Medical Detox: Do Drug Detox Programs Actually Work?

Every year, over 20 million people in the United States struggle with addiction. But only about ten percent of them (2.5 million people) actually seek and receive treatment at a specialty facility.

If you’re dealing with an addiction and need help getting clean, it’s imperative to seek help as soon as possible.

There are many different types of treatment facilities you can visit to get the help you’re looking for, including drug detox programs.

If you’ve never heard of a drug detox program before, or if you just want more information to decide if this kind of program is good for you, keep reading. All of the basics about these programs will be explained below.

What are Drug Detox Programs?

Many people assume that the only way to overcome a drug addiction is to give up your drug of choice cold turkey and suffer through the withdrawal symptoms.

This method does work for some people. But, for others, it can be ineffective, dangerous, and even life-threatening.

When you’re habitually using a strong drug like heroin, for example, the withdrawal symptoms you experience when you suddenly stop using the drug can be so painful that some people actually die.

Drug detox programs offer an alternative to traditional detox programs. They utilize prescription medications like the drug Suboxone to minimize withdrawal symptoms and help an individual wean themselves off their drug of choice.

How Do Drug Detox Programs Work?

Many drug detox programs are inpatient programs. This means that you will actually stay at a special facility overnight for a specific period of time.

These kinds of programs allow the addict to detox in a safe environment under the supervision of qualified medical professionals.

When you first arrive at the facility, a special detox plan will be created for you, and you may be prescribed medication. This medication will be distributed to you on a regular basis by a medical professional to aid you in the detox process.

How Long Does the Program Last?

There’s no set duration for drug detox programs. But, they typically take place in an inpatient setting, and the initial detox usually lasts between 24 hours and ten days.

The detox period is often part of a more comprehensive addiction treatment program. Drug detox programs may involve other treatments to help you cope with the detoxification process and learn how to cope with triggers appropriately to avoid relapse.

When you stay in a drug detox facility, you’ll likely have access to group and individual therapy. You’ll also have opportunities to spend time outdoors and enjoy healthy meals that can aid in the detox process as well.

Medications Used During Drug Detox Programs

There are many different medications that physicians will prescribe to help addicts get through the detox process safely.

The following are some of the most common drugs used in these programs:

  • Suboxone: This drug reduces heroin cravings and blocks the effects of heroin use on the brain.
  • Methadone: This is a less potent opioid painkiller that helps reduce cravings for heroin and other opiates.
  • Buprenorphine: These days, this is often used in place of methadone because it’s easier to transition off of.
  • Antabuse: This drug interferes with the body’s ability to absorb alcohol.
  • Naltrexone: This drug reduces the effects of alcohol, as well as alcohol cravings

People who are abusing benzodiazepines often receive less potent versions of these same drugs. These versions allow them to wean themselves off of the drugs to which they are currently addicted.

Who Should Use a Drug Detox Program?

Not everyone needs to participate in a drug detox program to overcome their addiction. The following people are most likely to benefit from this type of program:

  • Those who have a physical addiction to a specific drug (or drugs)
  • Those who would experience severe discomfort if they tried to go through withdrawal without assistance
  • Those who face serious health risks if they try to go through withdrawal without assistance

People who are addicted to the following substances most often utilize drug detox programs:

  • Heroin
  • Prescription painkillers (Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, etc.)
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Benzodiazepines

People who abuse club drugs and inhalants may also require a drug detox program to get clean.

Benefits of Drug Detox Programs

There are lots of reasons to consider a drug detox program, including the following:

Consistent Structure

When you’re trying to overcome an addiction, structure is everything.

When you’re participating in an inpatient drug detox program, you don’t have a lot of free time. This stops you from finding ways to obtain your drug of choice or even thinking about it. This, in turn, minimizes your chances of relapse.

Consistent Support and Supervision

In addition to having a consistent structure, inpatient drug detox programs also provide you with 24-7 professional support. You’ll have access to counselors, doctors, and nurses who can help you through the most difficult aspects of the recovery process.

Many people who go through detox programs also experience severe mental withdrawal symptoms — depression, anxiety, etc.

It’s especially important to have access to mental health professionals during this time in order to stay safe and avoid slipping into unhealthy behaviors or patterns.

No Negative Influences

When you participate in an inpatient drug detox program, you’re also free from negative influences. You’ll be surrounded by other people who all have the same goal as you — to get clean and live a healthier, happier life.

Time to Focus on Yourself

An inpatient drug detox program gives you time to focus exclusively on yourself and your recovery. You don’t have to split your focus between your recovery and other everyday stressors like work or family problems. This can improve your chances of getting clean and staying clean.

Enroll in a Drug Detox Program Today

Now that you know more about what to expect from drug detox programs, do you think this is the right approach for you? There are a lot of benefits of drug detox programs, including access to 24-7 medical and mental health support.

If you think that a drug detox program is appropriate for you and your needs, contact us at Coastal Detox today.

At our facility, we use a combination of holistic therapies and medication-assisted treatments to promote a safe, healthy detox.

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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