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Drug and Alcohol Detox

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a doctor works in a drug and alcohol detox centerAddiction affects more than your mental health, causing symptoms such as cravings and a compulsion to seek and use the drug. Prolonged substance use of certain drugs can also lead to physical dependence. Medical drug and alcohol detox programs are sometimes necessary to break the physical dependence on substances. Detoxification is the process of ridding the body of the chemicals and toxins that have affected the brain, internal organs, and systems due to substance use. Medical personnel will monitor the client’s heart rate patterns, blood pressure, and stress in a medical setting.

Medical detox is often the first step before the recovery process can begin. The result of a successful detox protocol is that a person no longer has any medical risks caused by ending drug and alcohol use. This ensures that they will not experience physical withdrawal symptoms that could be uncomfortable or dangerous when in treatment.

Proper medical detox strengthens the addiction recovery process and having all tools available for you, or your loved one is of the highest importance at Vertava Health. To determine whether you need medical detox, contact us today at 844.451.0263.

What Are Medical Drug and Alcohol Detox Programs?

Medical detox is the first step in the recovery process. The result of a successful medical detox is that a person no longer has any medical risks caused by the cessation of drugs or alcohol. Many people will need to attend a medical detox program before they can enter an addiction treatment facility. This ensures that they will not experience withdrawal symptoms that could be uncomfortable or even dangerous when in treatment.

Why Medications May Be Necessary During Detox

Not everyone will require detoxification to enter an addiction treatment program. Certain substances may only cause psychological addiction, and detox may not be necessary for those addictions.

Other substances, such as alcohol and opioids, can cause severe physical dependence. Once a person is dependent on such substances, they cannot function normally without the drug. They may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be life-threatening. A medical detox program allows a person to detoxify in a safe environment with a significantly reduced risk of health complications. 

Effects of Withdrawal

Effects of withdrawal will vary by the substance used, duration of use, and the person, but general withdrawal symptoms may include:

Different drugs will cause widely different effects, some of which can have negative consequences. Alcohol withdrawal, at its most severe, can cause a dangerous syndrome known as delirium tremens.

How Do Medical Detox Programs Work?

The first step on the road to recovery from addiction is detoxification from drugs or alcohol. Many people with substance use disorders will need to attend a medically-supervised detox program. Medically-assisted detox programs provide ongoing clinical and medical support to individuals undergoing detox from drugs or alcohol. In the most reputable rehab centers, clinicians and medical personnel are devoted to seeing individuals through detoxification and helping them transition into recovery. During the detox process, individuals will have access to medical support, medication if needed, and nutritional support.

Benefits Of Medication-Assisted Detox

Several benefits come with attending a medically-supervised detox program. A medical detox program can prevent potentially life-threatening situations that can occur as a result of stopping certain substances. For example, suddenly quitting benzodiazepines after years of use can be deadly without medical supervision and assistance. Stopping alcohol suddenly without medical supervision can cause seizures or other medical problems that may be deadly in some people.
Additional benefits of a medical alcohol and drug detox program include:

The main focus of a detox program is to help a person safely rid their body of harmful toxins acquired during substance use.

Detox programs are not to be confused with treatment, as they are only the beginning of formal addiction treatment. Inpatient or residential treatment level of care is often the next step after a detox protocol. Detox is often not enough to ensure long-term recovery. The underlying issues that lead to problematic substance use must be professionally treated.

At Vertava Health, we offer a program that can include medication, doctor support, and therapy. We then ensure a smooth crossover between detox and residential treatment.

Why Self-Detox Can Be Life-Threatening to Drug Users

Attempting self-detoxification instead of entering a medically-assisted detox program is risky for several reasons. Methadone and buprenorphine maintenance programs allow individuals to not only detox from opioids but to continue the use of medication until their body is ready to stop the use of it. This way, there is less risk of relapse and further substance misuse or risk of overdose.

Self-detoxification can lead to several health complications. Seizures, slowed breathing and heart rates, hallucinations, or convulsions can all lead to dangerous consequences when left untreated. Medication-assisted detox programs can keep such symptoms from happening through constant monitoring and clinical support.

Medical detox programs treat all aspects of physical health, allowing for greater recovery success in a comfortable, fully-equipped environment. Following detox, a client can transition to formal substance-use treatment.

What Happens After Detoxification?

Once a person has completed a medically-assisted detox program, they are ready for formal treatment. There are several programs to choose from.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Participants in inpatient addiction treatment programs, also called residential programs, reside within the facility for an extended period to receive treatment. Inpatient rehab centers may follow a specific approach to treatment, such as gender-specific or 12-step. Depending on client needs, these programs may last for anywhere from 7 days to a year or more.

Treatment components generally include counseling, some form of behavioral therapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy), and individual/group therapy. Rehab centers will customize the treatment plans according to each individual.

Intensive Outpatient Programs and Partial Hospitalization Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are outpatient programs that aim to provide addiction treatment comparable to that of inpatient programs. IOPs tend to be less intensive than PHPs, which occur more frequently. Both programs work well as a step down from inpatient treatment and for people who are unable to enter inpatient treatment.

Outpatient Programs and Support Groups For Recovery

Outpatient programs provide certain services regularly, such as counseling, group therapy, or support meetings. We also recommend that our clients attend support groups. These groups bring together individuals in recovery to uplift each other, share experiences, and help maintain sobriety.

Contact Vertava Health to Learn More Today

Detoxification from drugs and alcohol can be the first step in recovering from a substance use disorder. A medical detox program can help a person withdraw from substances as comfortably and safely as possible. These programs can also assist in the transition into a treatment program once a person has successfully stopped using the substance.

If you wonder whether a detox program is right for you, contact a Vertava Health treatment specialist today. If we determine medical detox is necessary for you, we can assist in helping you find the program that best meets your needs.

To learn more about medically-assisted drug and alcohol detox programs or inpatient treatment, contact Vertava Health today at 844.451.0263.