Drug Detox Center in Kokomo, Indiana
What Is Medical Detox From Drugs or Alcohol?
Medical detoxification, or detox, is an important step during the addiction recovery process. It becomes necessary especially when the withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol are severe. Medical detox is also recommended for clients who have shown signs of psychological and physical dependence on drugs or alcohol.
Medical detox can help secure a healthier future by assisting a client in alleviating withdrawal symptoms and decreasing cravings. It helps to deal with the physical side of addiction so that the client can face its psychological aspects. Detox provides medical interventions to keep the client comfortable and safe while dealing with withdrawal symptoms.
The Basics of Medical Detox
Medical detox is the process of eliminating toxic, addictive substances from the body. It is usually conducted under the supervision of medical professionals. The main objective of a detox program is to minimize the potential physical harm that a client may face from quitting drugs or alcohol. Medical professionals such as nurses, therapists and clinical staff often deliver medical care to keep clients safe as the harmful substances leave the client’s body.
When a client quits using drugs or alcohol, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Common withdrawal symptoms may include:
• Problems sleeping
• High blood pressure
• Mood swings
• Nausea and vomiting
• Restlessness and seizures
• Body discomfort
• Difficulty concentrating
Withdrawal symptoms can last several days or months. The length of the withdrawal period depends on various factors such as:
• How long the addiction lasted
• Type of substance the user is addicted to
• Family history with addiction
• Severity of the addiction
• Genetic makeup
• Method of abuse
• Underlying mental health conditions
• The amount of substance the user takes at a time
Addiction is a chronic condition that puts an individual at risk of becoming physically dependent on a substance. You can become physically dependent on a drug if you have been taking it in large amounts over an extended period. You can also become dependent if you require increasing amounts of a drug to get the usual effect or if you experience a diminished effect over time from using the same amount. Other causes of dependence on a drug include trying to quit without medical help or increased cravings with no access to the drug.
Detox is necessary for individuals with substance use disorder who are experiencing the effects of withdrawal because they are at risk of overdose. The more a person uses a drug, the higher their tolerance to it. This means they will require higher amounts to achieve a given effect.
The Process of Detoxification
The detox process involves three steps. The process starts by taking an intake exam so that the medical professional can determine the type of support you need. This may include some blood work and a few questions to get more information on your drinking history and overall health. The doctors may administer tests to check your mental and physical health. During the evaluation, the doctors will also measure the amount of drugs or alcohol in your system. This will help determine the appropriate course of action and the type of medications required.
The second phase is stabilization, which helps to protect you from any form of harm. Doctors use psychological therapy and medical intervention to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and prevent any complications.
The final step fosters you into treatment, which can help you recover and avoid a relapse. You become familiar with the treatment process. Detox on its own is not a treatment in itself; rather, it’s the first step toward treatment and recovery. Successfully completing a detox program increases your chances of completing treatment and becoming sober.
The entire process of detox takes about seven to 10 days. The duration may vary depending on the amount of substance used, severity of withdrawal symptoms, and your mental and physical health. Other individual factors include your genetic makeup, weight, body chemistry and metabolic rate.
Drugs and substances have different withdrawal timelines that affect the length of the detox process. Alcohol can take two to 48 hours, as withdrawal symptoms usually start early. Other symptoms like seizures and delirium may last for two to three days. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can take several weeks. Opioid withdrawal can vary from three to 14 days depending on the drug. Methadone withdrawal may take up to two weeks, while the period for heroin or oxycodone withdrawal may be as short as three days.
Types of Detox Programs
Some detox programs are similar to rehab treatment since detox also involves breaking the pattern of addiction. These are some of the detox programs available at First City Recovery Center:
Medications Used in Detox
Benzodiazepines and alcohol have severe withdrawal symptoms, while opioids like heroin cause great discomfort while detoxing. The medication used in detox mimics the effects of the drug to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. It also helps to manage the pain and keep the client as comfortable as possible.
Medication is often used in detox to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. A licensed medical professional administers the medication. Here are some of the drugs used during detox.
Methadone has been in use since the 1950s to treat opioid withdrawal. It is a fully activated opioid that helps clients prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms. It carries the same risks as an opioid, and it has to be well-monitored. Treatment centers must be licensed by the federal government to treat opioid use disorder with methadone. Once the clients start recovering, they can begin to taper off of methadone.
Naltrexone acts as an opioid-blocking agent and can be used on both opioid and alcohol use disorders. It can help end opioid withdrawal after using opioids. Clients who receive naltrexone must abstain from using opioids for seven days.
Suboxone is approved for opioid treatment and helps in managing withdrawal symptoms. It contains buprenorphine, which partially activates the brain’s opioid receptors. It has a lower risk for addiction and overdose than methadone.
Vivitrol is an injectable form of naltrexone, and it’s used in the treatment of alcohol and opioid use disorders. Its effects can last longer than those of naltrexone, which is taken orally and daily. A single shot of Vivitrol can last over a month. To receive Vivitrol, clients must not take alcohol or use opioids for 7 to 10 days.
Sublocade is an injectable form of buprenorphine, and it’s still new in the market. It carries less risk of abuse and alleviates withdrawal symptoms associated with oral forms of buprenorphine like Suboxone. However, Sublocade is only given to clients who have received Suboxone for a minimum of seven days.
Side Effects of Detox
The detox process can be painful and dangerous without the help of a medical professional. Medical supervision allows a client to detox more safely and comfortably. A client will typically experience withdrawal effects such as nausea, insomnia and anxiety, which can be less severe when treated professionally.
It is crucial that pregnant women quit drugs and alcohol, as the substances are harmful to them and their unborn fetuses. Going on detox without the help of a medical professional can cause stress to the fetus. Detox during pregnancy helps to prevent relapse and alleviate withdrawal symptoms that can harm the fetus.
The drug type determines the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. For example, withdrawal symptoms for cocaine are mostly psychological and include managing anxiety and cravings. On the other hand, withdrawal symptoms for alcohol are mostly physical.
Life After Detox
Tapering off a substance involves weaning a client off medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The medical professional gradually decreases the doses on a specific routine. Tapering is supervised by medical professionals in a safe environment.
Trying to quit drugs all at once, or cold turkey, can be dangerous to an individual. For example, quitting alcohol abruptly can cause seizures, diarrhea, delirium or even death. Other effects include flu-like symptoms and increased cravings, which can trigger a relapse. It is advisable to get the help of a medical professional before quitting drugs abruptly.
Detoxing at home without professional help is risky and can even be fatal. The home environment may contain triggers that can lead to a relapse. Going through a detox program in a treatment facility or while supervised at home makes the process safer and more comfortable.
The Cost of Detox
The cost of detox varies depending on the treatment center, payment method and level of care provided. The health plan you choose will determine how much you pay. Your insurance policy will cover some of the services provided and typically pay for necessary medical services.
When choosing a health plan, ask about the services covered and the criteria used when deciding which ones to pay for. The plan should cover health care in hospitals and outpatient services. You can also look for free rehab and detox programs near you.
Detoxification deals mostly with the physical effects of substance use disorder. It is a crucial part of the treatment program and the road to recovery. You can look online for a detox facility to get help. Verify that the facility is fully accredited and licensed by the state. It should also have experienced staff members who will help the client throughout the process.
First City Recovery Center is an alcohol rehab and addiction center in Kokomo, Indiana. We provide a holistic treatment approach and custom treatment programs. Some of our programs include motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy.
Our team of professionals will help you as you continue your path to freedom from substance abuse. Call us today to get more information about starting your journey to recovery.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.