If you’ve made the decision to get help for drug or alcohol abuse, you’ve conquered one of the toughest challenges on the road to recovery. Before you begin your journey of learning how to live a sober lifestyle, you need to have a clean, substance-free system. Most addiction treatment programs begin with a medically-supervised detox to help patients overcome their physical dependency on a substance before they tackle the psychological aspects of addiction.
“Addiction detox is a crucial time and one that must be handled with the utmost care and urgency at a professional drug detox center,” states David Dequa, Program Director at The Discovery House, a Los Angeles residential and outpatient rehab facility. “The scale of the individual’s dependency and the length of time they have been dependent on drugs or alcohol will determine the length of detox and what additional assistance will be needed while going through this process. The Discovery House is fully equipped to help residents through the sub-acute detox phase of recovery and through residential treatment and outpatient addiction treatment programs.”
Understanding Drug and Alcohol Detox
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are three stages in a typical detoxification process:
- Evaluation: At the beginning of the detox process, the patient is assessed to determine the type and amount of substances that are present in their system. Patients are also screened for the presence of co-occurring disorders, a combination of chemical addiction and mental illness.
- Stabilization: The initial hours and days of alcohol and/or drug withdrawal can be intense. Violence and psychotic behavior are not uncommon, and extensive medical and psychiatric support may be needed to stabilize a patient. Once a patient has been fully stabilized, the staff at a detox center can focus on keeping patients comfortable and managing their alcohol or drug withdrawal symptoms as they complete the detox process.
- Transition to Rehab:The final step of drug detox or alcohol detox is to prepare the patient for the next phase of their recovery. During this stage of detoxification, the patient agrees to be enrolled in a rehab program.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Different substances will cause different symptoms during withdrawal. A patient’s withdrawal experience will also be influenced by several factors, such as the duration of the addiction, the combination of substances being abused and the presence of co-occurring disorders. Research published in the journal Addiction described some universal withdrawal symptoms that tend to occur regardless of the drug of abuse. These symptoms include:
|· Sleep difficulties||· Mood disturbances|
|· Chills||· Tremors|
|· Headache||· Nausea and vomiting|
In some cases, the physical effects of withdrawal can result in serious complications that require prompt medical attention. Without immediate treatment, some complications can even be fatal. For this reason, a “cold turkey” approach to withdrawal is never recommended. An inpatient drug detox program with 24-hour supervision offers the monitoring and care needed to keep patients safe and comfortable throughout the withdrawal process.
Added Dequa, “Our years of experience with sub-acute drug addiction detox have provided us with extensive knowledge of the many possible side effects that occur during this process. The Discovery House staff and residents combine to make an unparalleled support system for those who require a sub-acute detox.”
Duration of Alcohol and Drug Detox
Every patient’s case is different, and a drug or alcohol detox program will last as long as it takes to stabilize the patient and help them through their withdrawal symptoms. A primary goal of detox is to ready a patient for the challenges that lie ahead in rehab. Addiction is a relapsing disease, and not every patient will complete the detox process on their first attempt. Although a relapse can be discouraging, it’s important to remain optimistic and keep trying.
It’s clear that detox is an effective way to break a chemical dependency on a substance and get on the road to recovery. However, detox alone won’t enable an individual to overcome an addiction. Therapy is required to develop a relapse prevention plan and to address any underlying issues that may have contributed to a substance abuse problem. With a comprehensive treatment program that includes detox, you can heal from addiction and move forward with your life.
Detoxing in Los Angeles
The Discovery House, a fully licensed, Joint Commission-accredited facility, offers a private, home-like, sub-acute drug detox center located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. It utilizes a variety of treatment programs that allow each client to receive the individualized care they deserve. The pet friendly Southern California rehab center offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs to help drug addicts and alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety.
Each client at The Discovery House receives customized care to end their dependence on prescription drugs, heroin and other opiates and/or alcohol in order to live a clean and sober life. To learn more about The Discovery House, visit http://www.TheDiscoveryHouse.com or call (855) 203-7930.
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