Drug Detox Program & Withdrawal Management
Getting free from the stranglehold of drugs on your life or the life of your loved one is possible. And it’s worth the amazing results waiting on the other side. When you or your loved one are ready to break free, it’s important to do it safely with drug detox and withdrawal management.
What is Drug Detox?
Drug detoxification, or detox, is the process of clearing drugs out of the body when you have stopped using them. Every person’s experience is unique and can range from mild to severe symptoms, from discomfort to danger.
Which drug you are detoxing from, as well as how long you have been using it, will also affect your personal experience with drug detox.
Symptoms of Drug Detox
When you’re ready to get clean, your body has to flush out and get rid of the drug it has become so accustomed to having. So what are the symptoms of drug detox? While they can vary for individual people, drugs, and in severity, common drug withdrawal symptoms include:
- Sweating and/or chills
- Shaking or trembling
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep issues, including fatigue or insomnia
- Racing heart
Detox symptoms are not just limited to the physical. Mental and emotional symptoms include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Mood swings
- Lack of focus
- Unexplained fear
- Feeling unsettled
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What Drugs Need Medical Supervision to Safely Detox?
You may think you can handle whatever the symptoms are with your detox for drugs. And you may be right. But some drugs are riskier to withdraw from and should have medical supervision during the detox for your safety and well-being. Drugs that should be medically supervised during withdrawal include²:
- Prescription Opioids (Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin) and Heroin
- Benzodiazepines (Benzos) including Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and more
- Medical supervision for these medications is recommended for either physical well-being, such as alcohol withdrawal, which could cause serious complications such as seizures or hallucinations.
For the best chance at success, such as with opioids and benzos, in which the symptoms are often so powerful that you are more likely to return to the drug because of the extreme discomfort of quitting cold turkey.
Can You Detox from Drugs at Home?
It’s understandable to want to detox at home, from being comfortable to not having insurance, to just your confidence in your ability to get clean. Whatever your reason, there are a couple of things to consider before deciding to detox at home.
- How long have you been using the drug?
- How much do you use?
- What is your tolerance level?
- What drug are you taking?
Depending on your answers, it may not be wise to detox at home. There are some medications available to ease the symptoms and transition to getting clean. But many of these are not available for use at home, outside of the direct supervision and guidance of a medical professional.
There is also the risk of an accidental overdose if a relapse occurs³. If you have flushed the drug out of your system, then take the amount you needed previously because of a built-up tolerance, you could take a dangerous amount.
How Long Does Drug Detoxification Take?
The process of withdrawing from a drug can vary, based on the individual person, the drug, and even symptoms. Physical symptoms of detoxing can begin within 8-12 hours of the last use of some drugs.
Some detoxing can last a few days, while others last a week or more. And some symptoms of detox, such as fatigue, can last months after the last use.
Types of Withdrawal Management Treatment
When you’re ready to get clean, it’s easy to get confused as to what types of withdrawal management treatments are available and which is the right one for you.
Non-Medical or “Social” Detox
Social or non-medical detox is undergoing the detox process in a supervised environment like a rehab center but without medication. You’ll receive gender-specific support, monitoring, and counseling tailored to your specific needs. But medication to manage the symptoms or help you taper off the drug isn’t administered.
Detox or Tapering
Medical detox or tapering is usually done in a hospital or rehab center equipped with medical staff. Medications may be used to manage the symptoms of withdrawing from certain drugs or replace drugs and help you safely taper off your drug.
Tapering gradually under medical supervision may reduce unpleasant or even life-threatening symptoms.
Drug Detox During Pregnancy
If you discover you are pregnant while experiencing substance use disorder and want to get clean for the health of you and your baby, you may think quitting cold turkey is the best thing you can do. After all, the sooner you stop, the better, right? Maybe not.
The abrupt stopping may cause more stress on both you and your baby. Safely detoxing with medical supervision or in a women-focused treatment program can benefit you both.
How to Find a Drug Detox Rehab Near You
When you’re ready to take the first step towards freedom from substance use disorder, it’s important to find a rehab facility to help you safely detox. Reach out to a treatment support specialist today and take the first step on your journey to recovery.
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