What Can I Expect at an Inpatient And/Or Outpatient Detox Program?

addiction treatment

Addiction Hurts. Addiction Treatment Heals.

Addiction is a disease. According to the ASAM, addiction is defined as “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.” When people get sick, they go to the doctor. When someone is diagnosed with a disease, they seek treatment. Often missing weeks if not months from work and school to recover and get better. We stay in bed, getting lots of rest and giving our bodies time to heal. Most of the time this healing process uses medication to assist the body or protect it from further illness.

It is well documented that addiction treatment programs like inpatient and outpatient detox are generally as successful as medical treatments given to those with other chronic diseases. Why is it that we accept we will need help, medicine, rest and healing for a disease that can be seen on a scan or in a report; but not for a disease simply because it can not be confirmed by a simple blood test? The fact is, addiction is a disease and disease needs to be treated.

First Step In Recovery: Detoxification (Detox)

Detoxification (detox) by definition is the process of removing toxic substances or qualities. When you have an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, the body will flush out the toxins once the substance is removed. The reason addiction treatment usually starts with an inpatient or an outpatient detox is to safely manage withdrawal symptoms with medication, rest and nutrition to ensure the physical health of the patient. Addiction detox programs have the same level of care that you would expect to receive when you have a chronic disease. 

Most inpatient detox programs have very soothing atmospheres and offer amenities that you would find in a nice hotel if you were on vacation. Chef prepared meals and snacks, day spas, pools, relaxing gardens, private bedrooms, work stations with high-speed internet, and much more depending on the location and your budget. 

Controlling Withdrawal Symptoms With Medical Detox

Once you’ve decided to quit using drugs and/or alcohol, the withdrawal symptoms whether physical or just mental will usually appear rather quickly once you remove the substance. Detox symptoms can range from mild to severe and sometimes even resulting in death. 

Drug and/or Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Teeth chattering
  • Tingling feet
  • Shakiness or trembling
  • Tremors
  • Excessive hunger or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Night sweats and clammy skin
  • Cravings 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Flatulence or stomach cramps
  • Chills or sweating
  • Dilated pupil or watery eyes
  • Easily agitated or irritability
  • Crying or depression
  • Delirium or hallucinations
  • Disorientation or mental confusion
  • Excitability or racing thoughts
  • Paranoia or severe anxiety
  • Self-harm or suicidal thoughts
  • Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities

When someone chooses to detox their body from drugs and/or alcohol, it’s usually a pretty hard step to take and has its own separate weight in causing stress and anxiety. The symptoms of drug and/or alcohol detox can be very unpleasant and sometimes extremely painful. Seeking inpatient or outpatient detox treatment can help treat drug and/or alcohol withdrawal symptoms with medications that will help to remove or reduce the unpleasant symptoms associated with the process.

Alcohol Detox: Commonly Used Medications

  • Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are psychoactive drugs that act as safe and effective commonly prescribed detox medications. Benzos can reduce the severity of withdrawal and decrease seizures and even delirium. It relieves alcohol symptoms by slowing the central nervous system. Valium and Librium are prescribed for their tranquilizing and anticonvulsant effects. Sedation helps prevent agitation and reduce seizures during detox. 

  • Anticonvulsants

Anticonvulsants are given during detox to help reduce complications of detoxing from alcohol. Carbamazepine is known to reduce anxiety and aggression, and decrease cravings. Medical professionals find that patients given valproic acid have fewer symptoms during detox including seizures.

  • Adrenergic Medications

The detox medications, clonidine, and propranolol are often prescribed along with benzodiazepines during detox from alcohol. They treat high blood pressure and fast pulse during the detoxification process. They are sometimes prescribed for outpatient detox when benzodiazepines cannot because they will not be monitored 24/7.

  • Other Alcohol Detox Medications

Many other drugs are used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms during detox. They include barbiturates, sodium oxybate, baclofen, ketamine and dexmedetomidine.

Drug Detox: Commonly Used Medications

  • Methadone

Methadone is an opioid agonist that helps decrease cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Methadone reduces cravings in combination with daily addiction treatment. It also is used for long-term maintenance programs treating opioid addiction. 

