Drug and Alcohol Detoxification

Detoxification, also known as detox, is a general word that covers a wide variety of methods designed to cleanse the body’s internal organs and systems. The purpose is to eliminate toxic substances and assist organs that usually execute detoxification functions. These include the liver, kidneys, intestines and skin.

Drug detoxification refers to the process that helps an individual who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. The goal is to remove drugs or alcohol completely from the body and to assist the person with abstaining from them in the future. It may take several weeks to several months for some drugs to be eliminated. Professional detoxification centers offer a wide range of options to help someone with an addiction. Stays may be from one week to months depending on the individual’s needs.

Performing drug detox depends on many factors such as the variety and acuteness of the addiction, the individual’s health and age, and the location of the treatment center. Most detox facilities offer treatments to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawals can manifest themselves in physical and mental symptoms that arise from the discontinuation of the addicting substance. Licensed detox centers offer counseling, medical treatment, and therapy to help the recovering addict with the stress of withdrawal. Once detox is accomplished, the rehabilitation program may suggest group counseling, motivational interviewing or one-on-one counseling to assist the recovering addict with maintenance.

Inpatient detox facilities offer medical supervision to individuals who want to end their mental and physical dependence on unhealthy substances. These programs range from one to two weeks in length for alcohol abuse. However, the specific method may be tailored to the addict based on the nature of the substance abuse. Inpatient facilities guide an addict through the detoxification process and assist in the management of withdrawal symptoms.

Are Inpatient Programs Necessary?

Many addicts do not require such intensive detoxification programs. However, in some circumstances, 24-hour care can be very beneficial to an individual struggling with addiction. Alcoholics and drug addicts with suicidal ideation should consider inpatient care. In addition, people who experience erratic work or home environments may benefit from more peaceful, supportive surroundings. Alcoholics should consider this type of care if they have or could develop symptoms such as delirium tremens, gastrointestinal bleeding, pancreatitis or cirrhosis.

Drug addicts may find inpatient care very beneficial. While serious withdrawal symptoms do not occur with everyone, some withdrawal symptoms such as depression or paranoid psychosis need quick attention. Quitting drugs cold turkey can be a very uncomfortable process. Medical intervention can reduce the discomfort. For people addicted to opiates, a residential facility may provide substitutes to lessen the cravings and increase the potential for success. These types of programs offer drug addicts support and a drug-free environment to initiate the recovery process.

Benefits of Inpatient Detox

Although residential may not be necessary in all situations, they do provide substantial advantages over outpatient programs. Individuals receiving 24-hour medical supervision will have access to quick intervention if needed. Inpatient detox facilities provide an environment that eliminates the opportunity to access drugs or alcohol during the stay. Residential detoxification methods separate the patient from their former drug abusing surroundings while they work towards sobriety.

Addicts to opiate drugs have options that can lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms while hastening the detoxification process. Rapid detox utilizes medications to do this while the patient is under sedation. Some individuals may become addicted to opiates that were prescribed for other health problems. Inpatient treatment will help to address underlying problems that may have contributed to the addiction. In addition, staff will assist in finding healthier ways of addressing those problems.

Choosing a Detox Facility

Sadly, millions of people seek out assistance with breaking addictions each year. As a result, an addict has a wide variety of detox centers from which to choose. For success, an individual should search for a facility that has experience with their specific form of substance abuse. Some patients may have multiple addictions. Others may suffer mental illnesses. Many patients will have medical complications that may need special attention during detox. People considering an residential program should interview several sites. The personnel should be willing to discuss any potential obstacles to detoxification during the assessment procedure. Facilities with the appropriate medical staff to address specific needs should be willing to refer patients elsewhere.

The detox center may offer assistance in organizing additional treatment after discharge. Local centers may have excellent information on self-help groups and outpatient treatment programs. Detoxification is not a cure for an addiction. However, it is the first step in any recovery process. Assistance during the withdrawal period can allow addicts the incentive to continue the long road to full recovery.