According to the CDC, around 10.6% of people aged 12 or over will have used an illicit drug in the last month. Those same statistics also state that 2.3% of people aged 12 or over will have used a pharmaceutical drug for non-therapeutic purposes in the last month. While these statistics are worrying, they don’t quite reveal the true and devastating nature of drug addictions in the U.S. For example, more than 70,200 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2017. This represents a public health crisis, which drug and alcohol detox can tackle.
When someone develops a drug or alcohol addiction, they may change beyond all recognition. The family and friends of addicts often describe their loved ones as having transformed from loving and fun individuals to someone who appears to be on a path to self-destruction. Addiction can result in severe social consequences, such as job losses, poor academic achievement, and damaged reputations. Unfortunately, many of those who suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction lack reliable insights into their condition. They may remain in denial for a long time, which means friends and family need to intervene.
If you’re worried that someone you love has formed a harmful drug addiction, it’s time to learn more about how to tackle the problem. By understanding drug and alcohol detox, you can decide whether the person you care about needs help and how you can approach getting them into a treatment program. At Satori Recovery Center, we’re here to help you understand drug and alcohol detox.
What is detoxification?
In simple terms, the process of detoxification means to remove toxic substances from the body. In medical terms, drug and alcohol detox involves abstaining from the harmful substance to remove the addiction. The detox process also aims to limit the harms of the addiction and possibly reverse some of the damage already caused. Successful drug and alcohol detox programs also recognize that the patient has become unable to cope with everyday life in the absence of their substance and so they introduce coping mechanisms to prevent this from happening in the future.
The physical elements of detox
Although drug and alcohol detox programs work toward a better state of health, they do come with side effects. Because of this, detoxing without the guidance of a trained medical professional can become dangerous. Some of the physical effects of detox can include:
- Increased heart rate
- Stomach pains
- Muscle aches
The physical effects a person experiences will vary according to the type of substance they are addicted to. Overall, alcohol and tranquilizers tend to produce the worst side effects.
Each patient’s addiction will also dictate the amount of pharmaceutical support they require during their drug and alcohol detox program. Again, this means it’s important for them to receive medical support and monitoring. Consistent insights into a patient’s responses and state of mind make it easier to create a safe program that prioritizes their comfort.
The psychological elements of detox
Many people who require drug and alcohol detox have turned toward their substance of choice because of emotional traumas or difficulties. Detoxing can intensify these emotions and may introduce overwhelming feelings of guilt and anxiety. As a result, detox programs include talking therapies and group therapies that help patients work through the psychological strains of their journey.
Factors that can affect withdrawal during drug and alcohol detox
Every patient’s journey toward successful withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can vary. It often starts with how severe their addiction is and can include the type of substance they’re using and how accessible it is. When a substance is readily available and the patient spends a lot of time with people who enable their addiction, withdrawing can become almost impossible. Therefore, they’re likely to see the greatest benefits when they enter a residential program where they’re removed from temptations and those who perpetuate their addiction cycle.
Most importantly, how much support a person receives from their program and the people who love them make a significant difference. If you’re helping to encourage someone through the withdrawal process, this is something to consider as they progress.
Is it possible to detox at home?
Some individuals suffering from an addiction may feel tempted to detox at home. Unfortunately, their chances of succeeding are quite low. In addition to this, they’re at risk of some of the more dangerous withdrawal effects that come with detoxing. Although side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea may seem innocuous at first, without the right medical monitoring they may lead to dehydration. There are certain clinical signs a doctor can watch out for, which may then prompt them to use certain blood tests to monitor signs of dehydration and reduced kidney function.
Similarly, when withdrawing from alcohol or drugs, a patient’s anxiety may range from mild to severe. When anxiety does become severe the risk of relapse increases, and there’s also a chance they can cause harm to themselves or others.
Withdrawing from alcohol requires particularly close monitoring. Depending on the depths of the person’s addiction, they may be at risk of conditions such as Wernicke’s Encephalopathy, which can result in irreversible brain damage.
What about home detox kits? How are they different from medical kits?
Home detox kits usually contain a combination of over the counter medications and natural therapies designed to make detox less dangerous and more comfortable. For example, such kits may include anti-diarrhea medication and rehydration sachets. Although they may provide mild relief, they’re not as effective as prescribed medications that are fine-tuned to a patient’s addictive state. Additionally, home detox kits don’t come with medical monitoring, which is required to prevent a patient from coming to harm.
Because of all the above, although you can try to help someone detox at home, it isn’t without risk. Therefore, they require ongoing medical monitoring to make sure the side effects they’re experiencing aren’t harmful. Additionally, a medical professional can administer drugs that make their experience more comfortable. This significantly reduces their chances of relapsing during the drug and alcohol detox program. Finally, with the right talking therapies in place they can develop coping mechanisms that make relapse less likely. Always remember, detoxing isn’t just about addressing the physical concerns. There are lots of psychological hurdles to overcome too.
Different types of detox programs
If you believe that a drug and alcohol detox program is right for you or your loved one, it’s worth learning more about the differences between each type. While some patients may benefit from outpatient recovery, others require intensive inpatient monitoring.
Outpatient drug and alcohol detox
Outpatient drug and alcohol detox involves medical monitoring, pharmaceutical therapies, and talking therapies. The patient returns to their home each night, which means this approach may benefit those who can’t leave their usual responsibilities behind. Additionally, an outpatient program often proves useful when helping someone transition from inpatient treatment to the outside world.
