What is Medically Monitored Detox?
Medically monitored detox is the initial stage of every long-term program of addiction recovery. It involves facilitating a safe and pain-free withdrawal process in a structured and closely monitored environment. As clients undergo drug or alcohol withdrawal, all associated symptoms are professionally treated the moment they arise. In most instances (depending on the type of substance that was being abused and the severity of abuse) medical detox lasts for between several days and two weeks. Most reputable detox facilities pay special attention to aftercare planning, and clients transition from detox into a higher level of clinical care (like inpatient rehab) as soon as they are deemed physically stabilized and given the “all clear.” Because some people remain unaware of the resources that are readily available to them, and because some people think that they can effectively undergo withdrawal in an at-home setting, many men and women who desperately need detox fail to seek professional help. It is important to understand just how severe the symptoms of withdrawal can be, and how crucial it is that professional treatment is sought in order to avoid severe medical complications. If you or someone you love has been struggling with substance abuse or dependence and you are unsure as to whether or not professional treatment is necessary, reach out to Chapel Hill Detox today. Our team of experienced specialists is standing by to answer any additional questions you might have regarding the early recovery process, or to start on your own personal journey of lifelong healing.
Can I Safely Detox in an At-Home Setting?
Can you safely detox in an at-home setting after using chemical substances for an extended period of time? Well, it really depends on what chemical substances you were using and for how long. Generally speaking, the answer is no – drug and alcohol withdrawal can be extremely unpredictable, and the symptoms vary significantly on a person-to-person basis. If these symptoms are not adequately treated in a medical detox facility they can even be life-threatening, because they can lead to seizures, heart palpitations, stroke and coma (among many other serious symptoms). Some people will obtain a medication like Suboxone – a medication that was designed to help with opioid withdrawal – and attempt to administer this medication on their own. This is never a good idea, seeing as medications like Suboxone should always be administered by a medical professional. Not only is the dosage extremely important, but Suboxone can be habit forming in and of itself if it is not taken properly. Below we have broken down the withdrawal symptoms that tend to go hand in hand with certain chemical substances. If you or someone close to you has been struggling with substance abuse or dependence and has attempted to quit without help, and has not been successful in doing so, reach out to us today.
Withdrawal Symptoms – A Substance-By-Substance Breakdown
Alcohol – Alcohol is responsible for some of the most severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. The very first signs of alcohol withdrawal typically begin within several hours after the last drink was taken, and intensify until they peak at between 24 and 48 hours. Individuals who drink an excessive amount of alcohol for an extended period of time are at a high risk of seizures, and this risk can remain high from the first day up to the first three days of withdrawal. men and women who struggled with severe alcoholism are also at a high risk of developing delirium tremens, an alcohol withdrawal disorder that includes very serious symptoms, ranging from body tremors and seizures to hallucinations and paranoid delusions.
Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines, like alcohol, can result in very serious and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription medication generally taken for anxiety or sleep disorders. Some common name brand benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, Clonazepam, Ativan and Klonopin. In most instances, benzodiazepine withdrawal begins within the first 24 hours to the first four days after the last use, and usually peaks in severity sometime during the first two weeks of detox. However, if benzodiazepine withdrawal is not immediately treated by a team of medical professionals, protracted or Post acute withdrawal symptoms can last for several months up to a year or more.
Some of the more severe symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal include extreme anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, severe stomach cramping, insomnia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Short and Long-Acting Opioid Narcotics – While the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal are rarely life-threatening, they can be extremely uncomfortable, and the psychological cravings that go hand-in-hand with opioid detox often lead to relapse. Short-acting opioids like heroin and certain prescription painkillers generally cause withdrawal symptoms within the first 8 to 24 hours after the final dose. Individuals who were actively abusing heroin and prescription painkillers like codeine and morphine well typically experience withdrawal symptoms that last for between three days and two full weeks. Longer-acting opioid narcotics, like methadone, cause a range of withdrawal symptoms within two to four days after the final dose, which can last for up to two weeks.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid abuse often mimic the symptoms associated with a severe cold or flu, and include nausea, diarrhea, hot and cold flashes, profuse sweating, runny nose, insomnia and extreme anxiety.
Stimulants – Illicit stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, and prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin also result in withdrawal symptoms that are not typically life-threatening. Depending on the type of drug that was being abused, withdrawal symptoms begin within the first 24 hours to the first two days, and typically completely resolve within the first two weeks. Most stimulant drugs result in more severe psychological withdrawal symptoms than physical withdrawal symptoms, the most common which can include severe depression, anxiety and nervousness, irritation and mood swings, hallucinations, suicidal ideation and psychotic episodes.
The Dangers Involved in Detoxing at Home
There are many risks involved in detoxing at home – or attempting to do so. Even if you were abusing a chemical substance for a very short period of time, there is no way of knowing how the detox process will impact you and what symptoms you are going to experience. While the physical symptoms might not be too severe, the psychological symptoms can lead to serious consequences. For example, if you attempt to detox at home and you experience a panic attack, you might not be able to catch your breath or calm yourself down, and you might begin to hyperventilate. Medical detox facilities provide a combination of effective clinical care and psychological intervention, providing clients with the medication they need to overcome all symptoms, no matter how severe.
Chapel Hill Detox – Comprehensive Medical Detox
At Chapel Hill Detox we offer comprehensive medical and psychological care in a professionally run, state-of-the-art facility. Are detox facility was carefully designed with client comfort in mind, and the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. Because medically monitored detox is only the very first step on the long-term road to recovery, we also help our clients with rehab placement. We work very closely with many reputable, gender specific treatment centers throughout New Jersey and all surrounding areas. Before you attempt to detox in an at-home setting, reach out to a detox facility like Chapel Hill and thoroughly research your options. If you are concerned about covering the cost of medical detox, rest assured that we work very closely with most major health insurance providers. Even if you are currently uninsured, we will help you develop a reasonable plan and get you into treatment as soon as physically possible. We understand that when it comes to seeking professional medical care for the physical and psychological symptoms associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, there is truly no time to wait.