Medical Detox - Albany
Detoxification, or "detox," is a process by which the body is rid of toxic substances such as drugs or alcohol. In a rehabilitation setting, detox is performed by medical professionals who can monitor patients and treat withdrawal symptoms. This creates a safer, more comfortable experience for the person coming off of drugs or alcohol and prevents serious health conditions like seizures or kidney failure.
How does Medical Detox Work?
In medical detox, medications are introduced in decreasing dosages to taper the drug from the body in order to control the detoxification process and manage withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is an approach that makes the entire procedure slow down to a safe pace and ease the patient through the experience. This is especially suited for alcohol and opiate addiction withdrawal. Medical detox begins with an assessment. The patient's medical history is studied and underlying illnesses or mental disorders would be considered.
The process of detox should be completed with proper supervision and monitoring. Attempting to "go cold turkey," or detox at home, can become a serious situation. Self-led detoxing may have life-threatening consequences. Symptoms that accompany detox have the potential for severe adverse reactions which cannot be properly managed in the home setting. Mental and emotional symptoms are also of concern, and can interfere with the withdrawal process.
Types of Detox Programs
- Natural - "Cold turkey" is done without tapering the addiction; most often attempted at home.
- Medicated detox - Symptoms are managed by medication to ease patient through detox. The process is otherwise natural.
- Medical detox - Progress is made through tapering the patient from the drug of choice, or constitutes replacement drug therapy, to pace and control the process. This form is especially suited for alcohol and opiate-based drug detoxification.
- Inpatient/Residential - This is fully-immersive, medically supervised care; 24 hours a day. Facilities execute medicated and medical types of detox. Program type is decided by assessment with patient agreement.
- Outpatient - These programs monitor patients on an outpatient basis and require participation in individual and group therapy at the facility every week. The patient lives at home and continues to work. There are cases in which outpatient services are able to offer drug therapy or medication to the patient. This type of treatment is mostly seen with long-term methadone and suboxone medical treatments for opiate detox. Detox of this type can last for months.
Drug Treatment Centers will administer treatment medication for withdrawal and detox if needed for serious withdrawal. Some medications used for treatment include:
- Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) - A partial opioid agonist indicated for treatment of opioid dependence.
- Methadone - An opioid, methadone reduces withdrawal complaints and is substituted for heroin during detoxification. It is also prescribed for use during detox for other opiate drugs.
- Naltrexone (Naltrexone hydrochloride) - Naltrexone is a pure opioid antagonist. It works by blocking the effects of opioids.
- Antabuse (disulfiram) - Is used in cases of chronic alcohol abuse. Antabuse disturbs an enzyme that works with metabolizing alcohol. It is used to keep alcoholics from drinking by creating unpleasant side-effects such as nausea, vomiting, cramping, and more.
How does Detox Trigger Relapse Without Treatment?
The detoxification process rids the body of toxins, but doesn't treat the behavioral, psychological, and emotional elements of addiction. Without treatment, the patient would not be in the position to insightfully deal with personal and relational issues that occur as a result of addiction without the education and tools that treatment provides. Detox also presents with extreme cravings that, left unmanaged, may be too strong for the addict to overcome.
Drug Rehab Centers Albany can assist you in finding various treatment options and facilities. Please call (518) 626-8505 today.