The first step in most addiction and drug use disorders recovery is detox. Detoxification is a process that removes addictive chemicals from the body. This allows patients to stabilize their mental and physical health so they can transition to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.
The Detox Center process involves the patient stopping using the substance(s) they are addicted to or gradually reducing their dosage (known as tapering), under medical supervision. Patients who are dependent on prescription Opioids and Benzodiazepines must be slowly weaned from the drug to avoid shock.
Different types of detox
There are many types of detox, but these are the most common.
Medical detox can include or exclude medications depending on the substance or substances used, withdrawal symptoms experienced by the patient, as well as psychological symptoms and other health concerns. Medical detox refers to being in a medical setting that monitors withdrawal symptoms and can provide detailed monitoring of the patient’s health. Although medical detox is usually done in an inpatient environment, it can also be done outpatient.
Inpatient detox is when patients are kept in a secure facility and will be monitored by a staff member. This is the most safest method to detox from any drug, especially those with severe withdrawal side effects. This is the most likely to succeed. Based on the severity and use of their substance abuse, the patient’s medical team will determine the best treatment plan.
Patients can detox at home with outpatient detox. Outpatient sessions can be scheduled for a portion of the day. They may take place in the morning, afternoon or evening. Research shows that patients who are not able to live at detox facilities have the highest rates of relapse. Inpatient or inpatient medical detox are better options to increase your chances of long-term sobriety. For minor addictions, however, it is possible to do outpatient detox.
What is the Detox Process?
Patients will experience a different detox process. There are many factors that can influence detox.
- What substances are the patients addicted to?
- How long has the patient been addicted?
- The degree of addiction
- Mental health conditions that are underpinning
- Additional medical issues
- Drug allergies
- Local laws
- Policies and procedures specific to each facility
- Patient age
- The level of support that the patient receives
- Motivation level
There are many similarities, despite the differences. These are the main stages of a typical detox process.
The Early Stages
The symptoms are usually mild for the first few hours. They quickly get worse as the body’s drug levels decrease. They will usually reach their peak within a few days. Although medication is not usually required at this stage, it might be recommended proactively. This is often the time for initial patient assessments.
The worst days are the first few days after detox. These are the worst days of detox. This is when most or all of the drugs have been removed from the body and it has become inoperable. The body’s inability to deal with the loss of drugs is the main reason for symptoms. Relapse is common at this stage as many patients have difficulty coping with the cravings.
Withdrawal symptoms usually decrease or diminish as the body becomes more used to having no drugs in its system. This usually happens within a few days or a week of detox. This is the most dangerous stage of detox for some addictions, such as alcohol and Benzodiazepines. It is also when the most severe symptoms begin to set in.
Most patients will feel better after detox. This usually takes between 5 and 14 days. The patient will feel better and be able to leave the detox center. Based on many factors, treatment providers may recommend either inpatient or outpatient rehab. Some patients may experience post-acute-withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), whereby certain symptoms of withdrawal persist, usually in a weakened form, for up to a year. As their bodies heal, detox medication is typically stopped. Patients begin to participate in 12-step groups and therapy more.