Long-term alcohol and drug abuse leads to physical as well as psychological dependence on the substance. Therefore, when an individual decides to get sober they need to undergo a detox program to get the body and the mind adapted to the absence of the substance.

What is a detox program?

A detox program is the first step that preps the body for the longer treatment schedule. The process has a threefold approach: First, it flushes out all the toxins that have accumulated in the body with years of alcohol and drug abuse; second, it helps manage the withdrawal symptoms; and third, it prepares the body and the mind for the treatment ahead.

As the withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe and dangerous, it is always advisable to opt for medially assisted detox at any credible alcohol and drug detox centers in California. Such detox clinics offer round-the-clock supervision which is essential in the case of heavy users. Once the withdrawal symptoms subside, which they usually do in a week or two depending on the severity of use, the individual can focus on long-term recovery.

How does a detox program work?

A detox treatment program primarily comprises three steps:

  • Assessment: The professionals at an alcohol and drug detox facility review the patients’ physical condition to understand their substance seeking behavior and compulsions, medical history, presence of psychological disorders, duration and severity of abuse, etc. This enables them to customize each patient’s journey of recovery based on their individual requirements.
  • Stabilization: While the body is readjusting to the absence of the substance of abuse, a combination of medical and psychological therapies is suggested to help the patients’ body and mind reach an equilibrium or balance. These therapies also help prepare the person, mentally and physically, for the ensuing treatment program.
  • Treatment: Based on the results of the pharmacogenetics test, the right mix of medications is administered. These medications mirror the effects of the substance to help manage the withdrawal symptoms, treat co-occurring disorders, and target common discomfort. As the withdrawal symptoms subside, the medicines are tapered so that the next step in the journey to long-term recovery can be initiated.

How long can a detox program last?

Ideally, a drug or alcohol detox should take less than eight days to clear out all the toxins from the body. However, the process could last anywhere from several hours to several weeks. The duration of a detox program depends on a number of factors, like the duration, dose and rate of use, existence of poly-substance use, presence of co-occurring disorders, previous attempts at detox, the patient’s mental health condition, and how ready the individual is to detox and recover.

What are the different types of detox?

Detox programs can primarily be of two types.

Medically supervised detox: As the name suggests, this type of detox is supervised by medical and mental health professionals. They observe the patient throughout the detox process and ensure that they are neither too uncomfortable nor unsafe during the process. They administer the required medications to manage the intense withdrawal symptoms so that the patient is able to complete the process.

Medically supervised detox may be of many types. The staff administering the detox would determine the type of medically supervised detox that would be the most suitable for a patient after their assessment.

Clinically managed detox: This type of detox is also called social detox. This is because the detoxification process is dependent on the will of the individual. The detoxifying individual is provided a room where they may come and detoxify themselves. In another approach, the person undergoing detoxification would be provided with social support in the form of support groups and peer encouragement for the detox period. This is a more non-medical and informal way of detoxing.

What are the benefits of inpatient or residential detox plan?

The biggest advantage of an inpatient or residential detox program is that the patient is closely monitored throughout the process. While a patient can detox at home, they would be alone and unsupervised.

There are a number of home kits available in the market that can guide the patient through a home detox. But, largely these kits are unsafe, and ineffective, and may be inadequate in dealing with intense, uncontrollable, and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Even in cases, where a co-occurring disorder or poly-substance use in involved, the patient remains uncovered. In the case of a difficulty arising, the patient would be unsupervised. In such conditions, the chances of relapse and subsequent overdose increases substantially.

Home drug detox kits are not complete solutions. After undergoing a detox program, a patient needs to enroll into a rehab program so that they can learn how not to turn to substances for solace in weak moments and to celebrate the festive ones.

An individual who has taken the first step to becoming sober, deserves complete support and encouragement. And with detox being just the first step, it is important that someone holds their hand and guides them through. This is only possible when the patient enrolls themselves into residential or inpatient detox plans.

What after detoxification?

Once the body is rid of all the toxins from substance abuse, it is time to start the journey to sobriety. One needs to understand that detox just treats the physical dependence on alcohol or drugs. A proper treatment plan is required to undergo physiological transformation also so that the craving and the need for the substance of use is successfully controlled and curbed.

Whether choosing an outpatient, inpatient, or a residential plan, Hillside Mission works with its patients to help them select the most suitable aftercare providers form its established network of quality providers. It is imperative that the patient chooses the right partners to help them through this journey.

The aftercare providers assist the patient in picking up life skills, through therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and group therapy which helps them moderate their compulsive behaviors so that their risk of relapse is reduced once they have left the facility.

Hillside Mission does not leave the patient’s side even after they have completed the rehab treatment process. Our robust alumni program ensures that the patients are a part of the treatment community where people like them understand their challenges and provide the support they need. Becoming a part of Hillside Mission’s alumni program provides them an opportunity to share moments from their journey and rejoice in not only their success but also the triumph of hundreds of others like them.

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