Undergoing medical treatment for opioid addiction requires that the drug of abuse (oxycodone, fentanyl, heroin, etc) is removed from the body. These substances interfere with clear thought, communication and emotional states that are critical to a rehabilitative process that enhances a person’s life without dependence on drugs and alcohol. Detox is a process through which substances are removed from the body. Because people can experience withdrawal symptoms during detox, our detox program is managed 100% by licensed medical providers. Our treatments dramatically reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
What is Detox?
All patients will go through the detox process. Through the use of prescription medications we help make this process relatively comfortable and easy. Patients will stop taking the opioid of abuse for a certain number of hours depending on each opioid. At the correct time, providers will start a medical treatment prescription customized to each patient's body. Our physicians and nurse practitioners will guide you through this process. Within 4-5 days, all withdrawal symptoms will be resolved and the dose tapering process will begin. Each patient's dose of medication will be slowly reduced over three weeks until a comfortable maintenance dose is reached.
Is Detox Safe?
Yes, withdrawing from opioids under medical supervision is safe, although, without medical treatment it can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances resulting in cardiac failure. The primary medication used to make withdrawal more comfortable is called buprenorphine. It is a safe and reliable way to treat withdrawal and long term addiction.
Who's a Good Candidate for Detox?
Unfortunately, not everyone suffering from alcohol addiction or drug addiction is a great candidate for detox, inasmuch as loved ones want them to be. So, who is a good candidate for addiction and substance abuse treatment?
Heavy drug or alcohol users are often good candidates for substance abuse treatment because detox is designed to help safely manage withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of the substance. Candidates who are mentally and emotionally willing and motivated to change their lives often experience the most successful detox process.
The best candidates are in good physical health, as some underlying health conditions can be worsened by detoxification. Those with a strong support system of family, friends, or professional network make the best candidates.
How to Prepare for Detox
Preparing to enter a detox treatment program means preparing for withdrawal symptoms by understanding upfront what you might experience and how it will be managed. Of course, you should also prepare by arranging for time off during both the detox and the initial stages of recovery, as the process can be physically and emotionally taxing.
Additionally, set up your support system by telling close family members and friends about your plan and creating a support plan together. Because detox can be mentally challenging, you must prepare for fluctuations in your mental health not to be caught off-guard. Of course, planning for aftercare is also critical, as detox is just the first step in the journey to recovery. Finally, pack necessary personal items to make you feel more at ease. Remember to make legal or professional arrangements, such as informing your workplace and arranging care for dependents.
3 Biggest Myths about Detox
Seemingly endless myths and misconceptions surround detoxification. Here are the 3 most important ones you need to know about detox:
1. Myth: Detox is a Quick Fix for Drug Addiction or Alcohol Addiction
Detox is only the first step in addiction treatment. It's a long-term process that requires ongoing therapy and lifestyle changes at a minimum for success.
2. Myth: Detox is Safe to Do at Home
Depending on the substance and level of dependency, detox can be dangerous at home without medical supervision due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. It is best always to seek out medical help when it comes to detoxing. Quitting cold turkey is rare and is oftentimes incredibly difficult to accomplish.
3. Myth: Detox Must Involve Complete Abstinence
In some cases, graduation reduction or medically assisted detox is safer and more effective.
How Do You Know It's Time to Detox?
How can you recognize that it's time for you or a loved one to detox? Start by considering how you stack up to this list of indicators:
- Physical dependence: Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, or headaches when not using the substance are signs that it is time to detox.
- Increased tolerance: Having an increased tolerance means needing more of the substance to achieve the same effect.
- Loss of usage control: When it's challenging to control when, how much, or how often you use the substance.
- Continued use despite negative consequences: When usage continues, even after adverse health, social, legal, or financial consequences result.
- Withdrawal from social activities: When substance usage results in social and relationship problems, including withdrawal from hobbies and favorite activities or engagement in risk behaviors, it's time to consider detox.