Drug and alcohol detox is an important first step in recovering from substance abuse. For some people, drug and alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and even life-threatening. This means it’s critical for detox to happen in a supervised medical setting, where medical detox specialists ensure it’s as safe and comfortable as possible. They provide care that helps you prepare for the next phase of addiction treatment at medical drug detox centers.
Why Is Medical Detox Important?
Alcohol and drug addicts often become physically dependent on the substances they use. This happens because the drug changes how their brain or body functions. Their body gets used to a new way of functioning. If you are physically dependent on a drug, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
The withdrawal symptoms you have depend on the kinds of drugs and alcohol you abuse. Possible symptoms range from headaches, insomnia, and nausea to seizures and heart problems. Some people experience mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression.
The risk of serious side effects is why medical professionals don’t recommend self-detox. Instead, they recommend supervised medical detox under the care of qualified medical professionals.
If you’re at risk of withdrawal symptoms, supervised drug, and alcohol detox can help you quit in safety. Medical staff tracks vital signs and can administer medications to ease your symptoms. They can also intervene if any serious problems arise.
What Drugs Require Supervised Detox?
Drugs that are likely to need medically supervised detox include:
- Alcohol: Heavy or long-term alcohol abuse changes your brain chemistry. For heavy drinkers, trying to detox from alcohol at home can be dangerous. Withdrawal from alcohol can cause hallucinations, seizures, and other risky symptoms.
- Benzodiazepines: Benzo withdrawal is rarely physically dangerous, but it can affect your mental health, causing anxiety, insomnia, and depression. These and other symptoms make it hard for benzo addicts to quit. Medical detox can help improve the odds of recovery.
- Heroin: Withdrawal from heroin is painful and can be dangerous. Detoxing from heroin can involve repeated bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. This can lead to dehydration so severe it causes heart failure. Intense cravings for the drug also mean there’s a high risk of relapsing.
- Meth: Meth doesn’t cause dangerous physical symptoms, but the psychological symptoms of meth withdrawal can threaten your recovery. Mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, are common. Coupled with the cravings for the drug, it’s extremely hard for a meth addict to quit without help.
- Prescription opioids: The risks of withdrawal from prescription opioids aren’t as great as they are with heroin, but still include diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, and more. Unpleasant symptoms and intense cravings mean you risk relapsing if you try to quit alone.
- Combination alcohol and drug detox: If you have been abusing both drugs and alcohol, detox is complex and dangerous. It’s important to seek help and undergo a medical detox instead of trying to do it alone.
Detox Is About More than Safety
All drug users may not require a supervised detox in a drug rehab center. It is possible to detox on your own, though it’s dangerous in many cases. For instance, LSD and marijuana don’t cause physical dependence, although you can’t predict how your body and the unique situation will respond to withdrawal.
Medical drug detox is about more than being safe. Addicts who try to detox at home can end up in situations where they relapse. In a drug detox program, you don’t have access to drugs and alcohol, and can’t relapse.
Medical drug detoxes, like those through Promises Behavioral Health, also promote mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. Whether you enter drug or alcohol detox on your own or because circumstances led you there, addiction experts can help you understand and accept that you have a problem. Medical detox prepares you to enter alcohol and drug rehab, where you can start to explore the reasons you developed an addiction. Then you can start to recover and rebuild a drug-free life.
Medications That Support Detox
There are several drugs that can help make detox more comfortable. After detox, some can also help you stay sober:
- Benzodiazepines can help ease withdrawal symptoms for alcohol detox. At Promises Behavioral Health, we use them sparingly, as they can be addictive.
- Buprenorphine relieves opioid cravings and reduces alcohol cravings.
- Naltrexone reduces opioid and alcohol cravings. This can help lower your risk of relapse.
- Methadone can ease symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and opioids. It also helps addicts maintain their sobriety.
What Happens After Detox?
After drug and alcohol detox, the next step is working towards long-term sobriety. Promises Behavioral Health treatment centers offer inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs. This means you can work with our addiction experts to choose the level of care you need.
After completing medical drug detox programs, you can start a recovery program that:
- Uncovers the core issues that led you to addiction
- Includes evidence-based treatment and therapy
- Focuses on both your physical and mental health
- Includes your family members in the recovery process
- Supports long-term sobriety and relapse prevention
Promises Behavioral Health Alcohol and Drug Detox Programs
Promises Behavioral Health is a family of addiction and mental health treatment centers. We offer a range of medical detox programs. These programs provide all the ingredients for a safe, comfortable drug detox experience.
We offer caring, expertly trained psychiatrists, therapists, and 24/7 nursing staff. Our treatment centers are home-like, restorative settings. Here, we provide the latest evidence-based treatment and medications. In one of these settings, you can work on restoring your physical and mental health with the aim of long-term recovery. Call 844.875.5609 to learn more.