The Foundation of Detox for Addiction Treatment
If you’re reading this, chances are you or someone you love is struggling with a chemical dependency on alcohol or drugs. You may have already tried to quit drinking on your own, but found that the withdrawal symptoms were too difficult to manage. Thankfully, there are a number of medications that can help ease certain symptoms of withdrawal from addictive substances and make detoxing safer and more comfortable.
Continue reading to learn about some of the most common withdrawal symptoms and how a medical detox program at Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada might be the right choice for you or a loved one.
Our facility offers detox, as well as inpatient and outpatient treatment options, so whatever you need, we can and will help you find the path to lasting recovery from substances!
What Happens During Detox?
Detox is the first and often most difficult step in overcoming substance use. It is during this time that the body rids itself of all traces of drugs and alcohol. The process can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, which is why supervised medical detoxification is so important.
In most cases, the first few days at the detox center are usually the most difficult as your body adjusts to being without drugs or alcohol. You may experience a range of symptoms that can include everything from headaches and nausea to anxiety and depression. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, they are severe. The most severe withdrawal symptoms should get better after a few days or a week.
Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug(s) you’re addicted to as well as other factors such as how long you’ve been using and how much you typically use. Some drugs, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, etc.), can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to do an inpatient detox under medical supervision where you can receive constant care and professional medical advice.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal?
Substance abuse is a serious problem that can have profound effects on every aspect of a person’s life. One of the most difficult aspects of overcoming a physical dependence to drugs and alcohol is dealing with the withdrawal symptoms that occur when quitting. Some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal include the following:
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms from Drugs and Alcohol
The physical withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol can vary depending on the drug being abused. However, there are some common symptoms that are seen across the board. These include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Tremors and shakes
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Fever/Increased body temperature
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Appetite changes
- Delirium tremens
Emotional/Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms from Drugs and Alcohol
Just like physical withdrawal symptoms, emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol vary depending on the individual and substance used. However, there are some general symptoms that are common across alcohol and other drugs. These include the following:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
Understanding the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal is vital for anyone who is considering quitting substance abuse. Professional detoxification programs can provide the support and care necessary to make sure that withdrawal is as safe and comfortable as possible by providing 24/7 care and medications that will help you find relief.
What to Expect During Medical Detox
During the medical detox process, patients will be closely monitored by nursing staff and a team of medical professionals. The specific detox protocol will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs, but typically includes regular check-ins, vital sign checks, and around-the-clock care.
Clients will also be given medication to help manage withdrawal symptoms. The type of medication used will depend on the patient’s individual needs, but may include muscle relaxants, medications for anxiety, depression, pain relief, or nausea. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may also be used during medical detox to help curb cravings, prevent relapse, and support recovery.
Why Do People Choose Medical Detox?
Here are some of ways medical detox helps people with substance use disorders:
- Improved physical health – When you detox from drugs and alcohol, your withdrawal symptoms will be less severe than if you detoxed on your own. Your physical health will improve because you will no longer be putting harmful drugs into your body. You may experience withdrawals during detox, but after you have completed the medical detox process, you will feel better than you have in a long time. Your energy levels will increase, and you will no longer feel sick all the time.
- Improved mental health – In addition to improving your physical health, detoxing from drug or alcohol use in a medical facility will also improve your mental health. Drug use can take a toll on your mental health, causing depression, anxiety, and other problems. During detox, you will begin to feel like yourself again and be able to think more clearly. If you’re struggling with your mental health, the medical detox facility will look after you and provide you with any appropriate medications. After you have completed detox, you will be in a much better position to start receiving treatment for your addiction.
- Reduced risk of relapse – One of the biggest benefits of completing a medical detox is that it reduces your risk of relapse. This is because when you are in withdrawal, you are more likely to give in to your cravings and use again. However, if you complete detox under medical supervision, you will be less likely to relapse because you will be given medication to help with withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings. Additionally, being in a medically-supervised setting will give you access to support and resources that can help prevent relapse in the future.
Who Needs Medical Detox?
Many people who decide to quit using drugs or alcohol can do so without any medical assistance. However, there are certain individuals for whom quitting cold turkey is not only ineffective but also dangerous. So, who could benefit from using medications during detox and receiving care from professionals?
People Who Have a Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorder
Substance abuse and mental health disorders often go hand-in-hand. In fact, according to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 9.2 million adults in The United States have a co-occurring disorder. So, if you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and have been abusing substances, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider rather than try to detox on your own. A medical detox facility can provide you with the necessary medication and therapy to help you through withdrawal and help you deal with your underlying mental health disorder, giving you the best chance at achieving sobriety in the long term.
Those Who Are Pregnant
Pregnant women who are addicted to drugs or alcohol face unique challenges when it comes to detoxing. Not only do they have concerns about their own health and well-being, but they also have to think about the health of their unborn child. If you are pregnant and struggling with physical dependence on drugs or alcohol, please know that there are options available to you. A medical detox facility can help you through withdrawal in a safe and comfortable environment while also providing medications and other support and resources for your pregnancy.
People Who Have Experienced Multiple Withdrawal Experiences
If you have attempted to quit in the past but have been unsuccessful, you may benefit from medical detoxification. Those who have experienced multiple withdrawal episodes tend to have increasingly severe symptoms each time they try to quit. A professional detox program can help break this cycle by tapering your dosage slowly with the help of professional medical care. This approach has been shown to be more effective than quitting cold turkey and can help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
People Who Abuse Multiple Drugs
If you abuse multiple substances, it’s important to seek professional help rather than try to detox on your own. When you abuse multiple substances, your body becomes dependent on all of them, making it much harder to withdraw from any one drug. A professional detox program can help you safely come off all substances while providing support and resources for your recovery. There’s really no one who couldn’t receive at least a little benefit from a medical detox.
