In many addiction cases, abruptly stopping drug or alcohol use can be an unpleasant and even dangerous experience. The prospect of going through withdrawal can also demotivate an addict from trying to quit. Medical detoxification is necessary for individuals with severe substance addiction to safely manage the side effects of quitting drugs. Detox also prepares you for treatment and serves as a springboard for staying sober and cultivating healthy habits. The Canadian Center for Addicts offers several medical detox programs in a luxury and serene facility to help you or your loved one beat their addiction.
What is Medical Detoxification?
Medical detoxification is the process of clearing the drugs and alcohol an individual has consumed from the body. It is necessary to avoid the adverse effects that typically accompany abrupt drug or alcohol cessation. For most people, detox is the first step in drug or alcohol addiction treatment, and people who undergo detox have a higher chance of achieving lasting sobriety.
Detox eases the transition from addiction into sobriety and ensures that you or your loved one gets all the help needed to become substance-free. Medical detox ensures professionals are available to intervene if any concerns arise during the process. The detox process could require complete drug cessation or tapering of doses to minimize withdrawal symptoms or prevent complications. Everyone has a different detox experience while in treatment, usually dependent on the substance of choice and how long they’ve been addicted. When you or a loved one comes to CCFA’s medical detox center, our staff will monitor their condition for changes and take the appropriate treatment steps to ensure safety.
The Different Types of Medical Detox
Medical detox programs are tailored to meet an individual’s specific needs. The type of substance of choice and the severity of addiction often determine the kind of detox an individual will require. Most medical detox treatment types involve a team of professionals using certain medications to help the individual detox safely. Medical detox treatment types include:
Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Detox
This type of detox treatment offers the most rigid and restrictive level of care, offering round-the-clock monitoring in a medical detox facility for patients experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.
Medically Monitored Inpatient Detox
This type of detox treatment is less restrictive than medically managed intensive inpatient detox but also consists of round-the-clock monitoring and supervision for patients experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms.
Clinically Managed Residential Detoxification
This type of detox treatment also provides round-the-clock supervision but focuses on peer and social support with minimal medical monitoring. It is also known as social detoxification.
This type of detox treatment takes place outside a clinical setting but involves professionals who monitor the client for several hours daily. The process could take place at a physician’s office or any environment that allows the patient to cease substance use safely.
What is the Process of Medical Detox?
How does medical detox work? The medical detox treatment process depends on the individual’s unique needs. However, the medical detox process generally follows these three stages.
Medical personnel will screen the patient to determine the amount of the substance in their system. There will also be tests for mental and physical health issues and a comprehensive review of the individual’s medical history. The results of these tests guide the medical team on the best treatment course of action.
Stabilization helps prevent any adverse effects that may arise from detox. It is achieved by following a laid-out treatment plan to provide a safe substance withdrawal experience. Medications may also be administered at this point to prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms and possible complications.
Preparation for Long-term Addiction Treatment
At the final stage, the doctor explains the treatment process and lets the patient know what to expect after detox. How this stage proceeds can affect a person’s chances of maintaining sobriety or relapsing after treatment. This stage prepares the individual for inpatient, outpatient, or residential addiction treatment.
How Long Does It Take to See Results
How long it would take to see results from a medical detox program depends on several elements, like the substance of choice and the duration and frequency of use. Withdrawal symptoms generally last five to seven days, but individual factors like body weight, genes, and metabolic rate can affect the onset of withdrawal symptoms and treatment response.
Withdrawal symptoms from heavy alcohol use, for instance, may subside within a week, though they may be severe and even life-threatening within that week. Some drugs, like benzodiazepines, may take up to two weeks or more before symptoms diminish. Establishing a system and making long-term changes to prevent relapse is more important than the time it takes to get results.
Withdrawal Symptoms and How to Spot Them
Withdrawal symptoms of addictive drugs depend on the substance and the addiction severity. The symptoms may be physical or psychological and manifest hours to days after the last dose. Physical symptoms appear when you stop using, while psychological symptoms make you feel you cannot function or perform certain actions without the substance. Your age, withdrawal process, addiction length, and physical, mental, or emotional state can influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
The potential range of withdrawal symptoms and disorders includes:
- Mood swings
- Severe cravings
- Vomiting and nausea
- Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
- Appetite changes
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Watery or red eyes
Extreme, possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms include:
- Extreme irritability or disorientation
- Dangerously elevated blood pressure
- Body temperature fluctuations
- Delirium Tremens
The possible harm that can arise from these symptoms makes it necessary to detox under the supervision of trained medical personnel who will tailor the process to meet the individual’s unique needs.
