similar to other chronic illnesses, which means that some people will relapse. But this does not mean that treatment wasn’t successful. Instead, it could mean perhaps adjustments in medication and aftercare plans.

    The Cost of Drug Detox Program

    The cost of drug detox varies depending on your payment method, the particular detox center you’re attending, and the level of detox care provided.  Insurance policies may help cover the full or partial cost of detox, but free rehab and detox programs accept Medicaid.  Check below whether your insurance policy might cover a detoxification program at Source – We Level Up Addiction Rehabilitation Center.

    Medications Used During Drug Detox Program

    Common medications used in drug detox can help to ease withdrawal symptoms.  The medication will depend on the substance and may include:

    • Methadone
    • Buprenorphine
    • Naltrexone
    • Acamprosate
    • Disulfiram

    How Long Does Drug Detox Program Last?

    Most patients will complete a drug detox program in about a week.  However, the duration depends upon various factors. This includes the type of drugs someone used, how much was being used, how long the person has been using, and a person’s overall health.

    Drug Detox Center Treatment Near Me

    Detoxification is often the first step in addiction treatment.  Some of the best ways to find a drug detox center include speaking directly with your physician or therapist. You can also locate a drug detox center through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or call a drug addiction helpline.

    We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope.  We work as an integrated team providing support through comfortable drug detox programs and other aspects of treatment.  Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life.  Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.  Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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    [1] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.

    [2] American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2020). The ASAM National Practice Guideline.