According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 10 percent of the nation's population over the age of 12 requires treatment for illicit drug or alcohol abuse each year. Detox centers are the best option for helping an addict overcome addiction. When an addict stops using drugs and alcohol, the body begins to experience withdrawal symptoms. Detox center professionals are trained to help ease these symptoms and help get you through detox as easily as possible.
Types of Detox Centers
There are several types of detox centers available. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a serious disease and no single treatment is appropriate for everyone. You should first consider which type of treatment would be best for you. Outpatient facilities provide treatment in a medical facility during the day and allow you to return home each night. This type of facility is best if you suffer from only one type of addiction, or if there are no other risks involved. Other advantages of outpatient detox centers include:
- Best for patients with mild addiction symptoms
- Patients receive greater social support
- Individuals can maintain employment and relationships
- Greater freedom
- Fewer disruptions in life activities
Inpatient detox centers are similar to outpatient facilities. Inpatient facilities provide the same care during the day that outpatient centers provide; however, you receive 24-hour care for the duration of your treatment. The main advantage to this type of treatment program is you are removed from the temptations and old habits of your prior drug and alcohol use. This decreases the likelihood that you will suffer a relapse once treatment is complete.
How to Choose a Detox Center?
- There are several questions that you should ask yourself when you begin looking for a detox center. Things to consider include, but are not limited to:
- Talk to several detox facilities before you choose one
- Decide what amenities you would like the facility to have
- Will you be allowed to see your family and friends?
- Does the facility accommodate dietary issues?
- Will you be allowed to keep your cell phone or computer?
- Does the facility take your insurance, or will you need to pay out of pocket for costs?
- How far away is the treatment facility?
- How long will treatment last?
- Tour each facility and make note of the treatment of patients
- Talk with the people that will be in charge of your care
- Make sure you are completely comfortable in the facility before committing to the program
What Happens During Detox?
When you first arrive at the treatment facility, you will go through an intake process. You will be assigned a therapist who will work with you on your recovery. During this process you will be asked questions on your drug history and prior use. It is important to answer all questions as honestly and completely as possible. Your therapist will help devise a treatment plan that is specific to your individual needs. Once you have completed the intake process, you will be given a tour of the detox facilities so you can easily locate everything. You will then be taken to your room. A counselor will help you unpack your belongings to ensure you do not have any contraband items with you. Contraband items are held until you leave the treatment facility. These items may include any over-the-counter medications and electronics.
Once you have settled into the facility, you will receive a complete physical exam to identify any underlying conditions that should be treated during detox from drugs. Often during drug and alcohol addiction, you will suffer from malnutrition and dehydration; these issues will be addressed during treatment. Detox from alcohol and opiate detoxification can take several days to several weeks depending on the severity of the addiction, and whether or not you suffer from more than one addiction. You may be given medications to help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms and to help lessen your cravings. This is especially true if you are going through detox for alcohol addiction.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, there are three FDA-approved medications used for treating alcohol detox. These medications are disulfiram, naltrexone and acamprosate. Disulfiram is given when an individual returns home after treatment. The drug causes unpleasant side effects when small amounts of alcohol are consumed. The symptoms can last over an hour and are usually enough to deter one from drinking. Acamprosate helps stabilize the chemicals in the brain that have been altered by alcohol abuse. By stabilizing the chemicals in the brain, the drug can help lessen the symptoms of withdrawal. Naltrexone helps to control the cravings for alcohol. One or more of the medications may be given at a time to help an individual successfully get through detox.
Other medications that may be given during drug detox include methadone, suboxone and buprenorphine. Individuals given medications during detox are usually closely monitored to help prevent any adverse reactions. Along with medications to help control withdrawal symptoms, you may be given nutritional supplements and pain relievers to address body aches and other complaints.
Withdrawal symptoms usually start within 12 hours after your last dose. These symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased heart rate
Once you are physically able, you will begin attending group and individual therapy sessions. These sessions offer support during your rehabilitation. Cognitive behavioral therapy will help you identify and cope with triggers that cause your drug abuse. You will be instructed on how to find a new hobby or how to get back into a previous interest.
During detox, you will also be involved in group therapy, which allows other individuals in the facility to meet in a small group setting that is facilitated by a professional. Individuals within the group are encouraged to share stories of success, and to help one another during the treatment process.
Family therapy is often used to help family members deal with the destructive behavior of the addict. Often families allow drug use to continue because they do not know what to do. Family therapy identifies common warning signs and gives families a plan of action on what to do should a relapse occur. It also helps families learn how to be supportive during rehab and recovery.
Once an individual detoxes and no longer has drugs or alcohol in their system, they will enter into a period of rehabilitation. Part of that treatment may occur in the detox facility but oftentimes it takes place in a separate facility. This depends on the type of treatment that the facility covers.