Before entering rehab some patients must first go through a medical detox from drugs or alcohol, depending on how often and how long they’ve been using. Medical detox is often necessary when a person has experienced chronic substance abuse and is at risk of painful and often serious withdrawal symptoms. Quitting “cold turkey” can be dangerous, especially when someone has been drinking or taking drugs consistently over even a short period of time. So, what exactly happens during medical detox?
Medical detoxification (detox) is often the first step in recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD). Drug detox is the natural process of ridding a substance from the body. During medical detox, medical providers monitor patients for harmful withdrawal symptoms. The process is adjusted to accommodate the needs of a specific patient, whether medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or some type of therapy needs to intervene.
The intention of medical detox is to reduce the risk of physical harm to an individual from the side effects of quitting drugs or alcohol. After using for a long period of time, medical detox should always be done under the supervision of a medical professional. At Landmark Recovery of Denver, we take steps to make detox as comfortable and safe as possible. Once the detox process is completed, patients typically enter an inpatient rehab program for drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
The detox timeline varies from patient to patient. The severity of withdrawal symptoms and length depends on what substance the patient has been using and how recently they’ve used it. Because of this, people with a substance use disorder should allow up to two weeks for the detox process to run its course. The goal is to flush out all traces of drugs and alcohol in the patient’s body while keeping them as comfortable and healthy as possible.
Detoxing your body after becoming dependent on a substance can cause some uncomfortable side effects. The symptoms of withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can include:
Some of the more serious effects of detoxing include depression and delirium tremens (DTs), a life-threatening condition that can cause a fatal heart attack or stroke. Because of these withdrawal symptoms, it is vital that an individual seeks treatment from a medical professional rather than quit cold turkey or detox at home, so that the symptoms can be monitored closely and treated properly. Choosing to detox under medical supervision will be much safer and more comfortable than trying to detox on your own.
Landmark Recovery of Denver is conveniently located in northeast Colorado. You can find our addiction treatment center off Interstate 225, near Life Care Center of Aurora. In addition to inpatient rehab, Landmark Recovery of Denver also offers inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment.
So, this raises the question – what is the difference between medical detox and inpatient rehab?
While medical detox is the first step in preparing the mind and body for treatment, inpatient rehab is the addiction treatment itself, referring to physician and therapy services you receive during your stay at a rehabilitation center. The two go hand-in-hand, but detox is not necessary for everyone entering treatment.
If you’re curious whether you need to medically detox before starting treatment, or if you or someone you know is seeking addiction treatment, call 888-448-0302 to talk to a recovery specialist today.
We can help prepare you to live beyond addiction. Talk to a recovery specialist today.