Detox While Maintaining Your Regular Life

Maintaining a regular life whilst going through detox is possible. Regardless if you are detoxing from alcohol or another substance, this option can fit your needs. Our outpatient detox is a very affordable, medical treatment program that has been carefully designed to detox individuals meeting criteria while remaining at home (outpatient detox treatment).  

For those individuals who must continue to work or have family obligations, Coastal Detox has an outpatient detox program that can fit into their lives. It is designated for individuals that meet outpatient detox program criteria, be a preferable option since it does not require a full time stay within Coastal Detox’s medical detox facility.  

Outpatient Detox also affords a level of privacy to individuals beginning their journey of recovery from substance abuse since treatment still, unfortunately, carries a certain type of stigma. some of our patients are so ready for the help to get clean that they don’t care about the stigma seeking inpatient treatment holds on them while others need another a more discreet way to treat making outpatient detox ideal for them. Our professional counselors at Coastal Detox can help you make the best decision for YOU.

How Does Outpatient Detox Work?

outpatient detox infographicOur outpatient detox program includes a thorough assessment by Coastal Detox’s medical provider, review of medical history, monitoring of vital signs, medical treatment of withdrawal symptoms in conjunction with weekly clinical counseling sessions. Coastal Detoxes’ individualized outpatient detox program, which can last anywhere from 1-3 weeks depending on the individual’s needs. Following the completion of outpatient detox, Coastal Detox will provide each client with an aftercare plan that includes referrals to either an intensive or a less intensive outpatient substance abuse counseling program depending on the individual patient’s needs.

Individuals that are addicted to prescription medications or opiates such as heroin, may especially benefit from our outpatient detox program.  Over the course of the past few years, the FDA has approved the use of medications such as Suboxone (Buprenorphine) to help relieve the withdrawal from opiates.  These new medical treatment protocols have created the opportunity to safely and effectively detox individuals meeting criteria through an outpatient level of care.

What Are The Most Common Drugs In An Outpatient Detox Program?


One of the most common drugs used for detox are benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are psychoactive drugs that act as safe and effective commonly prescribed detox medications. In fact, benzos are the mainstay of inpatient treatment for alcohol withdrawal syndrome. A study by PMC shows that benzodiazepines can reduce the severity of symptoms and decrease the incidence of seizures and delirium tremens.

Benzos relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms by slowing down the central nervous system. Medications such as Valium and Librium are prescribed during detoxification for their tranquilizing and anticonvulsant effects. Sedation with benzos prevents agitation and will reduce the risk of seizures during detoxification. 

However, benzodiazepine use must be carefully monitored. These medications for detoxification are used only for the short-term because they themselves have a potential for abuse and the worst thing to happen while seeking treatment is to trade one bad vice for another.


Anticonvulsants are prescribed as detox meds to reduce the complications of withdrawal from alcohol. Carbamazepine has been shown to ameliorate psychological distress, to help reduce anxiety and aggression and decrease alcohol cravings. Doctors have found that patients treated with valproic acid have less severe symptoms during detoxification and fewer seizures.

Adrenergic Medications

Medications such as clonidine and propranolol may be prescribed along with benzodiazepines during medical drug detox for alcohol. These medications treat elevated blood pressure and fast pulse during detoxification. They are sometimes used in patients with less severe symptoms in the outpatient setting when benzodiazepines cannot be prescribed due to a lack of monitoring.

Other Detox Medications

A number of other medications, such as barbiturates, baclofen, and sodium oxybate, are used in medically-assisted alcohol detoxification. Newer medications, such as ketamine, are used to treat severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms but are also highly addictive so it is usually only prescribed during inpatient treatment. Dexmedetomidine is a medication that is used during detoxification in an emergency setup situation.

Common Drugs Used For Drug Detox


Methadone is one of the most commonly prescribed heroin detox drugs. It is an opioid agonist that reduces cravings for the drug and relieves withdrawal symptoms in opiate addicts. It does not produce the same high as an opioid drug, but it stays in the body for a longer time and relieves cravings in combination with daily mental health treatment. In addition to its use as an opiate detoxification medication, it is used for long-term maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. However, prolonged use of methadone can lead to dependence, which is why this detox drug is closely monitored through licensed methadone inpatient and outpatient programs.

Buprenorphine (Subutex)

Buprenorphine is one of the best opiate drug detox medications used to shorten the length of the process. This medication can also be used for long-term maintenance. The combined form of buprenorphine with naloxone (Suboxone) helps prevent dependence on a drug or abused substance.


Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist medication that prevents neurotransmitter stimulation and blocks the euphoric effect of the drug, and thereby, the recovering addict’s ability to get high. This essentially decreases cravings for the drug and helps prevent relapse as part of the long-term outpatient treatment plan for opioid addiction. Naltrexone is a common detox drug that is prescribed to be taken orally daily or three times a week and is available under the brand names Depade and ReVia (pill form) or Vivitrol (injectable form). Naltrexone is prescribed after opioids have been completely flushed out of the system.

