What Is Drug Detox?
As the name suggests, drug detox is the process where a person flushes out toxic substances from their body. This is a step required at the beginning of any addiction treatment program. That alone is not enough for someone to overcome addiction, as we will further discuss in this article.
The development of an addiction is gradual – and so is drug detox. The process can last anywhere from a few days to weeks, but it is needed in order to advance in the treatment. When using drugs on a regular basis, substances build up in the system and affect the body and mind. Certain drugs also cause physical dependence, such as opiates and benzodiazepines (such as Xanax). In order to recover, it is important to detoxify your body from these substances first.
Medically-assisted drug detox helps you do that in a safe, less sufferable way. In the past, people had to go through detox and withdrawal on their own, which was not only unpleasant, but in many cases, it was also dangerous. The other alternative was to go to a hospital. Unfortunately, not having detox-specific help can be a problem when trying to handle the unique needs of a person with an addiction.
A drug detox center is there to help you detox from drugs in a medically supervised setting that is welcoming, compassionate, and committed to helping you feel better. Going to medically-assisted drug detox ensures that you will be safe while detoxing, and also get the emotional support you need throughout the process.
Why Choose Medically-Assisted Drug Detox?
While it is possible to quit cold turkey, it is undoubtedly much riskier and unnecessarily bothersome. The process of detoxing is comprised of many phases, and the course of action varies depending on multiple factors. Each substance that can be abused comes with its own aspects and effects.
When quitting drugs, there is a right way to do it depending on the drug. Some of them require that the user wean down the doses rather than cutting them abruptly. Doing that wrong can trigger mild to severe symptoms, or even make the body go into shock. The right way to do is something that requires proper medical and/or psychiatric knowledge.
People quitting by themselves are risking experiencing hallucinations or even seizures without easy access to medical help. For some, the symptoms or scenarios they are in as they experience these symptoms prove to be lethal. In other cases, symptoms do not escalate or go away in a “linear” way, so they might seem to be under control when they really aren’t. Again, all issues that can be hard to predict or avoid when detoxing alone.
Along with the risks from the withdrawal symptoms, there is the problem of pain or symptom management. Many people might try to take meds to help the pain or make symptoms milder, and that is understandable. But even that can be done the wrong way, and make symptoms worse or bring on other side effects.
Having a licensed professional available is important because they can treat and manage symptoms in a safe way. They’d know what medication to give without triggering any medical issues. Additionally, in case of a need for emergency procedures, the patient would have access to quick, efficient help as well.
One of the most important factors, however, is that having medical supervision while quitting will also help prevent relapses during detox. When quitting on their own, a person might crave the drug or feel like a little dose will help manage symptoms. That, too, can make the body go into shock and even lead to one’s death.
Serious Signs of Addiction
It is important to understand that addiction is different from a casual drink here and there. An addiction is a disease, and it goes beyond choosing to use a certain substance. Misuse of drugs or alcohol becomes a need even for the brain to function normally, and is no longer pleasurable.
Some people might be struggling with addiction and not be aware. While a person should get an official diagnosis to be sure, there are some signs that things are not okay. Possible red flags for addiction are:
- Experiencing cravings for drugs or alcohol that don’t go away
- Becoming physically ill, or feeling anxiety, depression, agitation, or other possible withdrawal symptoms when not using for a certain period of time
- Drug or alcohol use is interfering with ability to go to work or maintaining other responsibilities
- Moderate to severe physical effects linked to drug abuse, especially if health is deteriorating
- Building resistance to substances, needing higher doses in order to have the same effects
- Financial or legal problems related to drug use or behavior linked to drug use (possession, drunk driving, public intoxication, etc.)
- Not being able to stop using or drinking, constantly returning to drug use
- Stashing drugs or alcohol in unusual places and/or in unusual amounts
- Changes in behavior and/or lying or manipulating people around them, especially when it comes to substance abuse
- Loss of interest in life, in making plans, or in activities that were once enjoyable
Experiencing one or another item from this list doesn’t mean there is reason for concern. But multiple signs might point out to a problem. This is especially the case if the issue has been addressed before and was met with indifference or overly defensive behavior. A person’s denial can be legitimate, but it can also be a sign that there is something wrong.
What To Expect At Our Florida Detox Treatment for Drug Abuse
When starting the drug detox program in Stuart Florida, you will complete a brief intake procedure. During this process, you will discuss your drug history, medical history, and complete a medical assessment, discussing any other needs or concerns you have. A specialized detox plan will be created for you based on your individual needs.
On your first day, you will be introduced to the program and staff and shown to your accommodations. You will have an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the grounds and amenities and get settled in.
As previously mentioned, when a person stops using drugs, they will experience physical withdrawal symptoms. If appropriate, you may be prescribed medication to assist them with the process and help minimize unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Medical staff will be available in order to make sure you are comfortable and to check your progress.