Inpatient detox programs
Inpatient detox programs involve staying at a residential facility where medical monitoring and support are available 24/7. They remove the patient from the environment and people that may make their addiction worse, giving them the chance to become clean in a substance-free environment. In addition to medical therapies, these programs use group therapies, talking therapies, and nutritional support to help patients detoxify and overcome their addictions.
Holistic detox programs
Holistic detox programs don’t provide the same pharmaceutical support as medical programs. Instead, they approach drug and alcohol detox with natural alternatives. There isn’t much evidence to support the use of natural remedies in detox. Some holistic programs may avoid withdrawal through niche measures such as slowly tapering down the amount of alcohol someone is drinking. Some elements of holistic detox are very helpful, though. For example, using mindfulness to overcome the triggers that push a person towards their addictive substance can be a valuable tool in the process.
The Satori Recovery detoxification process
At Satori Recovery Center, our detoxification process always begins with a full medical evaluation. Medical evaluations are necessary to diagnose the type of addiction and the harms it has caused so far. This evaluation allows us to create a treatment and monitoring plan that’s unique to the patient, so they’re less likely to relapse.
During your evaluation, you’ll undergo the following tests:
- Blood tests to assess your general state of health and detect signs of dehydration and liver damage.
- Co-occurring condition testing that’s specific to your addiction.
- Psychological assessment, which is particularly important when you’re addicted to a drug with a psychoactive component.
- A risk assessment to analyze your risk of relapse as well as your risk of harming yourself.
- A stabilization evaluation so we can determine what we need to do to make you safe and comfortable while you withdraw from the substance to which you’re addicted.
The Satori Recovery Center detox evaluation is thorough. Some of the tests provide us with a baseline for your clinical state, so we may repeat them as your journey progresses.
What to expect when you choose Satori Recovery Center
When you choose Satori Recovery Center for your drug and alcohol detox, you can expect full medical and psychological support. Some of the common features of our program include:
- Medication that’ll assist your withdrawals, such as Diazepam for reducing tremors during alcohol withdrawal.
- Nutritious meals that will rebuild your nutritional profile and support your return to full health.
- Medical personnel who are always available to provide physical and emotional support.
- Preparation for your treatment so that you always feel ready for what’s ahead.
- Tips and coping mechanisms that we’ll adapt to your unique challenges and the experience you’re having as you progress through the program.
- A support system that will make sure you never feel alone as you move back to enjoying a sober way of life.
The side effects of detoxing
Although the team at Satori Recovery Center will do their best to promote a comfortable withdrawal, it’s important that you’re aware of some of the symptoms you may experience as you detox. Fortunately, we have ways of making sure they’re as mild as possible:
- Nausea and vomiting – we can provide anti-sickness medication and a supportive nutritional program.
- Anxiety – we will use talking therapies and supportive medications to make your anxiety better.
- Body aches – Our fitness programs and other comfort-inducing measures will ease them.
- Poor concentration – As your drug and alcohol detox progresses, you’ll find your ability to concentrate increases.
- Insomnia – Using wellness techniques such as meditation and anxiety reduction measures, your tendency toward insomnia will reduce.
Why do we use medically-assisted treatment to detox our patients?
You may be wondering why we don’t take a cold turkey approach to drug and alcohol detox. In a nutshell, we want to make sure our patients feel comfortable and avoid harm. If you’re choosing to pursue the path to recovery, why should you experience discomfort when you could make your journey simpler with assistance? Medically-assisted treatment also reduces the harms that could worsen our patients’ emotional state. For example, if you’re suffering from anxiety, alleviating nausea and body aches can go a long way toward preventing it from becoming worse.
The medications we may use during your treatment
The type of medications we use to make drug and alcohol detox easier vary according to the substance to which you’re addicted. They can include:
- Benzodiazepines such as Diazepam for reducing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
- Anti-anxiety medications such as beta-blockers for alleviating palpitations.
- Buprenorphine and naloxone, which are opioid antagonists that can replace addictive opioids and heroin, as well as prevent them from being a tempting prospect.
- Suboxone, which is a combination of the two drugs mentioned above. You may remain on Suboxone for one month and a doctor will administer your daily dose.
- Vivitrol, which can be used in alcohol and opioid withdrawal once you’ve been clean for between 7 and 14 days. It blocks the substance you were addicted to, causing side effects such as nausea and vomiting if you continue to use it. We recommend that you use Vivitrol for a year and we can start your treatment at our recovery center.
Why choose Satori Recovery Center for drug and alcohol detox?
At Satori Recovery Center, we offer everything you need to successfully complete a drug and alcohol detox program. In addition to supportive medical therapies, we focus on talking and group therapies. Using a combination of physiological and psychological support, you’re more likely to experience success.
The Satori Recovery Center also likes to move beyond everyday approaches. If you have unresolved trauma, we can use EMDR to help you recover from conditions such as PTSD. We also use mindfulness meditation as a means of helping you fulfill your addictive urges with mindfulness tactics, furthering your chances of success in the process. The Satori Recovery Center program also features team adventure therapies, fitness programs, and nutritional programs. Overall, we want to help you rediscover how amazing a life of sobriety is.
What happens when your detox finishes?
At Satori Recovery Center, we work hard to make sure you don’t relapse following your detox. With continued support in the form of talking therapies and medical advice when needed, we’ll help you transition into your former life. Our aim is to reduce your risk of relapse and ensure you enjoy coping mechanisms that don’t involve substance abuse.
If you believe that Satori Recovery Center is right for you, call us at (949) 607-9717.