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Benefits of a Medical Detox from Drugs or Alcohol

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Benefits of a Medical Detox from Drugs or Alcohol

Medical detox is the process of letting your body remove all of the drugs within it.

During medical detox in Los Angeles, the purpose is to help manage your withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop taking drugs or alcohol.

Everyone has a different experience when it comes to medical detox, but the types of drugs you take, and how long they were used, will influence your detox.

Medications are often used to help keep you comfortable during withdrawal.

Some detoxes take months, while others may take days.

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Length of Medical Detox and Withdrawal

The length of withdrawal depends on a number of factors.

These might include:

  • Type of substance you are addicted to
  • Duration of your addiction
  • The severity of your addiction
  • Method of abuse, whether that is snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing
  • Amount of a substance you use
  • Family history
  • Genetic makeup
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Underlying mental health conditions

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Benefits of a Medical Detox

It Can Be Lifesaving

Because there are a huge number of negative effects on the body and brain caused by substance abuse, one of the largest medical detox benefits is detecting and treating any alcohol- or drug-related medical emergencies. These medical emergencies can be due to use or may appear while during medical detox.

If you decide to detox without professional care, it can be fatal. Whether that is due to tremors during withdrawal or brain damage such as seizures and delirium. Life-threatening detox is most closely associated with alcohol, benzodiazepine, and barbiturate withdrawal but can occur from other drugs as well.

Prescriptions Can Ease Withdrawal

Addiction treatment medications are used in almost 80% of all detoxes. There are a number of withdrawal symptoms, these can range from mild to fatal. These are the primary reasons that medications are used during medical detox.

Medications can be used to help the brain stabilize, reduce withdrawal symptoms, keep you safe and comfortable, but also reduce the chance of relapse. The type and severity of withdrawal symptoms that appear depend on a number of factors, but especially the type of substance you are detoxing from.

Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Delirium tremens

Common benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Change in mood
  • Delirium
  • Hypersensitivity to loud noises
  • Hyperventilation
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Tension
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Muscular pain and stiffness
  • Rebound symptoms
  • Psychotic reactions

Common Opioid withdrawal symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Fast heart rate
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes
  • Vomiting

Common stimulant withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Panic
  • Slower thinking
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Night terrors

May Lead to Treating Mental Issues

Half of all individuals with substance use disorders also have co-occurring mental illnesses. This is difficult because sometimes your substance abuse disorder can get in the way of addressing your mental illness. The positive that comes from medical detox, is you may be able to finally diagnose these mental and medical issues.

Can I Detox at Home?

Choosing to detox at home can be deadly. This depends on what you are detoxing from but quitting “cold turkey”, which is without medical supervision, can lead to serious issues. Whether that is seizures or severe dehydration, it can be fatal.

This is why it is essential to go through medical detox in a proper facility. There are inpatient and outpatient detox programs that help prevent dangerous complications during detox. If you have a severe addiction, then you should always seek inpatient detox. This is because withdrawal can be fatal, and an inpatient detox includes 24-hour support and monitoring.

Stages of Medical Detox

There are many different stages of medical detox because everyone has different detox needs. Medical detox will help you get personalized treatment and often involves three steps.

Step 1: Evaluation

At this point in the medical detox, you will be screened by a medical professional. You should be evaluated for physical and mental issues. Your doctors will use blood tests to see how much of the drug is in your system and determine what is needed to help you get through the process safely.

Step 2: Stabilization

The next step is to ensure that you are stable. You will go through both medical and psychological therapy. The goal at this point is to prevent any harm from coming to you. Doctors might also prescribe addiction treatment medications in order to prevent complications.

Step 3: Prepare For Treatment

The final step of your medical detox will be to prepare you to go to a follow-up treatment. Whether this is an inpatient or outpatient program, doctors will help you understand which is right for you, and what you can expect. After medical detox doctors typically recommend inpatient treatment.

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Side Effects of Detox

The process of medical detox can be extremely painful and dangerous. This is why going through medical detox is essential for long term success. Being able to detox comfortably helps to prevent major side effects.

Some side effects are unfortunately unavoidable. Common side effects include:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Body discomfort
  • Mood swings
  • Poor sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating

What to Do After Medical Detox?

Transitioning to the outside world is the most difficult part of treatment. When it comes to medical detox, it is often recommended to go into a follow-up treatment program. Because one of the main benefits of medical detox is treating the physical parts of addiction, you will most likely feel ready to face the world after detox.

Despite this, mental addiction is just as dangerous as physical. If the mental parts of addiction are left untreated, it is extremely easy to fall back into old patterns and relapse.

Inpatient Rehab

After detox, it is recommended that you should transition to an inpatient rehab program, also known as residential treatment. At this time you will stay in a facility 24 hours per day and be treated for your substance use disorder as well as any co-occurring disorders. This form of rehab is wonderful because it provides you a supportive environment at all hours of the day.

Partial Hospitalization Program

After completing residential treatment, the next step is to go to either an outpatient or a partial hospitalization program. In these programs, you will live at home but go to treatment for anywhere from three to five hours per day.

The support you will find in these programs is extremely helpful to deal with everyday life. It is thought that these programs will help you maintain sobriety as you navigate life in the “real world.”

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Is It Time to Get Help?

Medical detox the first part of addiction treatment, but it is not enough to recover completely.

If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, then you will need to treat the psychological part of your addiction as well.

This can be accomplished with counseling, support groups, and an inpatient or outpatient rehab program.

Contact us at Resurgence Behavioral Health to learn about our free insurance verification for treatment.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.