Detox Treatment: What to Expect

November 3, 2021

3 min read

Choosing to seek help to overcome drug addiction can be a scary step in and of itself. The prospect of actually beginning treatment can be even more frightening. There are a lot of unknowns. 

What will it be like? Will you suffer from withdrawal symptoms? What will you have to do?

Every person and every provider is different, but this article will clear up some of those unknowns and give you an idea of what to expect from the medical detox process and the treatment that comes afterward.

What is a Detox Treatment Program?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines detoxification as “[t]he supervised withdrawal from substance use.” Going “cold turkey” can be very dangerous. If you are addicted to alcohol or a drug like Valium, you may suffer from life-threatening seizures during the process. might develop seizures when you attempt to stop drinking alcohol or taking drugs. 

A medical detox procedure is a safer alternative. It helps you get the substance out of your system while you are supervised by a medical professional. It will also be more comfortable because you can be treated for symptoms as they arise.

Not only are these procedures safer than going through withdrawal on your own, but they are also more likely to succeed. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that 61 percent of home detoxifications from opiates using lofexidine were ineffective. This is likely because withdrawal pains can be so overwhelming it’s difficult to do it without medical supervision.

But medical detox does not treat addiction on its own. It is what prepares you for treatment. After a medical detox treatment, you should seriously consider entering a rehabilitation program in order to learn the skills you need to live a healthy life without dependence on drugs or alcohol.

What to Expect From a Medical Detox Program

While there are differences from one treatment provider to the next, in general, the process is similar everywhere.

Finding the Right Program

The first step will be finding the right treatment center for you. This will likely start with a phone call to one or many treatment centers. These centers will get information on your situation and help you determine what course of care will be best for you.

If you determine that medical detox is necessary, the next step will be to get admitted.

Getting Ready for Day 1

If immediate admission isn’t an option (e.g., the facility you choose may have a waitlist), interim care in the form of daily medication and emergency counseling can prepare you for treatment. SAMHSA says that interim care can be “a helpful bridge from beginning recovery to admission to a regular outpatient, inpatient, or residential setting.”

Your First Day of Detox

On your first day, the facility will conduct an assessment that includes a medical evaluation, a review of your substance abuse history, a mental status exam, and a bio-psychosocial evaluation. Your provider can then determine what detox protocols and any necessary medication should be provided.

Making Progress

When any withdrawal symptoms you may experience subside, the facility will begin to transition you into their treatment program. Usually, the staff will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that is designed specifically for your needs. The goal of treatment is to help you learn the skills you’ll need to maintain recovery after you leave the facility.

The Next Steps

Many providers offer individual counseling sessions and group therapy sessions. Individual addiction treatment will help you with issues that are unique to you and your recovery, while group therapy sessions will offer added support and insight from people going through a similar experience.

Finishing Up

During your stay, the team working with you on your recovery will develop a discharge plan to help you integrate the skills you learned during treatment into your life after treatment. This plan will help you as you transition back into everyday life.

Don’t Wait to Begin Your Own Detox Journey at DetoxLA

At DetoxLA, we can help prepare you or your loved one for recovery. Through holistic and medically-assisted care, our clients are primed for success in their treatments and therapies.

To learn more, call today and speak with a member of the DetoxLA team.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Dane is the Director of Brand Strategy for Never Alone Recovery, where he helps brands in the mental health, addiction, and recovery industries connect with their audiences. Dane’s interests include technology, the film industry, travel, marketing, music, and coffee.

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