Drug & Alcohol Medical Detox

Safely and comfortably manage drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Detoxification, or detox, is often the first step in addiction treatment and recovery. Detoxification is the process of flushing out all the toxins in the system accumulated from drug or alcohol abuse. Drug and Alcohol Medical Detox is a safe, comfortable, and effective way of managing dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Why Choose Medical Detox?

Detox helps rid the body of toxins.

People need to go through detox so that the body can start functioning as it would without the toxins that are currently present. In order to become used to a sober lifestyle, a person needs to not be under the influence to know how to act every day. These substances must be flushed out for that to work. That is because they affect the body even after they’ve been worn out.

Substance abuse brings on a number of long-term effects on the brain, body, nervous system, and even vital organs. Eventually, after prolonged use, the body becomes used to and even dependent on those substances. Brain functionality alone is altered in multiple ways, regarding behavior, decision-making, judgment, and even self-control. So once the supply of substances is cut, the brain will be thrown in disarray due to chemical and neurological imbalances.

Additionally, the physiological makeup of an individual’s body is altered by substance abuse. Discontinuing the use of drugs or alcohol can be uncomfortable, dangerous, and in some cases, life-threatening. In a lot of cases, urgent and quick medical assistance is needed to ensure a person’s well-being.

Because of this, those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse have to get a professional assessment before they start detoxing. Through an assessment, professionals can determine how the individual will react to the removal of substances from their body. In particular, individuals who abuse opiates (heroin, fentanyl, painkillers, etc.) or alcohol will experience serious effects.

Highlights of Our Medical Detox Program:

  • 24/7 Medical Care
  • 24/7 Transportation
  • One on One Counseling
  • Daily Group Therapy
  • Private Rooms
  • Customized Treatment
  • Board Certified Medical Staff
  • Licensed & Credentialed Clinician

More About the Detox Program:

Through cutting edge medical, holistic, and therapeutic approaches individuals are provided the opportunity to safely, comfortably, and effectively cleanse the body of alcohol and drugs.

If you or a loved one is in need of drug and alcohol medical detox services our admissions coordinators are prepared to help individuals everywhere begin the rehab process.

After medical detox, our addiction treatment specialists will recommend a specialized treatment approach to help you fully recover from addiction. Detox is the first start in the process, treatment helps solidify your life-long sobriety.

Alcohol & Drug Detox Programs

Both alcohol and drugs require detoxification at the beginning of any addiction treatment. However, detox is not the same as just quitting cold turkey. Each substance works a different way, and therefore, they each require a specific set of care.

Some cannot be quit at once, or the body might go into shock and/or experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Others might cause effects that require prescription medication to be taken to manage them. Therefore, the safest way to detox is by having a team of professionals at ready to help whenever needed.

Many people go through a range of symptoms, and sometimes, a lot will be happening at once. The detoxification process is not just a physical one – it also comes with psychological ramification. Symptoms like sleeping problems, depression, anxiety, and intense mood swings can all be side effects of drug withdrawal. But as it is with the detox process, withdrawal symptoms all vary depending on the substance abused.

Those who have a medical condition or another mental health disorder, as well as drug addiction, are at risk, too. They will need a professional detox program that can manage the side effects of co-occurring disorders. The same is true if you use more than one drug, too.

Finally, Medical Detox is also the best option for those who cannot detox in a stable environment. Relapsing during detox can prove lethal for some. Being in an unsafe, uncontrolled environment can put someone at risk of bad accidents, too. In addition to that, not having a proper support system at home can bring someone to fail when quitting on their own.

Drugs That Require Detox

Some drugs have more significant withdrawal symptoms than others. When you use psychoactive drugs, the chemistry of your brain is changed to accommodate them. Eventually, the brain becomes used to that amount of neurotransmitters, hormones, and chemicals. That’s when you can say addiction has become quite intense.

Drug abuse can cause a flood of dopamine or serotonin, which helps regulate your moods and emotions. In fact, this is what causes the high associated with drug abuse. When these drugs wear off, you will then experience a crash, as your brain attempts to balance itself.

The more often you use drugs and the higher your doses, the longer it can take for your brain to achieve that natural balance. Eventually, you will be dependent on the drugs. If you stop using them, withdrawal sets in. But how does each substance affect the body?

Alcohol Symptoms and Timeline

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused addictive substances. It is legal, cheap, and socially acceptable to drink. Many people who drink alcohol do not suffer from alcohol dependence or addiction. However, regularly consuming high doses of alcohol, as well as mental and genetic factors, can lead to addiction.

