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- Content Reviewed By:
- Andrew McKenna – JD
- Deputy Director of NCADD Westchester
Medical Detox Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers
Detoxification, commonly referred to as detox, is most often an essential component of a comprehensive and effective addiction treatment program. Detox helps people when they first enter rehab to manage their withdrawal symptoms, so they are able to abstain from alcohol or drugs long enough to enter and navigate behavioral rehab. The detoxification process puts a tremendous strain on our central nervous system and organs, including the heart and liver. It is critically important that detox be administered by a credentialed, experienced medical team (doctors and nurses)—not just to alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, but to monitor you and be ready in the event of a medical emergency.
For additional, accurate, information on the dangers of alcohol detoxification visit: Quitting alcohol can be deadly: Hundreds in the US die each year
Rapid or Self-detoxification
Rapid or self-detoxification is strongly discouraged. Withdrawal symptoms can be physically and psychologically distressing leading you to abort your attempt at recovery and to start the cycle of using drugs and alcohol all over again. More importantly, unsupervised detox can result in serious long-term health damage, and even death.
For more information visit: Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: Benzodiazepines and Beyond – PMC
How long does detox last?
Medical detox usually lasts about three to ten days depending on the substance, severity of withdrawal symptoms, and level of dependency. In very basic terms, the longer you have been using drugs and alcohol, the more challenging the detox process will be.
For more information on withdrawal management visit: Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings
What Happens During Medical Detox?
During medical detox and withdrawal management, you or your loved one will be consistently monitored by medical professionals to get the maximum relief possible for while maintaining your safety.
For more information visit: An Overview of Outpatient and Inpatient Detoxification – PMC
Withdrawal symptoms often include:
- Fever and flu-like symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Excessive sweating
- Shaking and tremors
- Headaches and migraines
- Confusion and disorientation
The process of medical detox is generally as follows: qualified treatment center personnel will perform a thorough patient intake assessment, accurately documenting your medical history and current condition. This information is invaluable in informing your healthcare provider and guiding your care. For the detox to be successful, it’s imperative that you disclose all of your drug and alcohol use history; including any pre-existing medical conditions, for example, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. The more accurate medical information the detox has, the safer and more tolerable the detox will be.
Again, it is not recommended to attempt detoxification at home. It’s critical that you have professionals observing you and monitoring your symptoms. Taking risks with your health by trying to “weather the storm” or “toughing through” a detox on your own is strongly discouraged. Medical detoxes exist for a reason: to keep you safe and as comfortable as possible as you begin your journey to recovery from Substance Use Disorder.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
MAT is a widely used, evidence-based component of care for individuals with opioid or alcohol use disorder. MAT is a universally accepted tool for Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) treatment programs. MAT involves utilizing FDA-approved medications to effectively manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
FDA approved medications for Opioid Dependence
The FDA has granted approval for three medications to treat Opioid Dependence: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. When used in conjunction with counseling and psychosocial support, these treatments have shown to be both safe and effective in managing Opioid Use Disorder and Opioid Dependence.
To learn more please visit: Information about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) – FDA
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Legacy Healing Centers
A premier behavioral health provider. We specialize comprehensive treatment of addiction. Legacy uses an individualized client-centered approach, designed to build hope, create a stable support network and achieve long-term health and healing. We take Private Insurance Only. View ListingCall :754-399-1216