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What is a Medical Detox?

Medical Detox: What is it? How does it work? 

Addiction can be a debilitating, chronic disease that can cause problems and heartache for the one struggling with addiction, as well as family and friends. Whether the drug is alcohol, cocaine, heroin, a prescription drug, or another type of drug, withdrawal is something that one will have to go through when they desire to stop using. To fully recover from this type of disease addiction experts recommend undergoing a medical detox. If you or your loved one is ready to break free from an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you may have some questions about the detox process. Below, we provide some important information about medical detox, as well as information for continuing treatment once the detox stage is complete.

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What Is Medical Detox?

When you become addicted to alcohol or drugs, your body becomes used to having the substances in its system. The brain becomes dependent on them and believes it needs them to function.

When you decide you want to stop using the drug, your body will start to detox. This means that it will produce mental and physical withdrawal symptoms while ridding the body of the harmful toxins associated with whatever drug you were using.

A medical detox is an opportunity to undergo withdrawal from the toxins in a safe and comfortable environment. It involves being cared for and monitored 24/7 by a medical staff and can include medication assisted treatment, which uses certain medications to help your body wean off of addictive substances.

Should I Detox At Home?

Trying to get through withdrawal on your own at home can be extremely challenging and dangerous. Depending on the drug, you could put yourself in danger of severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures, tremors, or death.

Inpatient medical detox centers have around-the-clock staff that monitor and ensure safety when it comes to getting through the withdrawal process. In a medical detox, trained doctors and nurses will be monitoring your vitals and checking your progress each day. Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, they may prescribe comfort medications to help minimize your discomfort.

Detox is the first level of care in a drug rehab setting. A medical detox is, followed by a long-term recovery strategy that can include residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient treatment.

How Medical Detox Works

When you’re ready to quit using whatever drug you’ve become addicted to, undergoing a medical detox should always be your first step. If you attend an inpatient medical detox facility, you’ll receive supervision, support, and medical monitoring 24/7. A professional addiction team will help you get through the withdrawal symptoms and kick start your recovery in a safe, comfortable environment.

Before you begin with detox at our drug rehab facility, a substance abuse counselor will perform an assessment. During this assessment you’ll discuss your substance use, symptoms, and more details. The assessment informs your specific detox plan which can include medications to help decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms and the expected timeline for your detox. Opioid and alcohol addictions are the most common addictions that require treatment with medication.

Typically, the detox process ranges from five to seven days, with the most challenging symptoms experienced in the first few days. Our team will do all they can to minimize withdrawal symptoms and help decrease the intensity of cravings, keeping you healthy and comfortable during your stay.

How Do I Start Medical Detox?

Talk to an Admissions Coordinator to get started. One of our experts will evaluate your situation, verify your insurance, answer all of your questions, and help you take the first steps.

Why Choose A Medical Detox Over A Detox At Home?

A medically supervised detox is much safer than detoxing at home or going through a rapid detox. Our team of medical professionals and addiction specialists will consistently assess your symptoms, check your progress, and make sure you keep your health up with nutritious meals and plenty of rest.

You get to rely on the expertise and experience of substance abuse professionals, rather than trying to get through a painful detox on your own. We’ll also guide you in starting the next phase of your recovery so that you can continue living a sober and successful life.

Benefits of A Medical Detox

When you are under the care of medical professionals while detoxing, you are less likely to relapse. Having the care and support of addiction specialists who know how to minimize withdrawal symptoms can help immensely. You also have less risk of serious complications, including overdose.

For example, plenty of people struggling with alcoholism do not realize how severe withdrawal symptoms can be. If they try to detox at home by themselves, they could experience dangerous symptoms like delirium tremens, seizures, or hallucinations. However, under a medical detox, they are closely monitored and can receive medications that can help prevent such symptoms.

Additional benefits of a medical detox include:

  • Having the time to retreat from home and solely focus on recovery without distractions.
  • Access to addiction recovery experts.
  • Get professional support and encouragement in a comfortable, safe facility.
  • Rest, repair, and begin building a solid foundation for continued recovery.

Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

The specific withdrawal symptoms that you will experience under a medical detox will vary depending on what drug you’re trying to stop using. The intensity and length of time can also vary depending on how long you’ve been addicted, the frequency you were using the drug, the dosage, history of addiction, and more.

Common withdrawal symptoms for most drugs include:
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body ache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Feelings of agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
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How Long Is A Medical Detox?

The time it takes for the body to detox varies from person to person, depending on factors like:

  • Type of drug
  • How often the drug was used
  • The dosage
  • Addiction history
  • Age
  • Overall health

Most commonly, a medical detox will take between three to seven days for the physical withdrawal symptoms to stop. However, the emotional withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, anxiety, or mood swings may linger for weeks or months depending on the factors mentioned above.

Seek Help For Addiction

When you or a loved one decide to break free from an addiction, you have the chance to get your life back without being dependent on that drug. Trying to detox at home alone doesn’t go well for many people. They may do well for a couple of days, but fall right back into the addictive behavior.

When you seek help from a medical detox, you significantly reduce your chance of relapsing. You can successfully detox and then go on to continue treatment at a residential or outpatient treatment center to continue getting strong in recovery.

Get The Best Medical Detox Services

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, consider taking that first step toward freedom by undergoing a medical detox. Here at SOBA, we take recovery seriously. We care immensely about providing the best services for those desiring to get free from addiction.

Give us a call today. We’d love to discuss any questions or concerns you may have and help you take your next step toward a successful recovery and fulfilling life.

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