  • Buprenorphine (Subutex)

Buprenorphine is an opiate detox medication used to shorten the length of withdrawal. It is also prescribed for people that will enter a long-term addiction treatment program. When you combine buprenorphine with naloxone (Suboxone) it helps to prevent dependence from opioids.

  • Naltrexone

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist detox medication that stops neurotransmitter stimulation and blocks the “high” effect of the drug. It’s designed to decrease cravings and it assists in preventing relapse and is used commonly in long-term maintenance programs. 

  • Adrenergic Drugs

Clonidine and propranolol are prescribed detox medication used for addiction to opiates because it helps reduce high blood pressure, anxiety, agitation, muscle cramps, and sweating. 

Choosing An Inpatient Or An Outpatient Detox Program: What’s The Difference?

When researching detox treatment programs in Florida, there’s a lot of information out there about the many different treatment options. Thankfully, most detox programs offer both making it easier to compare programs. 

Once you think you’ve found a detox program that fits your needs, usually the next step would be a mental health assessment by a detox center. The detox center has medical professionals who can help you narrow down your decision. The decision of going to inpatient or outpatient treatment is very important, because the wrong one may delay or hurt your recovery process. Most detox programs use the ASAM Criteria which will help to assess the severity of your addiction. Once the assessment is complete, both you and a team of medical professionals with discuss the results and they can assist you in making the decision to do either inpatient or outpatient detox treatment

Detox program assessments usually include the following:

  • Readiness to change
  • Living situation
  • Physical and mental dependence
  • History of relapse
  • History of mental health issues

Inpatient detox is the most common treatment program patients choose for detoxification. This is especially the case for those that may be entering addiction treatment for the first time. When someone chooses to detox with an outpatient addiction program, they face additional stress from family, friends, spouses, even children, and work. Additionally, many people in the beginning stages of recovery aren’t even safe from their own thoughts and actions. When this is the case, inpatient detox is a better choice because it removes those triggers and allows you the chance to work on YOU and putting your sobriety first. 

Inpatient detox programs give people a healthy balance of structure and restriction to decrease the chances of relapse on an impulsive craving rather, the focus will be on behavior modification with mental health. Ultimately, giving hope and a real chance at long term sobriety after inpatient detox and treatment.

Outpatient detox is more commonly used for a transition into outpatient addiction programs. However, there are some people who may benefit from entering into outpatient detox. Typically, the addictions are less severe or that person is in the earlier stages and will see benefits from being able to maintain a more normal life or routine. You have to be ready and willing to change and they don’t have a history of relapse. 

Inpatient/Outpatient Addiction Treatment: Will Your Insurance Pay For Detox?

The answer is usually, yes. However, most insurance companies require policyholders to choose from an approved provider list, and typically there will be some costs associated with these types of programs like co-pays or cost-share insurance programs. Finding out what kind of health care insurance policy the patient has or what exactly is covered is important so contacting your insurance agent is one way to determine what you can afford. 

In addition, inpatient and outpatient detox programs have medical professionals on staff who are highly trained to assist you while dealing with insurance companies. They can answer questions about coverage quickly and efficiently and even assist you with getting the approvals.

Coastal Detox: A Florida Treatment Program Ready to Provide the Help You Need 

If you need inpatient or outpatient detox and addiction treatment for drug and/or alcohol abuse Coastal Detox, located in sunny South Florida, is here to help you along every step of the way. They have a long-trusted reputation within the addiction treatment industry and truly understand how valuable it is to have all the information you need for recovery. 

Coastal Detox provides quality service and they have a reputation for making their clients success their ultimate goal. Anyone who is suffering or knows someone that is, Coastal Detox provides a clear path towards freedom for anyone seeking real help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; Coastal Detox located in Stuart, Florida will help you along your journey as they have for thousands of others. For any and all inquiries, please call Coastal Detox today at (877) 406-6623 to speak with one of our addiction specialists today. You can also reach out to our team by contacting us here. 

References:

https://www.asam.org/resources/definition-of-addiction

https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/drug-and-alcohol-detox/

 

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.