More than 50% of people experience withdrawal symptoms as they start to detox, no matter their method. Out of that group, about 3% to 5% can experience delirium tremens (DTs), which cause confusion, autonomic hyperactivity, and cardiovascular collapse. DTs are not the only possible severe symptom during alcohol detox. People can go through multiple life-threatening scenarios because of seizures, hallucinations, and dehydration.
Throughout the process of detox, symptoms might be anywhere from manageable to dangerous. Typical alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start about eight hours after the last drink. Their intensity will depend on the level of addiction, general health, genetic factors, etc. While not everyone experiences all of them, the most commonly reported ones are:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Jumpiness and tremors
  • Anger

First 12 hours of Alcohol Detox

Symptoms will start off mildly and quickly become more intense as time goes on. People report experiencing nausea, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and shaking in the first 6 hours. Some might have seizures in case of severe addiction, but they are a bit less likely at this point.

24 hours into Alcohol Detox

After the first day, the effects of withdrawal start getting more acute. Shaking might now turn into hand tremors. Now, there is also a higher risk of seizures, too. Disorientation is quite common after the first 24 hours. For some people, symptoms of hallucinations can already start at this point.

Day 2 into Alcohol Detox

When approaching the 48-hour mark, hallucinations can begin for those who could have it. In more serious cases, panic attacks become more likely as well. However, for people suffering from moderate to mild addiction, things might start getting better after the second day. Still, they will have to deal with the milder symptoms for some time.

Day 3 into Alcohol Detox

For those still experiencing severe symptoms, this is usually the most dangerous moment. DTs (also called alcohol withdrawal delirium) might occur now, triggering high heart rate and body temperature. Seizures are still possible in these cases. Withdrawal symptoms might come and go non-linearly, which means this is a less stable part of the process.

From Day 3 to the 1 Week Mark Into Alcohol Detox

The instability is commonly still present for some time, and more moderate symptoms might continue. DTs are still a risk until the end of the first week.

After the First Week of Alcohol Detox

For most people, symptoms start to become more stabilized, as they might only experience minor symptoms now. These lingering symptoms are hard to predict in terms of when they’ll end, but they are more manageable at this stage.

Opioids: Symptoms and Timeline

Opioids, or opiates, are drugs that derive from the opium poppy. They affect the opioid receptors directly, which are considered the “pleasure receptors.” This class of drugs includes illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. However, prescription painkillers and morphine are also under the opioid category.

Opioids are highly addictive and have been the culprit of a major opioid crisis in the country. While they can be safe to use when prescribed and properly used, that only applies for short-term use, opioid drug dependency can set in even then.
During opioid withdrawal, cravings for the drugs and symptoms can be very intense. Though symptoms themselves are not usually life-threatening, the high level of discomfort makes relapse likely. Because of this, medical detox is usually recommended. Opioids should not be quit abruptly due to the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms. Instead, people are usually tapered off the drugs, or prescribed replacement medication like methadone or buprenorphine.

In more simple terms, opioid withdrawal is often compared to a really bad case of the flu with added emotional distress, which can be significant. It might be tricky to define a time for the beginning of withdrawal for opioids in general – they all have their own half-lives. Some, however, can be more or less predicted based on average.

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Low energy
  • Teary eyes
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Sweats
  • Sleeplessness
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Chills

Some opioids’ timelines can be more or less predicted. For heroin, they start in the first 12 hours, and they might peak in 24 to 48 hours, lasting up to a week. Some symptoms might last a few months. For prescription opioids, withdrawal begins in 8 to 12 hours, peaking sometime between 12 to 48 hours, and lasting from 5 to 10 days. Methadone withdrawal starts in 24 to 48 hours, usually peaks in the first few days, and might last from 2 weeks to a month.

Benzos: Symptoms and Timeline

Benzos are a class of prescription drugs that include sedatives, hypnotics, and tranquilizers. These drugs are often prescribed to manage anxiety or sleep disorders. They are generally only prescribed for short-term use due to how quickly drug tolerance and dependence can change.
That is why, when patients stop taking benzos, they must do so by lowering their dosage little by little. It is at this moment that it is possible to tell if dependence has become an addiction or not. If they are not able to wean down their dosage, it might be a sign of addiction.