Benefits of Medical Detoxification
Medical detox treatment offers the following benefits over non-medical detox:
- Supervision and support
Medical detox experts will constantly supervise and monitor your detox process, helping you safely manage the risks of withdrawal symptoms.
- Less severe side effects
Some substance withdrawal symptoms can be terribly unpleasant; medical detox provides access to medications that can make these effects more manageable.
Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and life-threatening, and medical detox minimizes your risks and keeps you safe.
The staff at the detox facility can always adjust your detox treatment process and medications to meet your needs by the minute.
- Provides a solid foundation for recovery
Going through a medical detox treatment process and getting clean can serve as the required springboard for lasting recovery and sobriety.
Give Us a Call and Let Us
You don’t have to go through addiction without help. If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction, the Canadian Centre for Addictions is here to guide you. We offer medical detox and multiple addiction treatment options in our Port Hope and Cobourg luxury treatment centres.
Medical Detox Center vs. Detox at Home
Detox at a medical facility and detox at home offer two widely different experiences. It is necessary to understand what each entails for you or a loved one before you decide on any. Detoxing at home can provide the privacy and comfort of a familiar environment, but you may not have access to required medical care if complications arise. You would also have to navigate exhausting withdrawal symptoms on your own.
Detoxing at home is also cheaper than in a detox center. Substance abuse treatments are often costly, and you can save on costs with a home detox. However, you may have to make do with narrower treatment options like medications and counseling. Another thing to consider when choosing between the two is their success rates. People who detox at home are more likely to relapse if there’s no one to hold them accountable when they have cravings or encounter triggers. Individuals with mild substance addiction and a solid support system may detox at home successfully. Otherwise, a medical detox center remains the best place to detox.
Is It Safe to Detox At Home?
While it is possible to detox at home, it can be a dangerous and potentially deadly decision. Quitting drug or alcohol use “cold turkey” can lead to serious complications like severe dehydration and seizures. Detox at home may be safe for mild cases of addiction; however, it is advisable and safer to undergo the detox process for severe cases at a treatment facility.
Possible Side Effects of Detox
Side effects from medical drug detox arise from the drugs leaving the body and medications administered to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Drugs leaving the body have a profound impact on the brain and can alter the chemical balance of the brain. These alterations can cause side effects like fatigue, depression, mood swings, and intense cravings for the substance they’re trying to quit.
These side effects can be mitigated by having a support structure of licensed professionals who will help you every step of the way. Also, you can expect the side effects to subside as you progress through the stages of detox treatment.
What to Expect After Medical Detox
The medical detox process is only the first step in overcoming substance addiction. While detox deals with the physical consequences of addiction, it won’t solve the problem. Detox must necessarily be a component of a holistic addiction recovery plan. A person who has completed a detox plan will relapse without follow-up treatment. Depending on their addiction severity, patients usually transition to inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment after detox. These treatment programs allow professionals to find and address the underlying issues causing substance abuse and addiction.
Frequently Asked Questions
It may not be possible to clean your system immediately, but you can flush toxins out of your body by drinking lots of fluids, eating plenty of healthy food, and engaging in vigorous exercise.
Yes. Fasting slows down body metabolism and enhances the production and activity of certain enzymes involved in detoxification. It also improves liver health, one of the principal organs of detoxification.
Four warning signs of a damaged liver are:
– Jaundice (Yellow skin and eyes)
– Swollen legs and ankles
– Darkened urine
– Chronic fatigue
Other signs of a damaged liver include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, itchy skin, and loss of appetite.
Yes, an addict undergoing detox may experience heightened levels of anxiety and restlessness as their mind and body adapt to functioning without their drug of choice. These changes can trigger a wide range of emotional states, including depression, isolation, and feelings of loneliness.
You can heal the nervous system by keeping a generally healthy lifestyle. Doing the following can significantly enhance nervous system health:
– Exercising regularly
– Getting enough sleep
– Eating healthy food
– Drinking green tea
– Practicing meditation
How long it takes for detox varies among individuals based on their needs. However, detoxing for three days or more is safe, provided trained professionals supervise the process.
As the body eliminates toxins, the kidneys and bladder can begin to work more efficiently, leading to frequent urination. Consuming lots of water during detox is vital to keep your body hydrated.