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What You Need to Know Before Entering Detox

You probably know that the first step for you or a loved one when entering rehab is an appropriate detoxification for alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates. But do you know exactly how important this step is for long-term recovery? 

According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.5 million people (8.5 percent of the U.S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2014. Only 4.2 million (18.5 percent of those who needed treatment) received any substance use treatment in the same year. 

Many people who are struggling with their addiction never receive the help they desperately need. If you or a loved one have been struggling with addiction for a while, it might be time to receive professional help, which starts with a medical detox. 

Before we get into details about what the detoxification process is like, it’s important to explain what a medical detox is. 

What Is Medical Detox?

If a person is addicted or dependent to opioids like Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, oxycodone, or even methadone, or to an extremely dangerous opiate like heroin, the withdrawal from these may not be life-threatening, but it is consistently so painfully excruciating that the U.S. government projects 95% of the individuals who try to stop taking the opioids on their own, without medical intervention, fail to complete the entire withdrawal process. 

To address the safety issues involved, and the pain and discomfort matters of alcohol and drug withdrawal, many individuals are turning to medical detox facilities. Medical detox can address the medical and emotional needs of those individuals who need medical intervention to complete a successful detoxification from drugs or alcohol.

The word detox is short for detoxification. Detoxification is the removal of toxins (poisons or harmful things) from the body. Alcohol and drugs are toxins. Medical detox means that the process of detoxification of the harmful substances like drugs and alcohol is done under medical supervision and compassionate care. However, it is important to understand that the end product of a successful medical detoxification is not the complete elimination of all the toxins in the body or even the complete elimination of any cravings or longing for alcohol or drugs.  The end result of a successful medical detox is that the individual, in a more comfortable and relaxed way, is no longer at risk medically from not taking the drugs or alcohol into their bodies. The individual is now ready to go begin treatment at an Archstone Behavioral Health where they will be well taken care of and given the best help possible to achieve full recovery and sobriety from their addiction.

It may seem simple to go to any detox nearby to start getting clean, but there’s actually a few things you or a loved one should know before entering a detox program. Here are a few things you or a loved one need to know before detoxing safely from drugs or alcohol:

Detox Isn’t Easy: Your body is definitely going to crave the drug that you’ve previously been taking. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms as well as potentially self-destructive behaviors.

Make Sure It’s Licensed: Believe it or not, you don’t need to be licensed by the state to open a detox for drug addiction and alcoholism if you don’t provide an actual medical detox. Doing your research before entering a detox program to ensure its safety is crucial. 

Medical Vs. Social Detox: There is a massive difference between a medical detox – that requires 24/7 nursing staff and the ability to use drugs to safely detox individuals – and a social detox. Without a detox by licensed medical professionals, those struggling with alcohol or benzo addiction in particular can actually die if not detoxed properly. 

The times for the detoxification process will vary. Every individual is different. However, as a general rule, the process will take somewhere between two and three days. It usually depends on the drug used as well as the intensity and length of use.

Are the Staff Licensed Medical Professionals?: Check how long it’s been around and what the credentials are of its staff. Are they licensed medical professionals, or simply drug and alcohol counselors with a 2-year certification that offer only “social detox”? 

A social detox involves careful monitoring of the patient through a residential inpatient setting. The patient is not administered medication, but is assisted through the detox process with counseling and therapy. Although a combination of counseling, therapy, and medically assisted detox can provide great results, it can be crucial for a patient to receive the medication they need when they’re going through the withdrawal process. 

Once again, doing your research and finding out exactly what a detox center or rehab offers is important before recovering from addiction. 

Connections to Ongoing Treatment: Detox does not treat the underlying psychological or trauma issues surrounding addiction, detoxing only removes the physical addiction to drugs or alcohol. So it’s important to connect with a detox that can help one find ongoing support post-discharge. 

Finding support after detoxing can make a huge difference in one’s recovery. This level of support can increase the chance of long-term recovery for you or a loved one. 

Does It Take Your Insurance?: Make sure the rehab you or your loved one are going to that they take your insurance and that your insurance will cover the treatment. 

If you have questions about insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to call our admissions specialists. We can answer any questions you have about the best payment plans for you or a loved one to detox safely.

For some individuals, it may take a few tries to complete the entire detoxification process. Although some people are able, not everyone can complete the drug detox on the first try. If this ends up being you, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. As long as you are committed to turning your life around and making the lifestyle change, you need to attempt the drug detox program again so that you can continue the rehab process.

Where You Can Turn For Addiction Treatment

Admitting that you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol is difficult, but it’s the first essential step towards achieving long-term recovery. Going to a rehab, like Archstone Recovery, with a compassionate staff that will help you with every step along the way can be the key to staying sober.

Archstone focuses on the tradition of 12-step treatment, it’s a tradition that has worked for millions of people searching for recovery, and it can help you or a loved one currently struggling with addiction too. 

We also offer a full continuum of care, so you don’t need to bounce between treatment centers, and you’ll always work with the same staff.

Call Archstone Recovery now at: 561-475-4237 to get help for you or a loved one today. You can also learn more about our medical detox program by checking out our page!