Medical Detox: Do Drug Detox Programs Actually Work?

drug detox

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.