Medical Detox

Detox Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

What is Alcohol and Drug Detox?

Detox refers to the process of metabolizing drugs and alcohol in a person's system to neutralize their toxic effects while the substances are removed and cleansed from the body. Detox consists of managing withdrawal symptoms safely to make the process as stress and pain-free as possible. Detox helps individuals that have become physically and psychologically dependent on a substance to maintain physical comfort as they safely withdraw from the effects of drugs and alcohol. It is important for detox to be medically supervised at a detox addiction treatment center or in a drug detoxification program, where doctors are able to provide 24/7 supervision and prescribe a tapering protocol to help ease off the substances.

Flagler Health And Wellness Rehab Session South Florida

Withdrawal and Detox Side Effects

Regardless of whether a person is entering detox for alcohol or any number of illicit substances, safely managing withdrawal symptoms is paramount to recovery. Many times individuals continue on in their addiction even when they don't want to because it is scary and painful to stop cold turkey. The side effects of detox from alcohol and drug addiction can vary greatly depending on the type of drug or drugs (polysubstance abuse) a person has in their system, how long they’ve been using, their overall health as well as the presence of any dual diagnosis disorders. Here are some general expectations for detox side effects.

Alcohol Withdrawal Side Effects

Alcohol withdrawal is the most dangerous for people to undergo because physically detoxing from alcohol can be fatal. It can also cause grand mal seizures, strokes, and heart attacks in some people. Because of these risks, alcohol detox should always occur in a medically supervised setting where close monitoring is possible. Other side effects of alcohol detox include hallucinations, Delirium Tremens (the DTs), anxiety, nausea, insomnia, increased body temperature, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, and more. These symptoms of withdrawal, and others, can be properly managed with medical supervision in an alcohol detox center or hospital.

What is alcohol detox?

Alcohol detox happens when someone who has been using alcohol regularly stops drinking suddenly. It is the process by which the body rids itself of toxins from alcohol use and can be uncomfortable or even dangerous for someone who has alcohol dependence or who drinks heavily.

What are the symptoms of detoxing from alcohol?

Detoxing from alcohol includes a wide set of symptoms that can be dangerous to the person experiencing them. They include anxiety, headaches, nausea, seizures, irritability, sweating, loss of appetite, restlessness, aggression, nervousness, rapid heart rate, confusion, and more. In extreme cases, detoxing from alcohol can cause death. Alcohol users who have been drinking heavily for a long time should only detox under medical supervision.

Opioid Withdrawal Side Effects

Opioids include opiates like morphine, heroin, and codeine, as well as synthetic opioids like oxycodone or hydrocodone. They are a class of drugs used to manage pain. Once a person has become dependent on opioids, the withdrawal will happen with cessation. Opioid detox side effects can vary greatly from person to person depending on the type of opioid used and the duration of dependence. In general, though, opioid detox side effects can be broken down into two stages:

  • Early-stage opioid withdrawal side effects
    Usually within 24 hours of a person’s last opioid use — and often as soon as 12 hours post-use — the following side effects appear: intense cravings for the drug, anxiety, aggression, anger, delusions, restless legs, and sweating.
  • Later stage opioid withdrawal side effects
    After 24 hours post-use, the following side effects are common: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, high blood pressure, racing heartbeat, blurry vision, and dilated pupils.

Comfort medication is commonly used in opioid drug detoxification and opioid addiction rehab programs as the experience after the first 24 hours can be incredibly unpleasant.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Side Effects

Detoxing from benzodiazepines, like alcohol detox, can be dangerous and should only be done under medical supervision. Because different benzodiazepines have different half-lives, side effect symptoms and timelines can vary, but in general benzodiazepine detox side effects include: irritability, weight loss, sour stomach, heart palpitations, tremors, anxiety, and insomnia. Benzodiazepine physical withdrawal can take months to complete, so choosing a drug detoxification program and treatment program can greatly reduce discomfort and relapse.

Cocaine, Meth, and Other Stimulants Withdrawal Side Effects

Side effects from a stimulant like cocaine, crack cocaine, or methamphetamines usually start within 36 hours of stopping the drug and can continue for a few weeks or even months. Withdrawing from cocaine abuse and other forms of stimulant abuse is uncomfortable, and the symptoms are difficult to manage. Comfort medication is often used in cocaine and methamphetamine treatment. Stimulant detox side effects can be broken down into three stages:

  • Early Stage (a.k.a. Crashing)
    Intense drug cravings, increased appetite, anxiety, anger and aggression, agitation, delusions, fatigue, etc.
  • Middle Stage
    Inability to focus, fatigue, confusion, insomnia, depression, memory loss, cravings, etc.
  • Late Stage
    Intense sleepiness, extreme appetite, mood swings, bad dreams, etc.

Inpatient Detox Program for Withdrawal Symptoms — West Palm Beach South Florida

The treatment process at Flagler Health And Wellness begins with a comprehensive assessment, which includes blood and urine screenings, medical history, psychological assessments, and another testing as applicable. The results of the assessment determine whether a patient would benefit from medical detox (as well as the use of supplemental medication like those used to control cravings).

Flagler Health And Wellness interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other skilled clinicians oversee the medical detox process at a well-equipped on-campus medical center. They continuously evaluate each patient’s withdrawal symptoms and their physical and mental health, prescribing withdrawal medications as clinically indicated so that patients stay comfortable.

Patients who have co-occurring disorders that require immediate attention receive treatment from Flagler Health And Wellness on-site medical staff when possible. If more specialized care is needed, the patient may be referred to outside providers who have experience working with patients with substance use disorder.

Start Your Recovery With Us Today

Begin your recovery at Flagler Health And Wellness, the leading provider of addiction treatment in South Florida, specializing in evidence-based treatment and mental health care.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Flagler Health And Wellness provides addiction treatment and mental health care in West Palm Beach South Florida. Our admissions team is available 24/7 and standing by to answer any questions that you may have.

  • Q
    What Levels Of Care Does Flagler Health And Wellness Provide?

    We offer medical detox for drug addiction and alcohol abuse as well as residential inpatient rehab.

  • Q
    What Is The Average Length Of Stay?

    Detox typically lasts anywhere from 3 days to 10 days and rehab lasts 10-25 days. The full continuum of care is 30 days on average.

  • Q
    Can I Bring My Cellphone?

    During detox and rehab cellphones are not allowed but you are able to call family members and friends and have access to a phone. Flagler Health and Wellness take pride in providing the maximum amount of freedom to our clients but during the initial inpatient stay in treatment it is clinically appropriate to fully focus on recovery.

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