Detoxification, often simply called “detox,” involves carefully tapering the body from the harmful side effects of substance withdrawal. Detox is a crucial step in rehabilitation and recovery but depending on the severity and type of substance addiction, the detox process may be uncomfortable and present potentially severe health complications. For this reason, it is advised to never attempt detoxification by yourself or “at-home,” but only under the supervision of medical health professionals as found in a certified detox center.
The road to addiction recovery can be long and treacherous, but the programs and staff at the Landmark Recovery’s detox centers are here to help you. Our state-of-the-art facilities deliver proven and personalized therapy programs in a supportive environment to give you the best chance at achieving long-term sobriety.
What is Medical Detox?
When you become dependent on substances like drugs or alcohol, removing them from your body can cause physical, psychological, and behavioral withdrawal symptoms. Landmark Recovery’s detox center exists to provide a safe environment in which to help manage moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol and drugs like opiates and sedatives. The detoxification program also serves to prepare the patient for appropriate ongoing treatment within our facility with the goal of restoring the patient to a healthier state of life.
Depending on the severity of the addiction and type of substances that have been used, Landmark clinicians may prescribe specific supplements designed for detoxification, including food and drink as well as prescription detox medications. Depending on usage history and intensity, detoxification often lasts for the first 10 days of treatment.
At Landmark Recovery Center, our detoxification period is monitored 24/7 by our staff of registered clinicians, with both a psychiatrist and an internal medicine specialist monitoring the patient daily and available on call throughout the day and night, as needed.
Depending on the patient, the staff at Landmark Recovery’s detox center may recommend the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for the withdrawal process. Typically, these detox medications help to mitigate the negative side effects of drug and alcohol withdrawal and along with clinical health monitoring eliminates the possibility of death or relapse during this period. Some examples of commonly used detox medicines include:
Suboxone is a combination of two different drugs: buprenorphine (an opioid activator) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). This combination of opposing forces provides a way for addicts to gradually wean themselves off of their pre-existing addiction while minimizing the effects that full-on withdrawal would otherwise trigger. Suboxone is administered with a light film or pill and is intended for the treatment of opioid dependence.
Buprenorphine, while used as a part of Suboxone, can also be administered by itself. Buprenorphine works with the same opioid receptors that heroin affects, but it is limited and not nearly as potent. Buprenorphine is effective during medical detoxification for withdrawal and cravings.
Campral has been on the market since it was initially approved by the FDA in 2004 and is generally used during alcohol detox to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Campral has been shown in clinical studies to be an effective tool for patients to achieve long-term sobriety from alcohol. It works by stimulating the GABA receptors in the brain, like benzodiazepines, while also subduing the NMDA receptors. This makes withdrawal from alcohol easier to cope with, restoring the brain to a stable state.
Anticonvulsants and Anti-Nausea Medications
Withdrawal from drugs can induce serious physical side effects including seizures, nausea, and diarrhea. Clinicians at our detox center will administer appropriate levels of anticonvulsant and anti-nausea medications to ease the patient’s transition during one of the most difficult parts of recovery. These include Gabapentin, Tegretol, Zofran, and Dramamine to name a few.
Is Detox Dangerous?
Detox can be a dangerous and potentially life-threatening process without the proper help and support. Withdrawal from alcohol can produce complications such as convulsions, where the body goes into epileptic seizures, and cardiac arrhythmia, where the heart goes into spasms, two possibly fatal outcomes for heavy drinkers who go cold turkey. This is why hospital and treatment center staff will sometimes advise individuals to continue drinking before checking in for treatment.
At Landmark Recovery’s detox center, patient withdrawal is medically managed in a supportive residential environment with 24/7 care providers available to monitor for possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and DT’s.
What is Medical Detox Like?
Upon admission to our detox facility and programs, Landmark staff will perform a comprehensive history and physical exam and psychiatric exam on the patient. A discharge plan including intensive outpatient services and alumni support will also be crafted to ensure that appropriate care continues after detoxification. Within 24 hours of admittance to our detox center, the intake clinician or primary addiction counselor will complete a biopsychosocial evaluation and compile a Master Treatment Plan for the patient’s duration. The patient’s family members will be brought in to discuss the appropriate ongoing treatment options.
Patients will be discharged from the medical detox center when the following criteria are met:
- Patient no longer meets all elements of medical necessity as defined by the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) criteria for addictive, substance-related, and co-occurring conditions.
- The individual and family are not involved to the best of their ability in the treatment and discharge planning process and there is no reasonable chance of improving this condition
- The patient is actively suicidal, demonstrates violent behavior, has an acute, life-threatening illness or condition that requires transfer, or the patient is pregnant.
How Can I Get More Information?
If you or a loved one needs help, please call our confidential admissions line now at 888-448-0302. We can often arrange for you to begin treatment at one of our rehab facilities near you within a few days. Addiction is a disease and seeking help is not weakness. The detox centers at Landmark Recovery provide the tools and environment you need to help you reclaim your life from drug or alcohol addiction but not until you take that all important first step and contact us today.
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