If you’ve ever wondered what the term medical detox refers to, it involves medical treatment that is received in an inpatient treatment facility for an addiction. Typically, the addiction in question is severe enough that simply quitting that particular substance cold turkey could potentially result in medical symptoms that are harmful. In some cases, they may even be life-threatening. More often than not, it’s because the addiction is quite advanced in nature or because it involves a particular substance that the body is likely to suffer withdrawals from. That makes it necessary to slowly decrease the amount of substance in the body while being monitored by medical professionals.
Do All Addictions Require This Kind of Treatment?
No, all addictions do not require medical detox. Those that do often involve substances that are especially addictive such as alcohol. Opioids and some prescription drugs also frequently require this type of treatment. That’s largely because they can be extremely addictive. In fact, it’s possible to become addicted to many of these substances after the first use or two. From that point forward, the body becomes dependent on them to the point that severe withdrawal symptoms are often experienced if the substance is stopped cold turkey. Surprisingly, someone who is suffering from an addiction to alcohol can start to experience many of these withdrawal symptoms only a few hours after they’ve taken their last drink. Conversely, it usually takes a medical detox program that lasts for several days in order to safely wean them off the alcohol. In most cases, it takes anywhere from seven to 10 days to get through this particular phase of the treatment process. Of course, every drug that requires medical detox will also have a different time frame. It depends on the substance that is in question, the severity of the addiction and even the individual that is receiving treatment. That’s because treatment programs can be altered somewhat to fit the needs of that particular individual in terms of any other health conditions they might have as well as addictions to additional substances. Of course, the age and overall health of the person receiving treatment is also taken into consideration. The goal is to help an individual get through this initial phase where the body is suffering severe withdrawal symptoms without causing any undue stress that could potentially result in a medical emergency.
What Happens During Drug detox?
Obviously, drug detox must occur as part of an inpatient program. It simply isn’t safe to do it when a person can’t be constantly monitored by medical professionals. A hallmark of a detox program is that the person suffering from the addiction is given certain medications that help them manage the withdrawal symptoms. This is often done to prevent the body from going into shock. As a result, they may be given methadone or something similar. All of this has to be coordinated by a medical doctor. The best programs carefully monitor the individual in order to prevent medical issues that could potentially be caused by withdrawal symptoms so close medical supervision is a must. At the same time, other types of treatment might be going on as well. For example, a person could be going through the detox process while also receiving some form of counseling. Typically, the drug detox portion of the treatment ends after anywhere from one to two weeks. From that point forward, the individual in question might remain in the facility to receive other types of treatment such as additional counseling.
Are All Detox Programs the Same?
Without a doubt, every one of these programs have qualities that make them unique. The last thing you want is something that is just a cookie-cutter example of another program, especially when you’re looking for help with an addiction that is specific to your situation. What can you do to determine whether or not a program might be right for you? It all starts with asking the right questions:
- Inquire about how a particular facility runs their detox program.
- Ask whether or not there will be additional forms of treatment occurring at the same time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask anything that’s on your mind.
It’s okay to have certain fears surrounding drug detox programs. The truth of the matter is that they are a necessary part of treatment for many individuals. If you have concerns, why not pick up the phone and talk to a facility that you think might be able to help? The first step is always the hardest, but you might be embarking on the life you’ve wanted for so long. It all starts with contacting someone and asking the questions that have probably been on your mind for a very long time. Call us at 833.970.2054.