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drug and alcohol detox center

Detoxification is a crucial first step to achieving long-term sobriety for people who are suffering from substance abuse disorder. Getting into an appropriate detox program will ensure that the substance abuser will be able to rid his body of every trace of abused substance of choice in his system. The road to recovery cannot begin without undergoing detox.


While there are quite a few detoxification options that can be used by individuals suffering from substance abuse disorder whether at home or inside a drug detox center, these types can be categorized into the following:


Medicated Detox

Medicated detox is considered by many as a more comfortable and safer option. In this approach, the patient is given drug and alcohol detox medication to help alleviate the painful and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms and at the same time prevent physiological issues. Keep in mind that the body of the substance abuser is highly dependent on drugs or alcohol, which means his body had been ‘deceived’ that it will not function without the drugs.


Since the patient stops taking the abused substance of choice, his body (systems and organs) goes into ‘panic” mode. The heart beats faster, blood pressure rises, the pulse quickens, the muscles tense and shaking, head throbbing, and many other uncomfortable and even downright painful symptoms. To prevent or at least lessen the intensity of these symptoms, the patient is prescribed with drug and alcohol detox medication, hence, the term medicated detox. The kind of medication used for this process depends largely on the type of substance being abused and the length of time the patient had been abusing it.


Critics of this approach are concerned about treating the drug addiction by introducing another drug, which makes the patient susceptible again to drug addiction. This fear is not unfounded considering that there are quite a number of cases where opioid addicts who have been given methadone during detox end up being addicted to methadone.


Non-Medicated Detox

As the name suggests, non-medicated detox is a detoxification process that does not involve the intake of another drug but completely stopping the use of any substance or alcohol, particularly the patient’s drug of choice. This means that the body of the patient will go haywire leaving the patient in pain and distress. This option may be painful but letting nature take its course is actually quicker and more thorough since no medication is ingested. Medicated detox usually takes over a week or more while non-medicated option can be over in 7 days.


This detox type may not involve any medicine but it is still best for the patient to undergo this process under the supervision of professionals so that help would be readily available in case the withdrawal symptoms become physically dangerous.


Outpatient Detox

While most detox processes are carried out inside a medical or rehab facility, there are drug dependents who choose outpatient detox. This means that they have appointments with detox professionals but do not stay inside the facility. They go home after every consultation. Note that this type of detox can only be possible if the drug dependent has medical clearance.


In an outpatient detox, the patient visits the facility daily and at times receives medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms. His progress is monitored by the detox professional every visit to check on his progress as well as anticipate and address potential problems.


Home or outpatient detox is the most suitable option for patients who cannot leave home and stay in a facility because of family responsibilities and obligations, those with financial difficulties, and those who are trying to keep their addiction problem hidden from those around him.


It is important to note that just because a detox program works for a particular patient does not mean it will be effective with other substance abusers as well. A reputable drug and alcohol detox center always considers the overall state of the patient before coming up with a detox plan. If you or someone you love is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction it is best that professional help is sought immediately. The detoxification process may be difficult but it is the only way to officially start an addiction recovery journey.

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