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Why Do Some People Need Medical Detox?

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Fear of detox and withdrawal is the primary reason people avoid addiction treatment.  It is a valid concern.  But their fear may be due to a lack of knowledge about medical detox.  

At Design for Change Recovery, our clients are fully informed about detox and rehab before entering the program.  We want our clients to know what to expect and that they are among people who care about their success.

If you or a loved one resists treatment because you fear detox, the following information may help you make the right choice.  You will likely feel less fear about detox the more you learn about it.

What Is Medical Detox?

Medical DetoxAddiction recovery begins with detox and in some cases, medical detox.  The goal is to rid the body of toxins and chemicals that cause cravings.  The process is supervised by licensed medical professionals and clinical staff to ensure your safety and comfort.  Medical detox increases the likelihood of staying in treatment and preventing relapses, according to studies.

When Is Medical Detox Needed?

Not everyone with substance use disorders will require medical detox.  So, how do we know when this level of treatment is needed?  Medical detox is generally for those who are physically dependent on a substance.  Some of the signs of physical dependence include:

  • Using large amounts of a substance
  • Needing larger amounts of a substance to get the desired effects
  • Intense cravings when the substance is not available
  • Using a substance over an extended period.
  • Unable to stop using the substance

When someone is physically dependent on a substance, the withdrawal symptoms can be extremely challenging.  Typically, the level of discomfort an individual experiences varies depending on the substance involved and the length of use.  Each substance of abuse produces different withdrawal symptoms.  Likewise, each person responds to detox differently.  In light of this, professional detox is the best course of action.

What to Expect During Medical Detox

The first step in medical detox at Design for Change Recovery involves a comprehensive evaluation.  Our team of addiction specialists screen clients for any co-occurring disorders, medical conditions, underlying psychological issues, and potential withdrawal risks.

After completing the evaluation, we will create a customized treatment approach based on the client’s unique needs.  If the need for medication is indicated, the most common drugs administered include:

Methadone – Methadone is effective in preventing withdrawal symptoms.  Clients will gradually taper off methadone to prevent dependence. 

Naltrexone – Naltrexone is a long-acting opioid-blocking agent used for treating alcohol and opioid use disorders. 

Buprenorphine – Buprenorphine works by activating the opioid receptors in the brain to reduce and suppress cravings.

How Long Does Medical Detox Last?

Medical detox at Design for Change typically lasts for 5 to 7 days.  Some of the factors that determine the length of treatment include:  

  • Individual factors – A person’s weight, body chemistry, genetic makeup, and metabolic rate play a role in how they respond to treatment.
  • Substance of abuse – The substance used will determine what a person’s withdrawal experience will be like.  For instance, alcohol withdrawal can last for a few hours and then gradually lessen over several days with substitute medication.
  • Level of use – The longer a person uses a substance, the withdrawal process will take longer.  Likewise, the more frequently a person uses the more difficult the physical dependence will be to overcome.

Furthermore, each client’s vital signs are monitored closely by professional staff during treatment to ensure our client’s safety and comfort at all times.  

What Happens After Detox?

Although medical detox is not a cure for substance use disorders, it is the first step in a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment.  For the most lasting results, detox must be followed by a short-term or long-term addiction treatment program.  Similar to detox, the programs can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis.  

Design for Change provides different levels of treatment such as outpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP), residential, intensive inpatient (IIP), and partial hospitalization (PHP) programs.  Regardless of which program our clients require, they will receive a high-quality, full continuum of care.

Does Insurance Cover Medical Detox?

Most insurance providers offer coverage for medically-assisted treatment.  Several factors may affect the amount of coverage, however.  Design for Change will verify your insurance so you’ll know what to expect.  We work with many major insurance companies to help clients get high-quality, affordable care.  Clients who don’t have insurance can rely on our assistance in finding other payment options.

Learn More About Our Detox Program at Design for Change

In your search for medical detox, you’ll find many options and facilities and won’t know which is best for your needs.  Why go through all that?  Contact Design for Change to learn more about our fully-licensed, accredited programs.  You’ll find that we offer everything a person needs to overcome substance use and maintain long-term sobriety.  

Reach out to Design for Change in Lancaster, CA, by phone, email, or online today to begin your journey to recovery.

Sources: – Pharmacological Strategies for Detoxification

Why Do Some People Need Medical Detox?