Detox is the first step in most addiction treatment programs. Detoxification simply means cleansing the body of drugs and alcohol. The goal of detox is to help a person stop using addictive substances and allow their body to begin the healing process.
The length of time needed to detox from drugs or alcohol depends on a number of factors, including the type of substances being abused, the frequency of substance abuse, the duration of substance abuse, and the person’s medical history. However, Waypoint Recovery Center understands that you may be reluctant to commit to a lengthy treatment program. Our staff is here to help you find the best solution for your unique situation.
To help our clients start their recovery journey in a way that addresses their time constraints, we now offer a 10-day detoxification program called Foundations for Recovery. This program provides medical detox services and an introduction to basic recovery concepts but is designed for individuals who are not willing to commit to one of Waypoint’s longer treatment options.
Why a Medical Detox Is Important
During detox, people may experience withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, but they are not usually life-threatening. However, in some cases, withdrawal can be dangerous. If someone is detoxing from alcohol or barbiturates, for example, they may be at risk for seizures. This is why detoxification is best done in a medically supervised setting such as an addiction treatment center.
What to Expect From the Medical Detoxification Process
If you are detoxing from drugs or alcohol in a medically supervised setting, you can expect to be closely monitored by medical staff. Your care team will provide support if you are experiencing symptoms that can indicate the need for intervention, such as hallucinations, changes in blood pressure, a temperature in excess of 100.4 degrees, or thoughts of self-harm.
You may be given medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more comfortable. Some of the medications often used in detox include:
- Benzodiazepines. Drugs in this class, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan), can help reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures.
- Antidepressants. These medications, such as trazodone (Desyrel) and fluoxetine (Prozac), can help ease depression and anxiety.
- Anti-nausea medications. Medications like promethazine (Phenergan) and ondansetron (Zofran) can help relieve nausea and vomiting.
- Pain relievers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can help ease headaches and muscle aches.
Other medications may be recommended to cope with specific forms of withdrawal. For example, methadone is commonly used to ease withdrawal symptoms in people dealing with opioid addiction. Similarly, Acamprosate (Campral) helps adjust the brain’s chemical balance when a person is detoxing from alcohol.
Understanding the Disease of Addiction
Detox alone is not considered “treatment” for a substance use disorder. Detox rids the body of addictive substances, but it does not address the factors that lead to the development of a person’s substance use disorder.
Our 10-day detox program goes further than a traditional detox by providing an introduction to addiction treatment options. It is designed to allow clients to:
- Develop a basic understanding of the disease of addiction. It is a common misconception that substance use disorders are caused by a lack of willpower. They are biologically biased diseases with complex environmental triggers. Understanding what leads to the development of a substance use disorder empowers a person to take control of their recovery.
- Provide an introduction to the 12 Steps. Self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) help people who are struggling with addiction navigate day-to-day challenges and provide accountability as they work towards long-term recovery goals.
- Set goals for further treatment. Substance use disorders are chronic illnesses, which means that they require ongoing care. Our program provides information on further treatment options that can help you manage your condition effectively. That includes treatment to address any underlying mental health conditions that may be contributing to the addiction, such as major depressive disorder, PTSD, or bipolar disorder.
Contact Waypoint Recovery Center to Learn More
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, know that help is available. Treatment can help you get your life back on track and live a healthy, substance-free life. Contact our admissions representatives today to learn more about the resources available at our South Carolina drug and alcohol addiction treatment center.