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Tag Archive: medical detox

Methods of Drug Detox

There are various types of drug detox programs depending upon the drug or substance of use. These methods can be very effective if chosen for the right condition. In addition to the type of the drug of abuse, other factors that play a role include the dose taken at the time the patient starts detox, the duration of addiction, and if there is polysubstance abuse determine the most appropriate type of detox. Some of the detox methods include “Cold-Turkey” detox, short-term medicated detox, long-term medicated detox, etc.

The “cold turkey” detox method entails stopping the use of all drugs with no pharmacologic assistance and with only medical care available for emergency situations. These patients experience the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms with no help from supportive therapy. That makes it a feasible option for less intense addictions but for the rest, the cold turkey detox is not suitable and can be counterproductive, in fact dangerous.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed
Medical detox, on the other hand, is different because patients who opt for medical detox stop taking their substance of use but as they experience withdrawal symptoms, they are able to take certain medications for a limited period of time to ease discomfort. This is why this program is better tolerated and can handle slightly more intense forms of addictions. It is important to note that the medications administered/prescribed in this program are primarily for symptomatic relief, such as non-addictive sleep medication for insomnia or anxiety. The main idea is to minimize the degree of discomfort as these patients are detoxing.

If an alcoholic is undergoing medical detox, they are commonly given benzodiazepines to alleviate anxiety, jitteriness, insomnia, and to treat or prevent seizures, and they have a cross-tolerance with alcohol. However, in order to treat the use of opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids, these medications have to be taken longer-term, especially partial agonists, such as methadone or the drug combination buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone). But over time, as the detox continues, they’ll often require lower doses of medication until they’re eventually drug-free.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed, then the right type of detox program is chosen. Regardless of the type of detox program chosen, it has to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Both these detox types can be carried out with the patient being at home, but it may not be the best option. The reasons for that are that it may not be entirely safe, given the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms or relapse with an overdose. It is also less effective given the higher chance of noncompliance. Overall, professional detox is safer, better tolerated and more effective in the end. Choosing the right professional detox is key, however. And at Pacificbayrecovery.com, we provide highly professional, evidence-based care to these patients.

Undergoing Medical Detoxification

The process of medical detoxification, or medical detox, is the first step in substance dependence and addiction which allows for an affected individual to adjust to a life without alcohol and/or drugs.

The process is performed slowly under the care and supervision of a trained and experienced healthcare professional. This is done to allow patients the opportunity to withdraw from their addictive substances without having to experience too severe withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal Symptoms

An important aspect to take note of is that every addiction is based on the individual and every withdrawal experience is different. Not everyone goes through the same withdrawal process and the severity of symptoms will depend on factors such as the type of drug used, the frequency of its use, how long the substance was used for, and if there is any underlying pathology.

The following are possible withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced depending on the substance that is abused:

  • Alcohol – fever, rapid heartbeat, and confusion.
  • Opioids/narcotics – excessive sweating, muscles aches, anxiety, abdominal discomfort, and agitation.
  • Methamphetamine – uncontrollable shaking, dry mouth, sweating, fatigue, and insomnia.
  • Cocaine – malaise, increased appetite, fatigue, and agitation.

Some other withdrawal symptoms that patients may experience can include:

  • Muscle tremors.
  • Depression.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

process is performed slowly under the care and supervision of a trained and experienced healthcare professional

Some patients may stop experiencing these issues after a few days or weeks, while others may end up struggling with symptoms that linger on for months. The period of time one may ultimately experience the withdrawal symptoms may last longer than anticipated without medical support and this can lead to relapsing back into bad habits.

Severe withdrawal symptoms that warrant definite medical intervention and support include:

  • Severe psychological distress.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Seizures or convulsions.

In the event of such issues, a medical detox administrator can ensure the safety of a patient and reduce the chances of a relapse.

How Does Medical Detox Work?

The following steps take place during a medical detoxification:

  • A trained medical practitioner will take charge over the entire withdrawal process starting with a patient’s history, current health status, and substance use history.
  • The patient will be examined and investigated further if required to rule out and manage any acute and/or chronic medical issues. Any fluid and electrolyte imbalances will also be managed here.
  • A custom detox process will be initiated for the patient to minimize the side effects of the withdrawal process as well as encourage a permanent state of recovery.
  • Depending on the substance that the patient is addicted to, tapering off the drug may be required in order to prevent any severe withdrawal effects from developing. This is especially important for substances such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and methamphetamine.
  • Once the patients have their withdrawal symptoms under control, they will start to take part in other substance rehabilitation services such as psychotherapy and occupational therapy.

Without having to worry about physical and psychological symptoms of the withdrawal process, the patient can then start to focus on their mental health, long-term recovery plan to avoid relapses and to rebuild their lives and relationships with family members and friends.

Drug Detox Rehab: What you need to Know

Drug detoxification (detox) is one of the most difficult rehab programs to go through. It is physically demanding, you’ll likely be rather sick for a few days, and in some cases, you could have permanent damage. Keep in mind that this is a long journey and you were strong enough to walk through the door; so don’t let fear of feeling pain or stress stop you from succeeding.

The Detox ProcessAlcohol Detox San Diego

This is the hardest part of this type of rehab program. Your body has to naturally remove the drug or drugs from your system. What this means is that you may suffer from tremors, physical illness, severe depression, body cramping, and mood swings. The first part of recovery is the worst part, and you’ll get through it because support and guidance is right there. Once you get through the detox phase, the rest is smooth sailing in comparison to those moments.

Possible Medication

For those with serious addictions to methamphetamine, heroin, or crack cocaine, the staff may give you medication, such as methadone, to help you with the physical pain and mental distress that comes from using these strong drugs. The body becomes dependent on these strong drugs and medications are made to help the body through these tough processes. You won’t have to be on them forever, it is just temporary. This helps you to wean yourself off of the drugs, although in an abrupt way, without losing control of your mental function.

Talking about your Personal DemonsAlcohol Recovery

There is a real reason as to why you started using drugs. Perhaps it was stress from work, feelings of inadequacy, or a personal tragedy. These demons have to be set free so that you can ease your mind and realize that it was a poor decision and there are other ways of coping with these things. It is important to talk about your demons, no matter how hard it is. Part of rehabilitation (rehab) is working on you, not just the addiction. It helps you release these negative thoughts and feelings and learn how to deal with them in real life situations.

Accepting the Program

Most drug addicts entering detox rehab programs are very resistant to treatment. Denial is a tough phase to get through. Once you’ve passed the actual detox portion, you will feel better physically and emotionally. This helps you recognize the problem and allows you to accept the help available. Programs are structured differently with every facility. It is important to listen to your counselors, talk with others, and listen to their stories. It’s a big wake-up call, and you’ll be grateful for it in the end.

Although this is a hard program to get through, you’ll be healthier after the program is complete. Pacific Bay Recovery in San Diego offers a safe and effective detox program along with residential and PHP options for drug and alcohol rehab. Call us today!