The first step in the recovery process for most people is detoxification from drugs. This can often be a frightening experience for the patient and all of their loved ones, but with the help of professionals it can be made as safe as possible. Just One Recovery will walk you through the detoxification process, so that you can be one step closer to a full recovery. We will thoroughly describe everything you can expect, but it is important to know that detoxification is different for everyone and the treatment should be modified according to each individual’s needs. It may take a few tries before success is attainable, but regardless of how long it might take, we are here to get you through this.
WHAT IS DETOXIFICATION?
Detoxification is the process of eliminating drugs or toxins from the body’s system. This is often the most intense aspect of recovery as it is an observable change in one’s physical health. It is important to detox in a supervised setting in order to manage withdrawal symptoms that occur when someone abruptly stops consuming drugs or alcohol. The symptoms of detox can vary greatly with every individual. With most cases, it depends on the type of drug and the degree of consumption to determine how long the detox process will take. Just One Recovery will use medications and alternative comfort measures to make former users comfortable throughout the process of removing the drugs from their body.
Outpatient detoxification is a program that enables the patient to be rid themselves of toxins from their own home. This can be a feasible option in cases dealing with less severe addiction. However, generally it can be very dangerous to detox at home without the proper help from a medical professional. Likewise, without regular check-ins, an outpatient treatment plan can lack the accountability that prevents relapse. This is why, when possible, we recommend inpatient care.
Inpatient detoxification is when the patient is housed by a rehab facility that will monitor the entire process of detox to ensure all treatments are being carried out effectively, within a safe environment. Inpatient detox is highly recommended as these programs are staffed by medical professionals that ensure proper medical treatment is carried out in the case of an emergency. Just One Recovery offers an inpatient treatment of detoxification that leads to a seamless transfer into ongoing substance abuse treatment upon detox completion. We not only want to get you clean, but we want to provide you with the tools to live a healthy lifestyle, free of substance abuse. Along with the physical complications associated with substance abuse, we will also address the psychological issues related to addiction and how to manage them.
Alcohol and tranquilizers produce the most dangerous physical withdrawal. Suddenly stopping alcohol or tranquilizers can lead to seizures, strokes, or heart attacks in high risk patients. Heavy consumption of alcohol over time can lead to troubling and severe withdrawal symptoms. Non-fatal symptoms may include sweating, shivering, anxiety, slowed thought processing, nausea, impulsivity, aggression, vomiting, and insomnia. The most common withdrawal symptom associated with heavy, long-term use of alcohol is Delirium tremens, which can lead to death if left untreated. Symptoms of this severe withdrawal includes hallucinations, seizures, agitation, confusion, changes in mental function, and deep sleep that lasts for more than two days. It is always recommended that someone experiencing severe alcohol addiction receive medically supervised detoxification treatment, which we will explain later in this article. If you are aware of someone who is detoxing from alcohol, it is crucial that they are not left alone and are immediately taken to a hospital or detox facility.
OTHER DRUG WITHDRAWAL
The severity and duration of withdrawal is influenced by the level of dependency on the substance and a few other factors, including the length of time the substance is abused, the type of substance, the method it is administered, the amount taken, and the genetic makeup of the substance abuser. Below, we will list the most common symptoms experienced by patients using the following drugs:
Heroin- nausea, abdominal pain, sweating, shaking, agitation, nervousness, muscle spasms, depression, drug cravings
Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan)- headaches, muscle pain, tremors, blurred vision, numb fingers, sensitivity to light and sound, loss of appetite, insomnia, heart palpitations, anxiety, sweating, panic, paranoia, seizures, tension in joints, tingles of limbs, and delirium.
Prescription Opiates (Vicodin, OxyContin, Methadone, Morphine)- headaches, stomach, pain, nausea, tremors, sweating, hallucinations, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, anxiety, depression, seizures, thoughts of suicide.
Cocaine and Methamphetamines- acute dysphoria, irritability and anxiety, increased desire for sleep, exhaustion, increased appetite, initial decreased craving to use followed by increased craving to use, poor concentration, some irritability and some lethargy.
Most drugs come with psychological side effects that can compromise one’s state of mind. For instance, detoxification from stimulant drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine, can result in severe depression and suicidal tendencies. In these cases, it is more than ever encouraged for the patient to receive inpatient care to ensure that they do not hurt themselves or others. It is also noted that individuals receiving treatment from outpatient facilities are more likely to fail at completing detox treatment. Inpatient treatment facilities like Just One Recovery have medical professionals available around the clock to supervise patients all throughout the detox process.
COLD TURKEY DETOX
This type of detoxification generally means that the patient completely seizes use of any drugs with nothing more than medical supervision to aid in the chance of an emergency. With this method, patients are experiencing the full force of withdrawal symptoms which can be quite intense and lengthy in duration. This option is typically only used when symptoms are not severe and can be managed with close supervision. To ease a patient’s comfort throughout withdrawal, medication can be managed and administered. In most cases, medication can improve the chances of full recovery.
Medical detox still requires the patient to cease use of all substances. However, as they are experiencing withdrawals symptoms, they will be administered a short-term or long-term medication treatment plan to ease discomfort along the way. This can include non-addictive sleep medication for those experiencing insomnia or a pain reliever to alleviate bone aches and muscle pains. Medical professionals will supervise the administration of all drugs to ensure they are not misused and to prevent the patient from experiencing unnecessary pain. Our goal is to get you through detoxification as fast and painless as possible.
Benzodiazepines are commonly given to those overcoming alcohol withdrawal on a regular schedule or as symptoms arise. These drugs are able to alleviate the risks of seizures and delirium without any further risk. However, these drugs are not intended to be used long-term and should only be utilized to counteract alcohol withdrawal. AS previously stated, the use of this medication will be monitored and adjusted appropriately.
