What Is the Drug Detox Process?
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What Is Drug Detox?
With over 40.3 million people in the United States struggling with addiction, treatment is more important than ever. Drug detox is the first step to recovering from substance abuse. Dependency is a primary characteristic of addiction, causing the body to rely on the substance to function. Thus, when the body no longer has that substance in its system, it goes into a state of “panic.” This panic is what’s known as withdrawal. 1
Withdrawal symptoms are a significant part of why the drug detox process should occur under medical supervision. They can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms include cravings, depression, muscle pain, and seizures. As a result, detoxing at a medical facility, such as a rehabilitation or treatment center, is essential to a safe detox and recovery.
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What Is Meant by Detoxification of Drugs?
Drug detox is the process of eliminating unwanted substances from the body. The elimination can include quitting altogether or gradually tapering from the drug. A gradual taper is typically the safer route, as it reduces the risk of more severe side effects, also known as withdrawal symptoms.
Detoxification is a necessary step in the addiction treatment plan because it reduces the body’s dependency on the substance.
How Long Does Drug Detox Take?
Drug Detox Symptoms
Several symptoms of detoxification can occur, depending on the substance, duration, and frequency of addiction. Some of the most common side effects of drug detox include:
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Shaking or shivering
- Difficulties sleeping
- Changes in appetite
What Is the Process for Drug Detox?
A medical assessment is necessary before beginning any treatment procedures. The doctor will conduct a physical and psychological exam on the patient. This includes discussing the patient’s addiction, personal and family medical history, and physical and psychological symptoms. They will review existing diagnoses and take note of possible co-occurring disorders.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive sweating
- Hunger or loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Rapid heart rate
Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
- Intense cravings for the substance
- Mood swings
Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
- Delirium tremens
- Suicidal thoughts
Stabilization is the last step in the drug detox process. This is when the body no longer relies on the substance of abuse. Patients usually reach stabilization after a few weeks. During this final stage, the patient receives therapy, learns helpful coping mechanisms, and may attend support groups and family therapy.
Different Types of Drug Detox
Medically Managed Inpatient Detox
Medically Monitored Inpatient Detox
Clinically Managed Residential Detox
A clinically managed residential detox involves the patient staying at a rehabilitation facility throughout the duration of their detox. Like medically managed detoxes, patients will have access to doctors and nurses. Patients generally have some freedom during the day, with appointments for individual and group therapy and scheduled activities.
Ambulatory Detox With Extended Onsite Monitoring
Ambulatory Detox Without Extended Onsite Monitoring
Ambulatory detox without extended onsite monitoring is another outpatient program. However, this method is the least extensive of all the programs mentioned above. Medical professionals provide regular check-ins and evaluations to assist the patient during their detox.
Drug Detox Side Effects and Risks
Drug Detox During Pregnancy
Substance abuse can be fatal for the baby during pregnancy. If left untreated, the baby could develop mental and physical illnesses and become dependent on the substance. Doctors recommend an inpatient drug detox process while pregnant, as withdrawal symptoms can harm the mother and baby.
Treating Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy
Opioid use disorder continues to be a significant issue among the U.S. population, including pregnant women. Fortunately, research has shown that methadone and buprenorphine, common medications used to treat opioid addiction, are effective treatments for pregnant women. 2
Drug Detox While Breastfeeding
Quitting Cold Turkey
Drug Detox at Home
Rapid Drug Detox Risks
Other Side Effects
The most severe side effects of the drug detox process, such as tremors, hallucinations, and seizures, are more likely to occur when a person is attempting to detox at home without medical supervision. Additionally, drug cravings can reach their peak during the withdrawal process. Detoxing in a safe, medically supervised facility is essential to long-term success and reduced risk of relapse.
Medical Drug Detox Services at Profound Treatment
At Profound Treatment, we provide safe and evidence-based treatments to help you through the drug detox process. We have several addiction treatment options, including inpatient and outpatient programs. Our recovery facility addresses both substance use and mental health disorders to ensure each patient receives treatment for all symptoms and issues.
How Can Our Detox Center Help?
At our detox center, we offer a variety of therapies to treat the whole patient, not just the disorder. Some examples include cognitive behavioral therapy, art and music therapy, and medication-assisted treatment. Our care team will develop a personalized treatment plan to meet your individual needs and provide support in every part of the drug detox process.
Life After Detox
Once you have reached stabilization, you are ready to live a happy and restorative life. Here at Profound Treatment, we’ll help you develop healthy coping mechanisms, build your support team, and expand life skills to prepare you for a healthy, substance-free life. Contact us at Profound Treatment today to learn more about our programs and how we can help with your drug detox process.