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What is a Medically Assisted Detox: Definition and Process

Written By:

Alex Kudisch

What is a medical detox: definition and process

Most people find that the biggest fear associated with addiction treatment is going through withdrawal. It’s hard to give up drugs or alcohol after long periods of heavy usage. You could end up with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Plus, you’re unsure how to handle them or what they might be, making the entire idea intimidating beyond belief.

Many times, the anticipation of withdrawal is enough to derail your motivation to overcome substance abuse.

Since there could be many medical complications surrounding detoxification, it’s best to choose a medical detox center to receive a medically-assisted detox. Crestone Detox Austin – Alcohol & Drug Rehab can help you create a treatment plan that includes appropriate medical care and medications. You are always surrounded by medical staff to ensure that you’re comfortable and prevent issues.

Overcoming a physical dependency on drugs and alcohol is possible. We offer both a drug detox and an alcohol detox program. Please call us today to get started!

What Is a Medical Detox?

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When someone becomes significantly dependent on one or multiple substances, they may experience difficult mental or physical withdrawal symptoms when they reduce or stop using them. Supervised medical detoxification is the best way to address the many issues you may face because it’s in a controlled environment.

Doctors and medical staff offer comfort care during the detox process and can prescribe medication to help you through this challenging time.

Medical detox isn’t a substitute for comprehensive addiction treatment programs. Instead, it’s the entry point to get into rehab or find a suitable substance abuse treatment that meets your needs.

Generally, medical detox can make the entire physical withdrawal process easier to handle. This might reduce the likelihood of an immediate relapse so that the patient can focus on recovery.

It’s often best to visit an inpatient facility that offers a medical detox program. Crestone can assist you through this difficult time. Once you’re well and over withdrawal symptoms, we can help you transition into ongoing treatment with therapeutic services.

Why Choose Medical Detoxification

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Usually, treatment requires a swift directional change. You or a loved one might have to leave your entire life on hold to stay in a rehabilitation center for a month or longer. It seems like it’s too much. Many people feel that going “cold turkey” or quitting abruptly is better than going to a medical detox facility.

Unfortunately, quitting cold turkey or tapering off isn’t as simple as it seems. Some substances, including benzodiazepines and alcohol, have a severe withdrawal syndrome. This can be life-threatening in certain situations.

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Trying to quit those substances without proper medical support can be perilous in certain situations. However, some substances don’t have the same withdrawal issues and aren’t immediately dangerous. Still, they are uncomfortable enough that you relapse.

For example, prescription opioids can leave you feeling like you have the flu during withdrawal. If it’s left unmanaged, the extreme sickness overtakes you quickly, prompting the return to the drug of your choice. Therefore, medical detox programs are generally the best option for you.

Overall, medical detox helps you ease into sobriety gently. With this method, you don’t have to deal with withdrawal symptoms alone. That process could get you right back to using drugs or alcohol just to get relief!

Instead, we help you through the detox process at our medical detox facility. Our qualified nurses and doctors look after you 24/7 and can prescribe medications to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms you feel and curb cravings. Plus, we monitor your health.

If any concerning issues arise, our medical staff can intervene quickly. Sometimes, substance dependence requires withdrawal management that includes a tapered schedule of medicines to reduce withdrawal symptoms and lower your risk of complications.

Consider Crestone

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At Crestone Detox Austin – Alcohol & Drug Rehab, our medical detox centers have everything you need to overcome drug addiction. We monitor your condition and are alerted when an issue arises. If you or someone you love gets treatment from us, you can rest easy knowing that we watch for changes and ensure they stay safe throughout the process.

What’s an Inpatient Detox vs. an Outpatient Detox?

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In a sense, the inpatient detox requires you to stay in a hospital or at a rehab center, and outpatient detoxification doesn’t.

They are both focused on your rehabilitation, but they go about it in different ways. Typically, you seek inpatient programs when you require a medical detox and want to work through your treatment with others. It’s best for those who can’t stay away from drugs otherwise.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs

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The substance withdrawal symptoms you face depend on what drug you use. Typically, you deal with physical and psychological symptoms, and they can include things like:

  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to feel joy
  • Headaches
  • Hypersomnia or insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Appetite changes
  • Shaking of the hands
  • Sweating
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Runny nose

The above is just a general list of signs you might face. The goal is to ease withdrawal symptoms whenever possible, and medical detoxification can help you achieve your goals.

When Do You Need a Medical Detox?

The World Health Organization and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration often advise an inpatient medical detox to withdraw from alcohol, sedatives, and benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium).

Benzo and alcohol withdrawal can result in seizures, agitation, and severe anxiety. At the extreme, unmanaged symptoms of alcohol abuse can cause DTs (delirium tremens). This is a possibly deadly syndrome that includes hallucinations, impaired consciousness, profound confusion, and autonomic nervous system hyperactivity, such as dangerously elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

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Medical supervision is often best because it gives you a safe environment for withdrawal.

A medical detox program is there to help you reduce withdrawal symptoms and receive medical supervision during the entire process. SAMHSA recommends inpatient detoxes for opioid withdrawal. While this can have less dangerous health risks, you can still get quite sick and might experience complications, including dehydration.

Reasons to Consider a Medical Detox:

It might be beneficial to receive clonidine-assisted heroin detoxification (or detox from any drug or alcohol) if you:

  • Fear the withdrawal symptoms you might face
  • Have co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Are pregnant
  • Have a severe medical condition
  • Experienced mental health issues and used substances to self-medicate
  • Have had severe withdrawal experiences before this one
  • Had withdrawal attempts in the past that didn’t last

Types of Detox

Detox centers like Crestone can assist with many situations. The top choices are a drug detox and alcohol detox.

Many of the treatments are similar. During alcohol detox, we watch you thoroughly to ensure that you’re not having severe withdrawal symptoms.

Typically, an alcohol detox focuses more on the DTs, though you could become dehydrated, depressed, and anxious.

What Happens Afterward? Is There More to Addiction Treatment?

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that medical detox is just the first stage of addiction treatment. Alone, it isn’t enough to address your addiction because it’s solely focused on physical dependence and not psychological, social, and behavioral problems. Therefore, you must seek additional treatment programs after detox that offer behavioral therapies.

Rehab programs can include outpatient and inpatient facilities for drugs and alcohol. They give you a chance to dive into the problems that led you to continued drug use. Plus, you learn the skills necessary to manage your triggers, resist cravings, and develop better ways of dealing with the negative feelings you might have.

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Both inpatient and outpatient options can serve you and support recovery. Typically, outpatient programs aren’t as intensive as inpatient ones, so you’re in treatment for fewer hours each week. You have more freedom, so many patients utilize them for mild or moderate substance use disorders. They also work well after you’ve completed an intensive treatment.

You can find many American addiction centers, but Crestone Detox Austin – Alcohol & Drug Rehab might be the best choice. Once you detoxify the body, we help you find recovery meetings and talk to a sober community that understands what you’ve gone through!

How Can Crestone Assist?

Detox centers are one of the best ways to overcome substance addiction. Crestone offers many substance abuse treatment programs, which include alcohol detox and drug detox.

Seek treatment today with a medically supervised detox. Call us

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Alex Kudisch
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