For some individuals, drug and alcohol detox is a necessary step before starting inpatient residential rehab. Learn what the detox process entails and whether you might need it before starting treatment.
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Withdrawals are often the number one reason people continue to use even when they desperately want to quit. This is especially true if you are dependent on alcohol, heroin, benzodiazepines or other prescription drugs.
By the time you need to drink or use just to feel normal, the likelihood you’ll need medically supervised drug and alcohol detox to enter treatment successfully is very high.
Americans over age 12 used heroin in the last year.
increase in heroin use rates over the past decade.
increase in heroin overdose deaths over the past decade.
of heroin overdose deaths involve at least one other drug.
Why Medically Supervised Drug and Alcohol Detox?
When it comes to drug and alcohol detox, there seems to be a growing number of options: outpatient detox, inpatient detox, detox-at-home kits and going cold turkey. The reality of going cold turkey is that it rarely if ever works and it is a serious danger to your health depending on your stage of addiction and your substance of abuse.
Going cold-turkey rarely works because you do not remove yourself from the circle of influence that makes it easy for you to obtain your drug of choice. When withdrawal symptoms get severe, most people reach out for their substance of choice to alleviate the symptoms. If you have the will to not use, the health risks can exceed the benefits. Some of the health risks include, but are not limited to stroke, heart attack, psychosis, or even death. At-home detox kits marketed online are not commonly made by physicians and rarely address the physiological needs of the addict. In fact, some of these kits may make things worse.
Depending on the severity of your dependence, the route suggested by most physicians is outpatient or inpatient drug and alcohol detox that is supervised by licensed medical professionals that specialize in addiction medicine. The reason why medically supervised detox is advised is because it helps the person dependent on drugs or alcohol rid their body of toxins, it helps minimize the severity of withdrawal, it educates those dependent on drugs or alcohol and gives them the best chance at successfully entering long-term treatment.
81% of heroin overdose deaths in 2013 were ruled unintentional overdoses.
MANY PEOPLE ASK:
What is Inpatient and Outpatient Detox like?
Inpatient detox may be 7-10 days in length. You’ll reside at the facility and the setting may appear clinical, like a hospital, or it may even be more residential in nature. Many long-term treatment facilities that look and feel residential have detox facilities present. You’ll have a treatment team usually consisting of an M.D., Psychiatrist and a nurse care for you throughout your stay. Once your treatment is complete, you typically enter long-term treatment to end addiction.
Outpatient, medically supervised detox is typically conducted in a clinical setting (hospital or medical office). You do not stay long term and in many occasions outpatient detox is prescribed for people that have less severe withdrawal symptoms or for those on long-term maintenance programs.
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