Medical Detox

By the time most people enroll in treatment programs for addiction, they’re well aware of how the medical system works and what it can do to help them. In fact, a study in the Journal of Substance Abuse suggests that people who use drugs are 2.3 times as likely to seek care in an emergency room, and 6.7 times as likely to be hospitalized, when compared to people who don’t use drugs. Enrolling in a formal medical detox program can help these people to get the enduring help they need, so they won’t be forced to bounce into and out of the hospital setting. And since these clients are accustomed to receiving medical care, they may not balk at enrolling in a program like this.

Getting Started

A comprehensive assessment should start out the healing process in a medical detox clinic. Here, professionals have the opportunity to screen clients for infections and underlying damage that could be caused by drug use, and they can pull together treatment plans to help people recover from that damage. A thorough evaluation also allows medical professionals to determine what kinds of drugs the person has taken, and how long that abuse might have lasted. Since different types of drugs require different types of treatments, obtaining an accurate history of drug use is of vital importance.

Mental health screenings might also play a role in the planning process. Tests can detect the presence of a variety of mental illnesses, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Obsessive tendencies
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

These mental illnesses can make a full recovery from addiction difficult, if not impossible, so it’s of vital importance to identify the issues early, and plan treatment programs that can ameliorate their impact.

Moving Forward

According to a comprehensive review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, drug detoxification can’t be considered an effective treatment for addiction when it’s the sole form of care provided. However, drug detox can prepare people for the more intensive therapies that are provided in a rehab program. When detox is complete, people will have achieved sobriety and they will have done so without experiencing significant physical pain and distress.

During detox, medications can help people with addictions to opiate drugs, as replacement therapies attach to opiate receptors and prevent symptoms of withdrawal from taking hold and overwhelming the body. Medications can also play a key role for people addicted to alcohol and benzodiazepines, soothing the transition so no seizures or terrible medical side effects can take hold. Even people addicted to drugs like marijuana can benefit from medications, as the therapies might enable them to sleep and feel at ease as their bodies adjust.

Medication isn’t the only therapy provided in a medical detox program, however, and not all people who enroll in medical detox need intensive medications. Some people just need a safe and sober place in which to achieve their own sobriety, and they benefit from the medical monitoring, intensive nutrition and early-stage counseling these programs can provide.

Once detox is complete, clients can make the move to a comprehensive rehab program. Constellation Behavioral Health programs make this transition as smooth as possible, introducing clients to the concept of therapy as detox comes to a close and ensuring that clients understand that rehab will be vital to their long-term success. If you’d like to know more about our testing, treatment and discharge process, please call.