When it comes to benzos, it’s important to understand there is a difference between addiction and dependency. After taking benzos for a period of time, the brain becomes used to it as tolerance lowers. Benzos “balance out” neurotransmitters in order for the brain to deal with symptoms of mental disorders. This means that anyone who takes it becomes dependent on it, but not necessarily addicted.

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Low energy
  • Teary eyes
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Sweats
  • Sleeplessness
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Chills

Benzos work as central nervous system depressants. If their supply is cut suddenly after chronic use, it can cause a dangerous rebound in brain chemistry and central nervous system activity. Like alcohol withdrawal, benzo withdrawal can trigger life-threatening symptoms, such as seizures. Benzo withdrawal is comprised of three stages: early withdrawal, acute withdrawal, and protracted withdrawal.

Stimulants: Symptoms and Timeline

Stimulant drugs, like cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA), and prescription ADHD medication, increase the activity of the central nervous system. Prescription stimulant drugs are meant to help the person’s focus, mood, and vigor. These can be safely used to treat multiple disorders, as long as the doctor’s orders are followed.

However, other illicit drugs are hard to control in terms of use and possible effects. They raise heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature while increasing neurotransmitter activity in the brain. They cause an intense burst of euphoria, and therefore, a significant crash once they wear off.

As a person tries to quit the drug, they will experience withdrawal symptoms that are both physical and psychological. They can be anything from moderate to severe, even if they were using it for specific purposes and not recreationally. The possible psychological symptoms can be especially intense, which makes people more prone to relapse.

The detox process for stimulants can be severe for those with other mental disorders as well, such as depressive disorders. Usually, dual-diagnosis patients will experience more intense psychiatric symptoms, and their withdrawal may last longer.

  • Jittery reactions
  • Psychomotor retardation or agitation
  • General loss of interest in socializing and activities they once enjoyed
  • Hallucinations and/or paranoia
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Sweats
  • Body aches
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hallucinations and/or paranoia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dulled senses and/or slowed speech
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in eating habits (both too much or too little)
  • Memory issues

Days 1-3 of Stimulant Detox
In the first 24 to 72 hours, some people can experience fatigue, anxiety, body pains, and a feeling of unhappiness. At this point, they might start to crave the drug. A lot of people have difficulty sleeping these first few days. People dealing with severe addiction might suffer from hallucinations, paranoia, and panic.

Days 4-10 of Stimulant Detox
The more physical symptoms of stimulant withdrawal persist for about a week. After that, most symptoms begin to die down. However, drug cravings might not, and they can actually become more intense. Fatigue and depression may still persist and become intense.

Days 11-17 of Stimulant Detox
Though many of the initial symptoms have become milder, depression and insomnia might continue. Eventually, insomnia might lead some to sleep too much and at weird times. By then, people can also start having mood swings.

Day 18 and on of Stimulant Detox
After almost three weeks, the general scenario should’ve improved, and the worst should be over. Any lingering symptoms are part of the post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). They will be milder and fade out gradually. People do report experiencing depression and cravings as well. Any symptoms can last weeks or months before being truly over

Your level of dependence will have everything to do with the severity of withdrawal.

The longer the time and frequency of substance abuse, the harder it might be to quit. If you have been taking a lot of drugs for a long time, the odds are that your level of dependence is high. And the fact that drug tolerance goes down over time means the need for higher doses to have the same effects. All this points to a longer detox period since the body is in need of the substance to function.

Co-Occurring Conditions During Detox

Medical and mental health disorders can complicate and exacerbate drug withdrawal symptoms. Since addiction causes physical and psychiatric symptoms, having other disorders triggering them can make the diagnosis and the treatment harder.

In the case of a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as depression or anxiety, a proper treatment plan needs to be made. Both disorders must be addressed separately, as they feed off of each other. Not treating one can actually worsen the other or lead to relapses.

Underlying Medical Issues During Detox

As for medical issues, they too will affect treatment. Any physical restrictions or problems will affect how other symptoms manifest themselves. Even allergies can affect the medication that should be used for detox, and if not done correctly, it could make withdrawal symptoms worse.

For both scenarios, any prescription medication being taken will also influence withdrawal symptoms and treatment. Some people might need them for pain management or mental disorders. Therefore, they will affect brain chemistry and withdrawal.

Snorting, smoking, and injecting drugs can make drug dependence more intense when compared to those consumed orally. This higher dependence level will mean stronger withdrawal symptoms.

