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Drug Detox Treatment

Drug detox treatment differs from drug addiction treatment, in that it is a much shorter time period of usually only a week or so, and the main emphasis is on the withdrawal process and detoxifying the body of any misused substances.

Drug addiction treatment, by contrast, is the process of identifying the root cause of the addiction, as well as creating relapse prevention techniques that will support the individual during recovery from the use of drugs.

Drug detox is not “always” needed to begin recovery. But depending on the substances misused, the duration of use, and amount used on a daily basis, it is often an important first step before beginning substance use addiction treatment.

It cannot be stressed enough that detox should always be performed under professional supervision or in a dedicated inpatient program with a trained and experienced detox staff.

Substance use detox tends to last approximately seven days, depending on the severity of the addiction and withdrawal, as well as the substance in question.

Opioid and Opiate Detox

Opioid and opiate detox from prescription medications like vicodin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and percocet, usually takes approximately seven days to complete. These drugs impact opioid receptors in the brain and are used to relieve pain.

Heroin detox is also usually a week-long process. While rarely used as a prescription medication, heroin is a powerful pain reliever that is much more potent than prescription opioids and much more addictive.

During detox, the body is reacting to the lack of the drug and its effects on the brain. Detox has both a physical and psychological impact and can be difficult to maintain without proper help.

Detoxing from opioids and heroin is not as dangerous as detoxing from alcohol or benzos, but the withdrawal symptoms can be very painful and uncomfortable. Many people who stop using these substances say it is like having the worst flu of their life.

The symptoms can be excruciating and this is one of the main reasons people continue to use opioids and heroin instead of trying to get clean. They fear detox so much they would rather continue with their opioid addiction than push through to sobriety.

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Benzodiazepine Detox

Benzodiazepines, or Benzos as they are commonly called, are prescription medications used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and numerous other disorders.

Benzodiazepines attach to GABA (Gamma AminoButyric Acid) receptors in the brain. These GABA receptors help us relax and calm down when we feel stress, anxiety, or have trouble sleeping.

Benzos includes drugs such as Xanax (Alprazolam), Valium (Diazepam), Klonopin (Clonazepam), and Ativan (Lorazepam).

Detoxing from benzodiazepines has higher-risk withdrawal symptoms and can be fatal if not properly supervised under the right conditions.

Withdrawal and detox from Benzos is much more complicated than other substances, including alcohol. Depending on the medication and duration of use, it is advised to taper off, instead of quitting cold turkey, and someties it requires the use of other medications to aid in quitting.

It is especially important in these situations that drug detox be supervised by a trained professional, or that the individual participate in a dedicated inpatient program for the duration of the detox.

In the latter case, not only does this protect against the risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms going unsupervised, but also ensures that support is available for the duration of the process.

Substance Use Withdrawal

Drug Detox and Withdrawal InfographicMany people with drug addictions are familiar with the signs of withdrawal, and continue to use drugs to avoid these symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms and severity depend greatly on the particular kind of drug being used, the length of time use occurred, as well as the level of drug use.

Some drugs have withdrawal symptoms that tend to affect the individual emotionally, whereas others may have acute physical affects.

Broadly-speaking, withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Shaking
  • sweating
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Aching
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tension or tremors
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • anxiety
  • irritability

Withdrawal symptoms can also be more severe, and produce additional side effects and problematic health issues such as grand mal seizures, hallucinations, heart attacks, and strokes.

Due to these high-risk withdrawal symptoms, it is never advised that people undergo any kind of drug detox alone or without medical supervision.

It isn’t worth the risk or discomfort to go it alone, and an experienced addiction specialist will ensure that the detox process has been fully completed without enduring the chances of a relapse.

Substance Use Detox Treatment at Alo House

If you’re thinking about drug detox for yourself or a loved one, know that it is possible to undergo this process in a supportive and comfortable environment.

Continuing drug use isn’t the only way to be free from the fear of withdrawal. Getting to the other side of the detox process is an important step leading into treatment, and a huge step toward the completion of your recovery.

At Alo House, our drug detox program provides a safe and comfortable environment that is supervised by trained professionals who understand the uncomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms.

Our comprehensive program offers inpatient detox at our facility, so our clients don’t have to detox at one facility and move to another to continue addiction treatment, like at many other recovery centers.

Your safety and comfort is our ultimate priority and the cornerstone of our Compassionate Care Model of treatment.

To find out more about our Drug Detox Programs in Los Angeles and Malibu, California, call us toll-free at (888) 478-5705.

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