Drug & Alcohol Detoxification
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The detoxification process is a natural process of cleansing that occurs as toxins are released from the body. For many individuals, detox is a process that needs to occur to rid the body of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, during drug and alcohol detox, the body is thrown off balance and as a result, an individual might experience unpleasant physical and emotional side effects, which are known as withdrawal symptoms. At Valley Recovery Center, we aim to keep our clients as comfortable as possible during detox with both medical and psychological interventions throughout the process.
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction and need to detox the chemicals out of your system now please call 866-986-2486 to speak with a counselor.
What is Drug & Alcohol Detoxification?
The goal of a medical detox program is to help an addict’s body heal while ridding itself of any trace of drugs or alcohol. Detox can vary in intensity, just as symptoms of withdrawal vary in severity, depending on the substance an individual is addicted to, how much they were using, and how often they used. In most cases, detox is safer when it’s carried out under the supervision of experienced medical professionals.
Common Detox Methods
Several detox methods are frequently employed by rehab facilities. The appropriate method depends primarily on the severity of the client’s addiction. At Valley Recovery Center, we provide our clients with a safe, holistic drug and alcohol detoxification program. Regardless of the substance or substances our clients are struggling with, our medical team is prepared to provide either short- or long-term detox programs to clients and creates individualized residential rehab programs that are based on the needs of each client we treat.
Some clients may be candidates for rapid drug and alcohol detox, which is known to be a quicker and less painful way to rid the body of drugs or alcohol. During rapid drug detox, clients are sedated and administered medications that replace the drugs in their system. Generally, this type of inpatient detox is best for those who are addicted to opiates, including heroin and painkillers.
While detox in and of itself isn’t a treatment for drug addiction, it’s a necessary first step for many addicts. Clients who are physically dependent on drugs or alcohol generally require detox to overcome their dependence. As the amount of drugs in the client’s system decreases during detox, the body begins to slowly adjust to functioning without that substance and eventually begins to function normally. By focusing on physical health first, most clients have a higher chance of success as they begin treatment at our mens luxury rehab.
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Preparing for Withdrawals
Common Signs of Withdrawal
In the first stages of detox, symptoms are typically the most severe. During this time, Valley Recovery Center’s medical and psychiatric staff monitor clients around the clock and are available to provide assistance as needed. While each substance comes with a different set of withdrawal symptoms, most addicts commonly report experiencing some of the following symptoms during the process:
- Sweating or chills
- Tremors or shaking
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Agitation or irritability
- Nausea and vomiting
- Strong drug or alcohol cravings
Some substances come with additional withdrawal symptoms that tend to be more specific. For example, clients who are detoxing from opiates such as heroin or painkillers typically experience muscle aches, joint pain and diarrhea, while alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include seizures, hallucinations and severe agitation. Clients who are detoxing from cathinones, known commonly as bath salts, may also experience paranoia and sleep disturbances during detox.
It’s worth noting that with some substances, psychological withdrawal symptoms are far more severe than physical symptoms. This tends to be true with methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as ketamine. In cases where clients are detoxing from these substances, psychiatric monitoring is required for the duration of the process. Clients have been known to have severe hallucinations, delusional thinking and even suicidal thoughts while withdrawing from stimulants, and it’s important that mental health assistance is available to these clients 24/7 while the drug is depleting in their system.
In Valley Recovery Center’s medically supervised detox program, every effort is made to maintain our clients’ comfort during the drug and alcohol detox process. For some clients, this might mean taking prescription medications to curb cravings, alleviate withdrawal symptoms or manage symptoms related to co-occurring disorders.
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Drug & Alcohol Detox in California
What to Expect at a Drug & Alcohol Detox Program
When a person’s body is physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, their body becomes used to having that substance in the system and comes to require it to function normally. During detox, which generally lasts anywhere between 3 and 10 days, some clients may be required to quit using drugs or alcohol cold turkey, while others may need to be slowly tapered off to avoid severe detox withdrawal symptoms or shock. This decision is based mostly on the substance the person used and how severe their addiction is.
Throughout the detox process, the liver begins to work harder to remove traces of drugs and/or alcohol from the body, and as the blood becomes free of these toxins, the rest of the body begins to heal and no longer relies on drugs or alcohol to properly function. While this process can be uncomfortable for a lot of addicts, it is a necessary part of ridding themselves of their addictions.
When clients check into Valley Recovery Center, they’re assessed by our medical team, who determines the best course of treatment. When this treatment plan includes medical drug and alcohol detox, clients will be supervised by medical staff throughout the entire process. As mentioned earlier, the length and intensity of detox will vary depending on the type of substance the client had been using prior to admission as well as the amount they used and the length of time they’ve been using. Additionally, if a client has any co-occurring disorders, emotional withdrawal symptoms may be more intense.
Medications Utilized During Detoxification
While a client is in detox, medications are often an important tool to ensure their journey to recovery is a successful one. Medications are used during detox, as well as rehab, for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they may mitigate cravings for drugs or alcohol, while in others, they may specifically be provided to alleviate symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, seizures or depression.
Buprenorphine is commonly prescribed during detox to clients who are managing an addiction to opiate drugs, including heroin. This medication is a partial opiate agonist drug that can be used to decrease cravings for opiate drugs and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. This drug is sometimes combined with naloxone, known commonly by the brand name Narcan®, which may help to prevent abuse.
Methadone is also used in the treatment of opiate addiction — most often, it’s prescribed to those who are struggling with an addiction to heroin. The drug decreases cravings and alleviates withdrawal symptoms without the client feeling high or euphoric, as they would with most opiates.
Naltrexone blocks opiates from affecting opiate receptors in the brain, preventing abuse and helping clients to avoid relapsing. This drug has also been known to help reduce alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
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How We Can help
Our California Drug Detox Program is Here to Help
Detox is a necessary evil, regardless of what substance an individual is addicted to. Choosing to complete a medical detox program under the supervision of doctors and psychiatrists can be crucial to a full recovery from addiction. In a medical detox program, clients are provided with the tools they need to prevent relapse while they’re kept as comfortable as possible and safe from risks associated with severe withdrawal symptoms, which can be life-threatening in some cases. In Valley Recovery Center’s medical detox program, clients are stabilized and prepared for entry to their rehab program by the facility’s medical staff, as well as a caseworker who will continue to provide support throughout their recovery journey.
Once clients have successfully completed detox, their caseworker and our medical team will reassess them and prepare them to begin their rehab program. During their stay, clients are provided with a private, luxurious room in our home-like facility. During the day, clients participate in treatment in small groups, helping them to build trusting relationships with their peers and provide support to one another.
Clients will continue to meet with their caseworkers and counselors in a private setting to determine the root causes of their addiction and any barriers that stand in the way of their successful recovery. During these sessions, clients are provided with the tools they need to change the behaviors that have led them to drug abuse or alcohol addiction in the first place, as well as the tools they need to overcome temptation in the future.
There are a number of alternative treatments and activities that clients are invited to participate in during their stay at Valley Recovery Center. At the very least, these activities and treatments can promote relaxation and relieve pain associated with detox. These include:
- Attending groups
- Breathing exercises
- Art-based therapy
- Activities such as puzzles or board games
- Listening to music
- Chiropractic treatments
- Mild exercise/stretching
Clients who do not wish to participate in the activities listed above are welcome to spend time on their own, reflecting on their recovery journey as they ride out the cravings. We often recommend cold showers, long naps and meditation to clients who are struggling to participate due to intense cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
During their stay, clients are provided with a variety of healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, to improve their overall health. They’re also encouraged to remain hydrated by increasing their intake of water and beverages that are high in electrolytes.