Detoxification Process

Detox typically lasts three to seven days, depending on the drug used, the level of dependence, and the significance of withdrawal symptoms. As a general rule, withdrawal symptoms can kick in as soon as the drug stops being active in the bloodstream. When looking at the timelines, we can see that’s usually between a few hours and a day after the last dose. Symptoms will usually peak in the first two or three days. After that, withdrawal symptoms start to wane as the brain works to achieve chemical and functional stability.

Options for Detox

Detox has more than one service setting, and they each have their strong points. What’s important is to keep in mind that picking should be about medical needs, not wants. There are three main options to pick from when it comes to detox: inpatient detox, outpatient detox, or at-home detox.

Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox requires that the patient check into the facility and only leave once treatment is over. It is an in-depth, more immersive treatment approach, and therefore, tends to be short. It allows the patient to stay in a controlled environment and have medical and psychiatric supervision 24/7. This service setting is highly recommended for people with severe symptoms or that are a danger to themselves or others.

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox is an option for moderate to mild cases. As mentioned, not everyone will experience the most intense withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, outpatient programs only demand that the patient come to the facility for sessions of treatment. The number of visits a week and their duration depend on the patient’s needs. They can range anywhere from 3 to even 6 or almost daily visits. They can also either be short or longer sessions, from 3 to even 8 hours a day.

At-Home Detox

At home detox is not an option we provide, but an option some people make. Detoxification comes with many risks, which is why doctors often do not recommend at-home detox. Though it might be tempting to stay in and also keep your routine, at-home detox requires more than just will power. It could work, but the chances of relapse are very, very high. And not detoxing properly, might lead to medical complications. Is that really a risk worth taking?

Prescription Detox Medications

Medications that are used during detox balance brain chemistry and treat major physical symptoms. These can include over-the-counter drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), gastrointestinal medications, antihistamines, and so on. Professionals can make sure to use the ones that won’t trigger or worsen any withdrawal symptoms.

This can also include prescription medication, used for the psychiatric symptoms brought on by detox.

The following prescription medications are commonly used during detox:
Acamprosate (Campral), Benzodiazepines, Clonidine (Catapres), Anticonvulsants, Beta-blockers

Certain drugs, such as opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines, are usually not stopped abruptly. In some cases, like for benzos, they might be replaced with other medications while transitioning to lower doses. This can help stabilize the brain and central nervous system during detox. Once the transition to the new medication is done, they can be tapered down in medical detox.

In other cases, prescription drugs might be used to treat symptoms, but not the addiction itself. For instance, there are no specific medications that are FDA-approved for the treatment of stimulant dependence. During stimulant detox, medications that treat specific symptoms of withdrawal, such as sleep aids for insomnia and mood stabilizers for anxiety and depression, can be helpful.

Using Insurance to Cover Detox

Detox is a form of addiction treatment that is usually covered by insurance providers. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), substance abuse treatment is covered as one of the 10 essential health benefits.

Typically, detox will need to be classified as “medically necessary” to be covered under insurance. You will need to check with your insurance provider directly to find out what your individual plan covers and how much.

You may have a deductible to pay first or associated copays. In some instances, you may need to pay for your detox services upfront and then get reimbursed by your insurance company later.

You may also need to get prior authorization for detox services, obtain a referral from your primary care provider (PCP), or use an in-network provider for detox, depending on your specific plan and coverage.

Insurance coverage varies from state to state and between different providers. Since the specifics vary so much based on your personal plan, it can be tricky to ascertain your exact level of coverage. Detox providers and your insurance company can help you determine what your exact out-of-pocket costs will be.

One Step in Recovery

Detox helps you to recover a safe level of physical balance after quitting, but it is only the first step towards recovery. Detox manages the physical symptoms of drug withdrawal and helps you get a handle on cravings. It doesn’t address the root causes of addiction, as detox alone is not treatment.

You will need to start a substance abuse treatment program in order to address the physiological and behavioral aspects of addiction. As a disease, addiction is complex and affects people as a whole. You will need to learn how to make positive lifestyle changes and take the time to instill healthy habits for a sustained recovery.

Addiction treatment should include therapy, relapse prevention, life skills training, and supportive care, along with medical and mental health support. Medications, nutrition planning, exercise programs, and additional holistic treatment, like massage therapy, yoga, chiropractic care, and acupuncture, can also aid in the healing process.

Detox -- While it isn’t enough on its own, detox is often the first step in allowing your brain and body to heal. If you need to take this first step on your journey, let us be that help for you. Contact us today, and we will answer any questions you might and provide any information you need. We will be the footprints alongside yours on your journey to recovery.