It is common at the start of detox to feel unsure and experience some anxiety or uncertainty about your choice to enter a drug detox center. This is perfectly normal. Experienced, compassionate staff are always on-hand and available to offer support, reassurance, and counseling to help you get through this time.
Timeline and Symptoms During Drug Detox
Many people tend to be concerned about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms that might be brought on during detox. Anyone going through drug detox will experience them, on some level, because of the imbalance the body goes through during withdrawal. Still, the symptoms and the degree of their intensities vary, depending on multiple factors. Some of them are: the dosage they used to take, how long they were misusing the substance(s), genetic factors and family history, general health, etc.
It is hard to say for certain what each patient will experience. Different substances take different amounts of time to wear off. The timeline will vary depending on the amount usually taken, too. Some short-acting substances might wear off quickly, and symptoms might start even 6 hours after taking the last dose. But for alcohol, for instance, it will take longer, but the might start somewhere in the first 12 hours.
Symptoms experienced are commonly related to the nervous and digestive systems. Most of them affect these two systems directly. Though not all symptoms and effects are linked to them, the most commonly reported ones by people going through detox are:
- Feelings of restlessness, anxiousness, and/or nervousness
- Symptoms related to the digestive system, like nausea, vomiting, ulcers, and/or diarrhea
- Running a fever (without signs of a flu, infection, etc.)
- Sweating, tearing up, or producing other bodily fluids more than usual
- Persistent jitteriness, shaking, and/or goosebumps and chills
- Heart-related health problems, such as hypertension and/or arrhythmia (either too fast or too slow)
- Having erratic sleep cycles, experiencing issues with either insomnia or feeling too sleepy frequently
- Extreme changes in eating habits (either too much or too little), maybe affecting their weight and disposition
- Moodiness, irritability, and/or extreme moods
- Muscle tension, spams, and/or stiffness
Once these symptoms start, the most acute ones might linger on for seven to ten days. In fact, these acute symptoms can actually be experienced in the first few days. The milder ones might last longer, but are more easily manageable with time. Moderate symptoms and effects can be managed or treated with home remedies or over-the-counter medication, resting, and lots of liquids.
What Are The Next Steps After Drug Detox?
Once the detox stage is over, the patient will then go onto the next phase of treatment. Medical detox is only meant to treat and deal with the symptoms brought on by withdrawal. But detox alone will not be enough to avoid relapse and to overcome addiction.
In order to truly treat addiction, other aspects of the illness need to be addressed as well. The psychiatric and medical conditions of the patient needs to be taken care of. This is done through sessions of therapy and counseling (both individual and in group). Additionally, any prescription medication that might be required to manage symptoms or for pain management can be prescribed.
Some centers also provide additional services that have therapeutic benefits. Holistic treatment, trauma therapy, family activities, and other useful activities that have a role in recovery might be available. Relapse prevention strategies and groups are also an important part of addiction treatment. And finally, there are multiple support groups which the patient can choose from according to their needs and lifestyle.
For this phase of treatment, there are different service settings available to choose from. However, it is important to follow the doctor’s recommendation in order to have better odds at full recovery. Picking a service setting shouldn’t be just about cost or duration, but about needs.
Residential or inpatient treatment is usually recommended to patients who still need full-on medical attention and have higher chances of relapsing. In this program, the patient has to stay in the facilities 24/7, with limited access to people and places outside the center. This program provides full medical and psychiatric attention and supervision, which is important in the case of acute symptoms.
Besides inpatient, another recovery program option is outpatient treatment, and it can be provided in different service settings. For this program, patients get to receive treatment while staying home. They only need to stay at the clinic for sessions of treatment. The number of visits and their duration varies on the patient’s needs. They can go from 3 to 6 visits a week, ranging from only 3 to as many as 8 hours a day.
After the program, it is important for the patient to continue on with treatment and relapse prevention. Participating in support groups and going to therapy are things they should keep doing once the program is over. For those without healthy, stable living environments, there is the option of sober living. That way, they’ll be doing whatever they can to avoid tiggers, opportunities, and relapse in general.
Sail Through Detox At Coastal Detox
If you or a loved one are ready to leave addiction behind, now is the time to make a change. Coastal Detox can help you through every step of the way. Our state-of-the-art facility located on Florida’s Treasure Coast is the perfect setting to begin your fresh start. Enjoy our luxurious accommodations and delicious chef-prepared meals.
We provide options for detox as well as the treatment needed post-detox to truly recover from addiction. Besides medical and psychiatric help, we also have additional activities and services proven to help make your treatment go more smoothly.
Coastal Detox accepts most major insurance providers. We work with several insurers in order to make treatment and services more affordable. You can also pay out of pocket and use financial help as well. We can answer any questions or concerns about insurance coverage or payment options for drug detox and addiction treatment.
At Coastal Detox, you can experience an unparalleled level of care that includes medically-assisted detox, counseling, holistic treatments, trauma therapy, and much more. All with round-the-clock medical care and supervision. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.