Medical Detox

Medical detox is the process of withdrawal from an addictive substance while under medical care and supervision. In some cases, detox may involve the use of medications designed to alleviate symptoms, such as those used in medical alcohol detox centers. In other situations, a process of gradual step down may be employed, as with opioid detox where methadone is used as a substitute. When you come to Altus Treatment Center, our highly trained staff will be able to walk you through the treatment options that are right for you, so you can feel confident in the decisions the treatment center will make to help you.

Frequently, however, addicted persons attempt to detox either alone or in the absence of professional care. They typically do not realize that detoxing too quickly can have severe health consequences, some that are potentially life threatening. Medical drug detox under the supervision of healthcare professionals can not only increase the safety of the withdrawal process but can also be an important factor in achieving a long-term recovery.

Seeking out a safe detox center also has the advantage of being able to greatly reduce the level of stress and anxiety involved in overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction. Those who take the time to learn what medical detox is and what it has to offer will improve their chances of making a full and successful recovery.

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Detox Basics

Medically supervised detox is advised for any person addicted to a substance that has severe withdrawal symptoms associated with it, or addictions where the likelihood of relapse is high. Medical detox is generally sought for the following:

  • Alcohol: Alcohol Withdrawal can have serious consequences and has been known to be life threatening in extreme cases
  • Narcotics: Codeine, Morphine, Opioids
  • Heroin: Heroin is notoriously painful to withdraw from and should not be attempted without medical supervision
  • Pain medications: OxyContin, Oxycodone, and Vicodin
  • Sleeping medications: Ambien, Halcion, Lunesta
  • Benzodiazepines: Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan. Stopping these drugs too suddenly can be life threatening in some instances
  • Cocaine/Methamphetamine: Quitting stimulants frequently causes severe mood swings and should always be done under medical supervision
  • Club drugs, inhalants, marijuana and other drugs: These addictions may be part of co-occurring disorders that require medical supervision for detoxing

Medical drug and alcohol detox centers are staffed by professionals trained specifically to assist those in the initial phases of drug withdrawal. Unfortunately, stopping a drug dependency can sometimes be a painful process. So it is important that it is carried out in a safe environment that may also offer some degree of comfort. If not, the risk of the detox not being successfully completed is increased. Around the clock care helps to ensure that medications are taken in a timely manner, and any complications can be addressed without delay. Altus Treatment Center offers round the clock care and supervision to our medical detox patients, and understands the difficulties of such a treatment plan.

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How long will my detox last?

Several variables determine the time it takes to complete detox: the type of substance abuse, the patient’s physical and emotional condition, the duration of use, and the depth of addiction. In general, the process lasts for a few days. However, it can sometimes take months when undergone on an outpatient basis.

Do drug rehabs offer medical detox?

Medical drug detox facilities are sometimes part of a rehab clinic. If not, your clinic will usually make arrangements for you at a separate detox center before beginning rehab. Altus Treatment Center works with a variety of other treatment centers in the Aliso Viejo to help people with drug addiction.

Can medical detox alone treat addiction?

In the successful treatment of addiction, medical detox is only the first of many necessary steps. Detoxification addresses getting the substance out of your system. Whereas complete addiction treatment means developing a therapeutic regimen, addressing the underlying issues that led to your addiction, and mastering skills to avoid relapse. For this reason, entry into either an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program should always follow medical drug and alcohol detox.

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What are the differences between inpatient and outpatient detox?

Outpatient: Outpatient programs begin with a visit to the office of a physician as a regular patient. This doctor will supervise your treatment, and also prescribe any medications necessary to assist with the process. Detox is then undertaken at home with routine doctor visits to monitor your progress.

Due to the fact that you are not under 24-hour care, outpatient detox can be a slow process. Your doctor must remain very cautious about your progress, and the treatment may take up to several months. Sometimes with outpatient detox, the discomfort will reach such a degree that the process cannot be completed. There is also the risk that a dependency can develop for the prescribed medications since the process is so lengthy.

Inpatient: Checking yourself into a medical drug detox facility and remaining there until the detox is complete is another option. Be aware, however, that although inpatient detox is a service that many clinics claim to provide, the level of service can vary significantly.

When locating a medical detox facility, make sure that it is one where the patient is under 24-hour medical supervision. Because healthcare emergencies can arise over the course of detox, it is critical to always have trained personnel on hand who can address it immediately. The quality of care and supervision is important to everyone at Altus Treatment Center, as well as the collaboration that happens with the neighbouring clinics. Safety is of the utmost importance to us for our patients.

Unlike outpatient programs, inpatient detox can proceed much more rapidly due to the presence of around-the-clock care. The complete withdrawal process can generally be completed in 6-14 days.

If you or a loved one are suffering from drug addiction, contact Altus Treatment Center today to discuss the options for medical detox to overcome addiction as soon as possible.

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