Josh Chandler | December 5, 2017

What to Expect in Drug Detox

If you’re suffering from addiction, drug detox can be one of the most daunting phases of recovery and so you may have some questions and concerns. Here you’ll discover what to expect in drug detox.

The drug abuse problem in America has steadily grown into an epidemic. In 2015, there was a recorded 20.9 million substance abusers in the US.

That’s one out of every three persons addicted to drugs. Sadly, only a fraction of Americans are receiving treatment for their drug addiction. And because of this, we now have an opioid epidemic in America. Opioids are the top killer of Americans under 50. It contributed to 64,000 deaths in 2015. That’s more than car accident and gun deaths.

Without the right treatment and proper drug detox, this current situation will only grow more somber. If you or a loved one has an addiction to drugs, then it’s time to seek help.

However, if you’re worried about what the detox process entails, then this guide is for you. Let’s cover some of the basics.

What Happens When You Undergo Drug Detox?

A lot of drug users fear the detox process for various reasons. For one, they’re worried it will be painful. And second, they fear not being able to leave if the going gets tough.

This leads to some folks trying to do a drug detox on their own. In many cases, this fails horribly – some people landing in the hospital or worse.

This isn’t something to be taken lightly and should be performed under medical supervision. At a drug treatment facility, you will have access to medical professionals who will ensure the process is as seamless as possible.

You’re given the proper care to ensure you get through the ordeal with your health intact. Now, let’s review what you can expect when you arrive at the detox facility.

The Consultation

Before you’re admitted to the drug treatment center, you’re given a consultation. This is a great time to ask any of the questions you have.

A counselor will go over your medical history and drug addiction. Then a treatment plan is created specifically for your needs.

At this time, you’ll also take a tour of the facility and visit the room you’ll stay in.

The Medical Evaluation

Next comes the medical evaluation. Those who abuse drugs for many years typically develop other health problems. This includes nutritional deficiencies, organ damage and so on.

You’re given a comprehensive evaluation to determine your state of health. You will speak with a nurse practitioner or doctor about the best treatment options. They’ll also cover possible withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.

Medically-Supervised Drug Detox

There are two forms of detox – one that’s medically-supervised and the other that isn’t. The traditional method is to use nothing.

Depending on your addiction and the length of your addiction, you may have to get a medically-supervised detox. Now, what this means is you will receive medications that help purge your body of the toxins.

You are under medical watch to ensure everything goes smoothly. This is typically recommended for those addicted to benzodiazepines, alcohol or opiates.

Nutritional supplements are sometimes given to help treat dehydration. Pain relievers are also available to alleviate body aches.

What Are the Symptoms of a Drug Detox?

The withdrawal symptoms you may witness during your detox rely heavily on the type of addiction you have. For instance, if you have an addiction to benzodiazepines, then the symptoms may be sedation, hand tremors, panic attacks, sleep issues anxiety and sweating.

Benzodiazepines include drugs like Xanax, Ativan, and Valium.

Opioid Side Effects

Now, if you’re addicted to opioids, such as heroin, morphine or prescription pain medications, then your symptoms are a little different.

Some of the side effects include sweating, agitation, muscle aches, vomiting and abdominal cramping.

Synthetic Drug Side Effects

Synthetic drugs consist of substances that are man-made. For example, synthetic marijuana. On the streets, it’s called Spice or K2.

The side effects of withdrawal for this is similar to that of opioids.

Stimulants Side Effects

Stimulants are drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine. These come with withdrawal symptoms, such as sleepiness, tremors, suicidal thoughts, cardiovascular issues, muscle pain, anxiety and low mood.

Club Drugs Side Effects

There are various forms of club drugs out there. They include substances like LSD, GHB, MDMA, Ketamine, and PCP.

The withdrawal symptoms they have include serious physical and mental health issues.

Check out a complete, detailed list of withdrawal symptoms to be expected during drug detox from a range of substances.

Drug Treatment Options

What makes medically-supervised detoxes more attractive is that it helps to reduce the undesirable withdrawal symptoms.

But again, it all comes down to the addiction you have. There are other drug detox options.

Opioid Treatment

Medically-managed options are common for treating opioid addiction. This includes using medications like methadone and buprenorphine, such as Suboxone and Subutex.

Benzodiazepine Treatment

It’s typical for patients to continue taking benzodiazepine in the beginning stages. The dosage decreases over time, weaning the patient off the drug.

Eventually, the type of benzodiazepine changes. Or you receive a phenobarbital substitute to gradually wean yourself off your benzodiazepine addiction.

Stimulant Treatment

To date, there are no medications available that are FDA-approved for the treatment of stimulant addiction. However, it’s common for some treatment centers to use methamphetamines.

Benzodiazepines can be addictive, yet it’s sometimes prescribed to calm the withdrawal effects.

Quitting Cold Turkey – the Risks

Deciding to take drug detoxing into your own hands can be problematic and, in some cases, fatal. It’s more dangerous to go cold turkey if you have an addiction to benzodiazepine, alcohol or methadone.

Cocaine, amphetamine and nicotine withdrawal symptoms aren’t fatal but can present severe difficulties for the patient.

But what makes quitting cold turkey dangerous is the relapse factor. When you go through a detox, your tolerance for the drug is higher.

If you were to try and use the substance again, your chances of overdosing are higher, as you try to increase the dose to get the same high.

Get Help for Your Addiction

Confronting drug addiction is a challenge that shouldn’t be faced alone. Taking the option into first step detox in Costa Mesa is pivotal, and there’s a supportive community waiting for you at a Los Angeles drug treatment center. Here, you can receive both the emotional and medical backing essential for a successful detox, ensuring you’re on the right path to breaking free from addiction.

At Muse Treatment Los Angeles, we prioritize individual needs, customizing our detox programs to provide the best care for each patient. No matter if your struggle is with drugs or alcohol, our team is dedicated to assisting you.

We provide a spectrum of services, from medically supervised drug detox to both inpatient and outpatient treatment avenues. Reach out to us today to delve deeper into our various programs and learn how we can guide you or a family member towards a life of recovery.

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Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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