Medications Used During Detoxification
There are several drugs that can be used during detox to help ease withdrawal symptoms and make the process more tolerable. Below, we will discuss some of the most common ones.
- Clonidine and Propranolol
Clonidine and propranolol are two drugs that are sometimes used during alcohol withdrawal to help manage symptoms. Clonidine works by reducing blood pressure and heart rate, and propranolol has a similar effect, which helps to control anxiety. These drugs can help to ease some of the most common withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, sweating, and irregular heartbeat. If you’re struggling with opioid dependence and are nervous about going through opioid withdrawal, Clonidine assisted heroin detoxification is definitely worth considering.
Benzodiazepines are a type of central nervous system depressant that act as sedatives or tranquilizers. They are often used during detox from alcohol or other substances because they can help to reduce anxiety and make patients feel more relaxed. They also help prevent seizures for people that have a physical dependence on alcohol.
Phenobarbital is a barbiturate that is sometimes used during alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal. It acts as a sedative on the central nervous system and can help to reduce anxiety, muscle tremors, and seizure activity.
- Buprenorphine & Methadone
Buprenorphine and Methadone are medications that are used to treat addiction to other opioids like heroin or prescription painkillers. They work by binding to the same brain receptors as other opioids, but it produces a less intense high. This can help reduce cravings and opioid withdrawal symptoms while you detox.
Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids. So, if you were to take suboxone and then use an opioid drug, you would not feel any effects from the opioid. This can be helpful in preventing relapse during detoxification.
How Long Does Medical Detox Last?
Medical detoxification generally lasts anywhere from 3-10 days, though in some cases it may last longer. The length of detox depends on many factors, including the type of substance abused, the severity of addiction, and any underlying health conditions. Typically, higher doses and a lengthier history of drug abuse will mean a longer time in detox.
Withdrawal symptoms also play a role in how long medical detox will last. Some substances will cause more intense and dangerous symptoms than others. For example, someone withdrawing from alcohol may experience shakes and seizures, which can be life-threatening, while someone withdrawing from opioids may experience flu-like symptoms, which are incredibly uncomfortable but typically not fatal. Therefore, a medical detox facility may want to keep an eye on someone who is detoxing from alcohol for a longer period of time.
What Happens After Detox?
After you have completed detox, it is important to begin some form of continued care. Continued care may include things like individual therapy, group therapy, 12-step meetings, or inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment. These activities are important because they help keep you focused on your recovery and provide accountability and support.
Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient substance abuse treatment usually lasts for 30 days, though some programs may last for 60 or 90 days. During your stay, you will live at the facility while receiving treatment for your alcohol or drug dependence. While there, you will participate in group and individual therapy sessions. After you complete an inpatient program, you will transition to outpatient treatment.
The Many Benefits of Inpatient Rehab
One of the primary benefits of inpatient rehab is that it offers a structured and safe environment for addiction recovery. Inpatient rehab facilities provide around-the-clock care from medical professionals who can help to ensure your safety and comfort during your treatment process.
Another benefit of inpatient rehab is that it can help you to identify and address the underlying causes of your drug abuse. Addiction is often a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. In treatment, you will work with a therapist to address any underlying mental health issues so that you can develop healthy coping mechanisms that do not involve substance abuse.
During your time in treatment, you will learn how to identify your triggers and develop a plan for avoiding them. You will have the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe and controlled environment so that you can use them when you return home.
Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient treatment usually lasts for 12 weeks, though some programs may be shorter or longer. During outpatient treatment, you will meet with a therapist one to two times per week. You will also participate in group therapy sessions and may have to attend weekly recovery meetings. Outpatient treatment can help you transition back to everyday life while providing support for your recovery.
The Benefits of Outpatient Rehab
Outpatient rehab has its benefits as well. Here are some of the most significant benefits:
Affordability: Outpatient rehab is generally more affordable than inpatient rehab, as it does not require you to stay at a treatment facility. This can be a major advantage if you are on a tight budget or do not have health insurance.
Flexible Schedule: One of the main advantages of outpatient rehab is that it offers a flexible schedule. This means that you can still work or go to school while receiving treatment. Treatment sessions are typically scheduled around your work or school schedule so you can keep taking care of yourself and your family while receiving treatment.
Transition Back Into Life: Outpatient rehab also allows you to transition back into your everyday life more gradually than going home directly from inpatient rehab. This can be beneficial if you are nervous about returning to your normal routine after treatment. In outpatient rehab, you will have the opportunity to practice new coping skills and healthy habits in your everyday life before fully returning to your previous lifestyle.
Detox in Welcoming Safety with Icarus: Nevada Now
As anyone who has struggled with addiction knows, the road to recovery is often long and difficult. But it is worth it. Every day, we see the transformative power of recovery in the lives of our patients at Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada. They leave our program not only physically healthy but also with a renewed sense of hope and purpose.
Icarus is proud to have played a role in our client’s recovery journey, and we are committed to continuing to support them as they navigate the challenges of staying clean and sober.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we urge you to reach out for help. We will be there every step of the way to help you build a foundation for a lifetime of sobriety.
All phone calls to our facility are confidential and our staff is trained to handle all calls with discretion. Contact Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada today to discuss your next steps for treatment and get started on a new path, today!