Alcohol and Drug Detox

Alcohol and Drug Detox or Withdrawals and the First Step in Ending Addiction

Alcohol and Drug Detox or Withdrawals is a means of getting toxic substances, such as alcohol metabolites and drug residues, out of the body.  It can be done in several different detox center settings but attention must be paid to the withdrawal effects from the substances of abuse and what effects will occurs when ones stops taking them.

alcohol and drug detox or withdrawals in a medical setting

Detox requires continual monitoring of vital signs

When someone refers to alcohol and drug detox or withdrawals, they are talking about the withdrawal process for someone who has taken drugs over an extended period or has abused alcohol to the extent that they are having continual cravings or having withdrawal symptoms when they not using these substances.

NOTE:  Some people will refer to a methadone dispensing program as a detox program, but since history has shown that almost all of the methadone programs keep their patients on methadone and do very little detoxing, don’t be fooled into thinking that a methadone clinic is a drug detox center.  If a facility is calling itself a medical detox center, then it needs to be licensed with the State as such.  There are specific requirements that have to be met to be licensed as a medical detox.  Twenty years ago, it was common to find Social Model Detox centers, but today, they are rare and most detox centers are medical model programs.

Drug Detox

Most states still have a specific license for Social Model Detox (see below), however, it is always best to find those that do qualify as detox programs by the State’s Single State Agency.  If you go to Bing, Yahoo or Google, you can find a list of every state’s Single State Agency by searching under that title or go to this link by Clicking.  They will be able to tell you who has licensing as detox centers and if a program is not licensed as detox by the state, then you want to chose one that is licensed.

Different Alcohol and Drug Detox Programs

Alcohol and Drug Detox is divided into two specific categories of care: Medical Detox and Social Model Detox.  Medical Detox is only necessary when the withdrawal syndrome or symptoms are so severe that the withdraws could cause physical threat, mainly convulsions, or even death.  Medical Detox uses other drugs to help the patient’s physiology adjust to no longer having the drug of abuse. ,,Do not be misled when we talk about drugs, generically.  We are also speaking of Alcohol, which is certainly a drug and one of the hardest drugs to detox off of.  There are Medical Detox  Centers that only do medically assisted withdrawals.  This process usually cost approximately between  $1,000/day to $2,000/day and are usually covered by most health insurance plans.  Most well-respected rehab centers will have a medical detox program attached to their center, even if the program operates on a drug-free philosophy in its rehab portion of the center.

Social Model Detox uses no other drugs, but uses vitamins, minerals and nutrition to help the addicted person’s body adjust to the abrupt ending of using alcohol or other drugs.  Social Model detox is employed by most of the state-funded rehabilitation centers, if they have a detox program at all.  Many rehab centers require that you are detoxed before you can enter their program, which is problematic since there are many more beds for alcohol and drug rehab than there are for detox, so if you don’t have medical insurance or cash to pay for your program, you may have difficulty finding a state-funded program that provides the necessary detox so that you can begin your rehab.  Again, CLICK HERE to find state-funded centers in your state or locality.

Finding an Alcohol and Drug Detox Center

It was mentioned above to call the Single State Agency (SSA) to find out which detox programs are licensed and which aren’t, but they aren’t able to tell you which programs are the most effective and which drug detox program will treat you with the best care so that you don’t have to repeat this process.  Call Mac, at 888-781-7060 and ask his advice.  He was a Single State Ageney Director and he has reviewed over 150 medical detox centers and/or social model drug detox facilities.

Ever since the introduction of buprenorphine, or Suboxone® to handle the pain for opiate withdrawals, there have been better options for the public to withdraw from heroin,  OxiContin, Lortabs and all of the other pain medications that are based on opiates, including methadone.  You can learn more about this drug by CLICKING HERE and reading about buprenorphine, its benefits and its problems.

It is important to determine what level of withdrawals or detox is most appropriate for your individual condition. Not only will it keep you from wasting valuable resources (time and money) but it will also give you the fastest path to clean and sober living.  If you are on moderate doses of hydrocodone ( a mild opiate) and you feel that you can’t confront social model withdrawals where you won’t have drugs to relapse your loratabs, then you will be given Suboxone® or something similar, but you will then have to detox off of that drug and there is no reason why you should waste you time and money with that process when over 90% of those detoxing off of loratabs and other milder opiates do so in social model detox centers without any complications or unnecessary discomfort.

However, you can be fooled into thinking that withdrawing from Xanax® or alcohol is not life-threatening, when the truth of the matter is just the opposite.  If you have been drinking a quart of hard liquor/day or taking Xanax or Valium daily for an extended period, you are at high-risk to have convulsions when you abruptly stop taking them or drinking the alcohol.  People with this history should be certain that they consult a rehab professional and be confident that they are going to be okay without medical detox before they rule it out or blindly go to a social model program.

If you are unsure of your situation or that of a loved one, call our hotline 888-781-7060, and we will do a quick assessment of your problems and your level of use.  From there we can confidently tell you what level of detox is recommended and if your condition could be life-threatening.

To entertain the idea of getting off of alcohol or other drugs and entering detox is highly commendable and we want to support you in that effort so that it will be as seamless as possible and you won’t have unnecessary problems that will only build up your resistance to handling your addiction completely.

It won’t take us long to make the right determination and all of your conversation is kept strictly confidential, in fact, we don’t even have to know your name.  You can send it a request on the form provided at the right edge of these pages and put down your phone number and briefly state your condition and we will get back to you as soon as possible and help you make this very important decision, or call us and, if you don’t get an immediate answer, please leave a message and we will definitely get back to you.


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