Medically Assisted Detoxification
The initial step on every journey of long-term sobriety is admission to a medically assisted detoxification center. Those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time will almost always undergo some degree of withdrawal upon abrupt cessation of use. More often than not, the symptoms of withdrawal will lead an addict or an alcoholic back to use before the detoxification process is over. Because of this, and because withdrawal can pose serious health risks if not medically monitored, attending a medical detox is absolutely crucial. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer our patients a comprehensive and comfortable detox program. During detox, we conduct an individualized, in-depth evaluation, which helps us determine the length of our clients stay, what kind of medical intervention is necessary, and the next steps for our clients once they become physically stabilized.
We offer a range of detoxification services, all geared towards making withdrawal as painless as possible. Our team of experienced professionals ranges from licensed doctors and nurses to therapists and addiction counselors. Medical detoxification program lengths vary by the individual needs of the client. These include the length of use, the types of drugs used, how many drugs are used simultaneously, the severity of the addiction (the volume of drugs or alcohol used daily), and underlying disorders – to name a few. No matter what addiction you are looking to overcome, and no matter how far down the scale you may have gone, we are here to help.
Steps of Detoxification
Three Main Steps of Detoxification
A thorough evaluation is conducted upon our clients arrival at our detox facility. Not only will we discuss our clients personal history with substance abuse, but we’ll talk about genetic predisposition (clients family’s history with substance abuse), what the clients personal treatment goals are, and how our client believes we can best help to achieve those goals. We’ll also discuss any potential underlying issues or mental health concerns that our client would like to address (unresolved trauma, PTSD, anxiety disorders, or depression, for example).
After the evaluation our team of clinical physicians have the information needed to safely manage the sometimes deadly effects of withdrawal. We help our clients remain as comfortable as possible as they make it through the process to becoming 100% physically stabilized.
Once the symptoms of withdrawal have subsided, we prepare our clients for residential treatment and the next steps on their path to full recovery. While in detox, our clients undergo group and one-on-one therapy sessions, which will help to further flesh out their treatment plan and personal goals. Our clients are also introduced to the 12 step as well as evidenced based models of recovery, and undergo therapy sessions to help them to better understand addiction.
Drugs That Require Detoxification
Detoxing from alcohol is extremely dangerous, and withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if not overseen by a medical professional. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal vary widely in severity. In some cases, withdrawal consists of nothing more than a headache, nausea, and fatigue (like a bad hangover). This is generally only the case if alcohol has been used somewhat sparingly for a brief period of time. Heavy drinkers and alcoholics are at a much greater risk when it comes to withdrawal. They may experience symptoms like tremors, severe anxiety, depression, hallucinations (delirium tremens), and seizures. If alcohol withdrawal is not overseen by a professional, it can be extremely dangerous.
Types of Alcohol
Opioids, ranging from heroin and prescription painkillers to synthetic opiates like fentanyl and tramadol, are some of the most addictive chemical substances on earth. Detoxing from opioids is not usually life-threatening, but it is so uncomfortable that many opioid addicts will return to using before the process is complete. Withdrawal happens quickly when it comes to opioids – usually within the first six or twelve hours after the last use. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include: anxiety, severe abdominal cramping and stomach pain, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle spasms, and cold sweats. In most cases, these symptoms will be treated with non-narcotic painkillers, and symptoms will subside within one to two weeks.
Types of Opioids
- Codeine (only available in generic form)
- Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Abstral, Onsolis)
- Hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro ER)
- Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
- Morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Morphabond)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxaydo)
- Oxycodone and Acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet)
- Oxycodone and Naloxone
Benzodiazepines (Benzos) are sedatives and tranquilizers, often prescribed to treat severe anxiety disorders. This classification of drugs includes Ativan, Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. Those who are withdrawing from benzos will typically begin experiencing symptoms within the first 24 hours. Withdrawal for benzodiazepines can last up to several months, depending on the frequency and volume of use (it can also last a week or two, if abuse was short-lived). These drugs have an unpleasant and prolonged withdrawal, which usually peaks at about two weeks. Additionally, withdrawal symptoms – which include anxiety, body spasms, decreased heart rate, respiratory depression, and seizures – can be life-threatening if not closely monitored and treated.
Types of Benzodiazapines
- Alprazolam (Xanax, Xanax XR)
- Clobazam (Onfi)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Clorazepate (Tranxene)
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Diazepam (Valium, Diastat Acudial, Diastat)
- Estazolam (Prosom is a discontinued brand in the US)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Oxazepam (Serax is a discontinued brand in the US)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
Stimulants are a class of psychoactive substances that include drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and ritalin (or Adderall). The withdrawal symptoms associated with stimulants are largely psychological, and include anxiety, depression, hallucinations, insomnia, extreme paranoia, and memory loss. Physical symptoms will be present as well, though they are usually not life threatening. Physical symptoms include body aches, changes in appetite, fatigue, and dehydration. Symptoms will typically begin within a day after use cessation, and will continue on for around a week before beginning to subside.
Types of Stimulants
- Anabolic Steroids
- Crack Cocaine
Synthetic Drugs Detoxification
There is a wide range of regularly abused synthetic drugs, with some of the more common being ketamine, PCP, bath salts, and GHB. These drugs are created in a laboratory and are purely chemical. Synthetic drugs are becoming more and more popular – in 2009, there were two synthetic cannabinoids in circulation. In 2012, there were a total of 51. Withdrawal from synthetic drugs starts with relatively mild symptoms – insomnia and hypersomnia, difficulty concentrating, changes in mood and appetite, depression, and body tremors. If an individual has been abusing synthetic drugs for an extended period, complications related to withdrawal might arise. These complications could include seizures, spiked heart rate, and increased blood pressure, and they can be life-threatening if the concerned individual is not being monitored 24/7.
Types of Synthetics
- Methoxamine (MXE)
- Bath Salts
- Lab Created
- K-2, Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)
- 25-NBOMe (Synthetic LSD)
Psychedelic Drug Detoxification
Withdrawal from psychedelic drugs (or hallucinogens) is also largely psychological, and results from a severe chemical imbalance within the brain. It isn’t too common for people to abuse hallucinogens for an extended period, because irreparable brain damage occurs rather quickly. Those who do use this classification of drug regularly, however, will experience a host of severe psychological withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include major mood swings (often characterized by inexplicable fits of rage), panic attacks, psychotic breaks from reality, low impulse control, and difficulty putting sentences together. Those who abuse LSD, specifically, are prone to suicidal ideations. It is absolutely crucial that those who are withdrawing from psychedelic drugs do so under professional supervision – otherwise, they may be a danger to themselves (and potentially others).
When it comes to recovery, detoxification is the necessary first step. Our clients are physically stabilized, and their symptoms are overseen and treated by a staff of medical professionals. During detoxification clients begin the healing process and begin to map out their recovery treatment plan.
Every step of the way, at Immersion Recovery Center we give guidance and support to our valued clients. We ensure that our clients detoxification is a successful first step on their incredible journey towards long-term sobriety.
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