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Medically-supervised Drug Detox

Anyone can become addicted to drugs, and you don't have to start with illegal substances to find yourself in this boat. For many people, drug abuse begins with a legitimate – and often needed – prescription pain medication treatment. Once your body begins to rely on a drug, it can be difficult to stop using it. Whether you began using drugs out of medical necessity, recreational curiosity or pressure from others, once your body is reliant on the effect of the drug, you might begin abusing other drugs. 

Even if you want to stop drug use, it might seem like an impossible task. If you avoid using the drug for even a day, you could be plunged into extremely uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous physical side effects. Often, that's what drives people back to using when they truly want to quit

The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that withdrawal symptoms can last from days to weeks. Without treatment, withdrawal symptoms associated with some drugs can even crop up from time to time for months. Medically-supervised drug detox lets you cut ties with substance abuse without suffering from some of the more extreme and uncomfortable physical and mental side effect of withdrawal.

Some withdrawal symptoms you can avoid or substantially reduce through medically-supervised detox include:

  • Problems with memory or focus
  • Digestive distress, including nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble breathing
  • Agitated or anxious state
  • Pain or tension in the muscles
  • Headaches
  • Rapid heart rate or even a heart attack or stroke in extreme cases
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shaking or trembling 

Illicit Drug Use Fatalities

You can stop using drugs without being miserable, and you don't have to do it alone. Although successful home detox is possible in some cases, studies have repeatedly shown the value of supervised detox in either an inpatient or outpatient setting where clinical treatment is coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy. To learn more about our drug treatment program, call (877) 392-3342. Our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day all year long to guide you through options for seeking help with sobriety.

How does medically-supervised drug detox help with drug withdrawal symptoms?

Drug detox programs aren't just for individuals who are involved in criminal lifestyles driven by their dependence on illegal drugs. While drugs like heroin and cocaine pose very significant challenges for those who are addicted, many people are also addicted to legal drugs. The U. S. National Library of Medicine notes that in 2014, more than 4 million people in the country were using narcotic pain relievers that were not prescribed to them for a medical reason. Whether you find yourself taking unnecessary risks to obtain illegal drugs or seeking prescriptions from numerous physicians to fuel your growing need for pain medicine, a drug detox program can help you change course and put a stop to your reliance on drugs.

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During an inpatient detox program, clinical staff usually start by providing you with prescription medications that are meant to buffer physical withdrawal symptoms. These prescription medications in themselves can be addicting, but they are easier to wean off of than opiates or other drugs you might be taking before seeking treatment. In addition to providing medication to help alleviate drug withdrawal symptoms, medical staff are on hand 24-hours a day in such facilities to assist you with combating symptoms. As your body adjusts to not taking the drugs you were previously reliant on, the staff can begin reducing the dosage of medication they might have prescribed. This lets your body slowly reduce reliance so you aren't hit with unbearable withdrawal symptoms that ultimately drive you back to drug use.

Medical detox with the use of medication to reduce symptoms of withdrawal isn't required for every person. If you are abusing any of the following substances and are unable to stop, however, medical detox might be a good choice to begin recovery. 

What else is involved in a detoxification program?

Drug detox is usually only the first step in treating a drug addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a medical detox program is a proven way to safely manage physical withdrawal symptoms as you reduce your reliance on drugs temporarily. Without appropriate ongoing aftercare and participation in follow-up programs, though, evidence shows that medical detox will not change long-term drug use habits. That's why detox centers couple medical interventions with therapeutic treatment whether you're participating in an inpatient program or an outpatient or partial hospitalization detox program.

Medical detox itself can take from a couple of days to two weeks on average depending on your body's reactions to drugs and treatment, how much of a drug you were using at a time and what type of drug you are dealing with. You might be discharged from an inpatient facility shortly after discharge is complete with scheduled aftercare, or you might remain in a facility to continue therapeutic treatment for drug addiction. Medical detox treats withdrawal symptoms, not necessarily addiction.

To ensure the chance at a long-term recovery, best practices typically couple behavioral health treatment with medical treatment. That means you'll likely participate in both group and individual therapy, work with counselors to understand how your drug use and addiction began and develop an understanding of triggers and how to cope with them in healthy ways. You might also work with dieticians on nutrition and be treated for any dual diagnoses that might be identified. Drug addiction is often closely related to issues of anxiety or depression, for example. 

If it's applicable, you might also participate in family therapy sessions. While it can be painful to share your struggles with family members, a knowledgeable and caring support structure is extremely valuable for long-term success with recovery. Your family might also have their own struggles associated with your drug use, and family therapy is a great place to begin openly communicating and working together toward healing. It can also help your family understand the truths about drug addiction so they can be a more informed support structure for you.

Numerous types of drug addiction treatment exist, and not every facility is right for each person. If you want to seek treatment and stop using drugs, don't let all the options and information overwhelm you and keep you from getting help. Call our counselors now at (877) 392-3342. Someone is available now to answer your call, listen to your questions and provide compassionate, professional and confidential advice about treatment options open to you.

Learn more about our drug rehabilition program.

Steps for seeking assistance with drug detox 

The first step in seeking assistance for drug addiction is realizing that you need help. It seems like a small thing, but if you are struggling with drug abuse, it can be an enormous and very difficult step. If you've made that step and are seeking information about drug detox centers, then you are incredibly brave and are moving in the right direction.

The next step is contacting someone who can help connect you with an appropriate treatment facility. Once you get in touch with a treatment facility, don't be afraid to ask questions. While it's important that you get into a facility quickly before you back out of your step through fear or a physical need to return to drugs, you also want to ensure that the facility is right for you.

Many people seeking detoxification treatment are worried about the financial aspects. This is something you should ask about during the intake process. Most health insurance plans today do provide behavioral health benefits, and that covers drug treatment, but you might owe some out-of-pocket portions. Many treatment facilities offer affordable payment plans for these portions of the bill, so ask about options instead of ignoring your need for treatment because you are afraid of the money aspect.

After going through detox and rehab and being discharged, don't forget to engage appropriately with aftercare resources. Drug addiction isn't something that can be cured with a short stay in the hospital. For many people, it is a life-long condition that requires ongoing treatment. Your therapists and other treatment professionals might recommend ongoing group or individual therapy once you are out of a facility, and many people find success with programs such as AA or NA. You'll also want to maintain your overall health and see a medical physician for checkups.

Medical detox is only one step in the journey toward freedom from drug addiction, but it is a very necessary step for many people. Take that step today, or find out more about your options, by calling (877) 392-3342. Our compassionate counselors are ready to answer your call, and you'll find a caring voice and information appropriate to your situation on the other end.

You won't find judgment, fear or anger. You'll find answers and a wealth of information about your options for starting the journey to a drug-free life. Learn more about our admissions process. 

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