Adrenergic Drugs

Clonidine and propranolol are also used as detox drugs for opiates because they suppress the fight-or-flight response and reduce high blood pressure, agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, cramping, and sweating. Other detox drugs may be prescribed to help with specific problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, or insomnia.

Common Drugs Used For Stimulants Detox


A gradual taper of stimulant drugs is associated with less severe symptoms. This detox drug is prescribed relief from stimulants that makes the process safe and more bearable. Suboxone is sometimes prescribed when tapering stimulant use.


Depression related to withdrawal from a stimulant drug can be very severe, especially in recovering addicts with a history of underlying or pre-existing depression. Antidepressants, such as desipramine, may be prescribed as a medicine for detox to help alleviate this symptom.

Sedatives and Tranquilizers

Diazepam is used to manage mild to moderate symptoms during detoxification. Benzodiazepines are common detox drugs prescribed and  act as tranquilizers during cocaine and meth detox.

Anticonvulsant Medications

Topamax and Neurontin are useful in the initial stages of stimulant withdrawal to reduce cravings and prevent Adderall crash.

Stimulants are psychoactive drugs that increase brain activity and elevate mood, awareness, and alertness. Although stimulants like caffeine are widely used, some stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, are highly addictive and illegal. Prescription stimulants, including Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine, are also extensively abused. Recovering addicts may need to undergo medically assisted drug detox for stimulant dependence. Symptoms during stimulant drug detoxification can be both physical and psychological and include:

  1. Jitteriness
  2. Anxiety
  3. Dehydration
  4. Chills
  5. Slowed speech
  6. Slowed movements
  7. Dulled senses
  8. Hallucinations
  9. Paranoia
  10. Depression
  11. Insomnia
  12. Fatigue
  13. Body aches
  14. Impaired memory
  15. Unpleasant dreams

Will My Insurance Cover Outpatient Detox?

Unfortunately, Addiction was not considered a diagnosable and treatable mental illness by the U.S. medical community until about forty years ago!  Alcohol and/or substance abuse or addiction didn’t start being considered a disease until early in the 19th century. In 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared alcoholism an illness, and in 1987, the AMA and other medical organizations officially termed addiction a disease.

According to a 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 21 million Americans struggled with a dependence on drugs and/or alcohol last year, but less than 2.5 million received treatment at a specialty facility. The report also points out that a full quarter of those that needed treatment did not receive it because they lacked health insurance. That is a huge problem for anyone facing addiction and/or substance abuse problems. 

Thankfully, in more recent times, and under the new and “improved” healthcare laws, addiction treatment is now considered “an essential health benefit” that commercial health plans must cover. With pushes for healthcare reform to continue, the number of patients seeking addiction treatment for alcohol and/or substance abuse problems and addiction could more than double over the next few years. With that now being the insurance trend, it’s easier now than ever to get the treatment including outpatient detox which so many seek and deserve.

You can get cost-effective and valuable addiction treatment when it’s needed to give you a real chance at lasting sobriety. By educating yourself on your health plan, your state’s laws, and the steps to get covered treatment and care make that a real and achievable goal. There are no more healthcare rules to hold you back from seeking inpatient or outpatient treatment so NOW is the time to seek help, let our professionals at Coastal Detox start you on your journey to long-lasting sobriety.

Understanding Your Healthcare And Addiction/Substance Abuse Treatment Coverage

Now that addiction is legally defined as a “diagnosable medical condition”, that means you can get your healthcare to cover your inpatient or outpatient treatment, including outpatient detox. Insurance companies do not tend to advertise this information but as of recent, 43 US states require commercial group health insurers to cover addiction treatment. Once you or your loved one has decided to seek addiction or substance abuse treatment, make sure you have taken the time to read your insurance policy and know exactly what your benefits are as the policyholder. Pay detailed attention to the wording within your policy. Your policy should define a full continuum of addiction care, which, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, includes “intervention, detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient treatment, and intensive outpatient, family, and codependency treatment.”

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 makes it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against patients because of addiction and/or substance abuse. (The MHPAEA does not require your insurance to cover specific addiction disorders or treatments, but it does require that coverage for mental and substance abuse disorders be offered at parity with standard medical conditions.) There are two things you should do to find out about the treatment options that are available to you as a policyholder. First, contact your health insurance company to verify your policy. Second, go to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws and locate your state’s lead agency for administering addiction treatment services. 

Is Outpatient Detox Right For You?

Our outpatient detox program at Coastal Detox can be right for you or a loved one who might believe their addiction does not require intensive treatment, however, if their addiction is fairly new and they are capable of sobriety while receiving the proper support, this is an excellent decision but not the normal situation. Unfortunately, most people or patients that seek treatment have suffered for lengthy periods of time and bring forth more questions than answers…unfortunately. This is why Coastal Detox is so instrumental at this phase of recovery and rest assured, our well-trained professionals are here – to help!

We encourage any one who is willing to change their life for the better and ready for sobriety to explore our outpatient detox center. There are no major commitments that could shy a person away from getting treatment and the clients life does not have to be put on hold. They can continue daily responsibilities all while getting the help that they need and they can gain tools to promote a more fulfilling life for them and their family. Contact us to speak to one of our addiction treatment specialists today. 


Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.