Long term medication can be administered to treat the use of opioid drugs such as heroin and painkillers to prevent the patient from ever being reliant on a more dangerous drug. A medical professional may decide that it is best to treat these types of addictions with the use of methadone or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone to prevent the patient from going through severely painful withdrawal symptoms. Over time, it is generally intended to lower the dosage/dependency of the patient on the drug. Ceasing use of opioids without proper medical intervention can be fatal and is extremely discouraged.
It is not uncommon for antidepressant medications or antipsychotics to be used in concurrence with detox medication to treat any existence of mental health issues. Depression is a common disorder that coincides with addictions to stimulants or opioids. People struggling with these mental disorders can benefit from these treatments in their strides to stabilize and strengthen their state of mind. Finding a balance with these medications can aid the patient in discovering the root of their problems, by giving them a clear state of mind to work out their emotions and thoughts.
Regardless of the detoxification treatment that the patient chooses, it is important that it is done under the supervision of a medical professional with the proper follow up counseling for substance abuse. Just One Recovery will advise you on the best approach to obtaining a safe and effective treatment and we will monitor and adjust this treatment to ensure the utmost efficiency. We understand how difficult of a time this can be and we will operate with the highest level of compassion and concern.
MORE SPECIFICS ON MEDICATION TREATMENT
We have already given an overview on why medications are prescribed, but now we will take the time to go over the most common medications administered, their side effects, and why they are successful. Medications can be quite effective in helping patients to safely stop using drugs. In some cases, these medications act as an imitation of the drug inside the body to stunt withdrawal symptoms without the risk factor of putting toxins within the body.
Methadone is used for the treatment of opiate addiction. This type of medication is highly restricted and must be taken with the supervision of a medical professional. The patient will be required to go to a methadone clinic to receive their treatment. Methadone works to decrease drug cravings, alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and does not elicit euphoric effects. However, it does contain some disadvantages as it contains a high risk of further addiction if misused and can lead to the following symptoms: vomiting, nausea, excessive sweating, constipation, sexual dysfunction, itchy skin, and respiratory depression. Nonetheless, Methadone is the most commonly used medication to treat opioid addiction. When it is used to wean a patient off of opioids, it can be very effective, but should be closely monitored to ensure it is not abused.
Another treatment for opioid addiction is Buprenorphine. This drug can be used on its own but is often combined with naloxone as Suboxone as agonist drug that works in the same way as Methadone but is known to also have anti-depressant effects. The benefits of this treatment are that there is a far less potential for the patient to become dependent upon this medication, it can be distributed at most clinics and hospitals (unlike Methadone), it diminishes withdrawal symptoms, and has a plateau effect that prevents overdose. The negative effects can appear as: sleep problems, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and muscle cramps. Nonetheless, this is a preferable option in detoxification treatment when applicable.
Naltrexone is a medication used to block the effect of opiate drugs by binding to opioid receptors in the brain that would allow the user to feel high. This effect discourages relapse because it depletes the euphoric effect of the drug. Some advantages to using Naltrexone are: its long duration within the bodily system, its aid in preventing relapse, and its lack of withdrawal symptoms. However, it is not effective until the patient is completely clean of opioids in their symptom and is known to cause muscle and joint pain, as well as nervousness, diarrhea, vomiting, and headache.
Acamprosate is prescribed to those struggling with alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety. It works to help normalize brain activity and decreases any craving for alcohol. Likewise, it has no potential for abuse. The downside is that it can cause muscle weakness, nausea, stomach cramps, dizziness, headache, and itchiness.
DURATION OF DRUG DETOXIFICATION
Drug detoxification duration depends on how withdrawal symptoms exist and as long as it takes for the patient to return to a healthy state of physical and mental being. new will do everything to keep them comfortable until they are nursed back to health. In addition to ending the abuse of all substances, the goal of detox is to prepare the patient for the therapy and treatment that will be necessary to ensure the patient does not relapse in the future. Not every patient completes detoxification on the first try, and it is important to not give the patient too high of standards to meet. Sobriety is an ongoing process and every small action count towards the greater scheme of their life. Addiction is chronic in its definition but having the hope and support to overcome it is what the patient desperately needs to succeed. We will never cease to have the patient’s best interest in mind and are eager to continue trying until we have a break through.
THE FIRST STEP TO RECOVERY IS GETTING CLEAN
Although detox is not a complete treatment for drug addiction, it is the first step to healing. In many situations, the patient is struggling with pre-existing trauma such as sexual assault, grief, domestic violence, divorce, loss of employment. These issues will require therapy in order prevent them from acting as a trigger for further substance abuse.
Detoxification can be scary and fatal if not done under medical supervision. Recovery from addiction is not easy. It is going to require strength and determination to pursue long-lasting sobriety. The good news is you will not be alone in this pursuit. Just One Recovery will put you in touch with individuals who are going through or have experienced similar circumstances as you. Your recovery depends on your willingness to participate in the services we offer. We will provide you with all of the resources you will need to overcome your addictions, but it is up to you whether you make the commitment to change. We will do everything we can to lift your spirits and keep you directed towards the right goal. If you open your mind to our treatment options, we will not give up until we get you to the place you desire to be.
JUST ONE RECOVERY IS HERE FOR YOU
There is a small window to act within when an individual decides they want to get clean, and we urge you to act immediately as their life may depend on it. No one should have to struggle with overcoming an addiction on their own and Just One Recovery is here to help you through it. If you would like further information on drug detoxification and other substance abuse treatments, we encourage you to investigate our website or give us a call at 714-538-8085.We are more than happy to answer all of your burning questions and concerns. Our primary goal is to give you the help that you need in this pressing time whether it is for you or a loved one. Just One Recovery is here to walk you through every step along the recovery process.