The first step in the addiction recovery process is ridding the body of toxins, including both drugs and alcohol. A detox is most effectively and safely accomplished through professional supervision at a qualified substance abuse treatment facility.
Detoxing outside of medical supervision is risky. Withdrawal symptoms from cessation of any substance are highly unpleasant, and often prompt people to relapse. In rare cases, such as severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome, symptoms can prove fatal.
Professional detox involves supervising the patient 24 hours a day, monitoring vital signs, and administering medications as needed. Simply put, a medical detox mitigates the worse symptoms of withdrawal while ensuring that the patient is safe and prevented from relapsing.
Constant professional supervision is especially necessary for those undergoing detox from multiple substances.
Who Needs A Medical Detox?
Anyone who is chemically dependent on a substance can benefit from a medical detox. These substances include, but are not limited to:
- Opiates such as morphine and heroin
- Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl
- Prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone (Vicodin, OxyContin)
- Sedatives such as Ambien and Lunesta
- Benzodiazepines such as Xanax
- Stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine
Following detox, patients are highly encouraged to participate in substance abuse treatment, preferably in a 30-90 day inpatient or outpatient program. Residential care is particularly beneficial because the full detox process takes weeks or months, and inpatient treatment prevents relapse and helps to build coping skills during this critical time.
For those who cannot undergo residential care, outpatient treatment is a flexible and effective option that uses most of the same elements as inpatient treatment.
Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.
Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology