Types of Drug Detox

Choosing the right drug detox program is an important step toward recovery. Patients need to evaluate several factors including the withdrawal symptoms they expect to experience, the duration of their substance use disorder, and the care they need during this sensitive, volatile period of recovery.

Here’s a list of the most common types of drug detox programs:

Inpatient drug detox

Patients with a propensity to relapse or have painful withdrawals should enroll in an inpatient (or residential) detox should they need emergency medical care. Inpatient detox is recommended more often, especially as patients frequently undergo painful withdrawals and need help. Detox-only programs with an arrangement for transfer to an ongoing aftercare treatment program upon completion are also available. More commonly, inpatient detoxes will be followed up with an inpatient (or residential) treatment program where psychological aspects of addiction are addressed, as drug detox is more focused on the physiological effects of substance abuse.

Outpatient drug detox

Rarely is an outpatient program recommended as it is primarily catered for people with a comparatively less intense addiction. But this type may be exactly what you need if routine check-ups with the rehabilitation team, prescription medication, and methadone administration are adequate. Outpatient detox is also a more cost-effective option than inpatient detox.  If Outpatient detox is also beneficial for those who have obligations that don’t allow them to leave home or work. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (or FMLA), employers are required to grant those who qualify 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period and have your job ready for you when you return. To boot, some employers offer Employee Assistance Programs, which help employees with personal problems. What outpatient programs aren’t good for are people who are heavily dependent (or at all dependent) on drugs and not yet willing to make a life-changing decision and enter rehabilitation. Those deep into their addiction will not find an outpatient detox helpful. A much wiser decision would be to enter an inpatient detox and get the help that will make a difference.

Drug detox kits

These kits are often expensive, unsafe and ineffective.  They’re ineffective because they lack distinction and every patient has a unique set of struggles; therefore, it requires unique care. Drug detox kits do not take into account a lot of imperative factors. For instance, patients often have mental health issues occurring alongside their drug addictions or multiple high dose addictions on highly addictive substances. Should a complication happen during the detox, a one-size-fits-all detox kit will certainly not be able to help. The risk for overdose is also high as patients are likely to relapse in this environment void of any medical aid. Put simply, drug detox is too complex an issue to be solved with a box of supplements or a kit.

At-home drug detox

Most certified professionals on addiction treatment will likely agree that detox is better done through the care of trained and experienced professionals rather than at home. Out of all the stages of rehabilitation, detox is the most volatile and vulnerable. It is a period marked by intense withdrawals, high propensity for relapses, adverse physical withdrawal symptoms, and most of all, a lack of control over the mind. When the patient is desperate to use again, a professional will be there to help them at any time. Withdrawals often go on for long periods of time during which any number of events can take place.

It’s important to remember that addiction is primarily a disease of the brain. The disease of addiction is not an issue of a weak or strong will power. It is quite literally a disease that changes and controls the brain, thus controlling the person. Without the help and support of another entity, relapse is likely. Furthermore, there are a plethora of physical and medical complications that can occur in detoxification, as stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Given the clear hazards, why do some people still choose an at-home detox?

Most of those who choose at-home detoxes are unwilling to make the deliberate move to actually transport themselves to either an inpatient or outpatient facility.  For others, the stigma of attending an inpatient or outpatient clinic is too difficult to overcome.

Ultimately, the cons of an at-home detox outweigh the pros.

Why choose detox only?

Most people find detox-only programs to be more cost-effective than a lengthy stay in rehab. However, detox-only programs are often a quick-fix for an underlying issue requires a lengthier duration of treatment. Opting out of a medically supervised post-detox rehabilitation and choosing only the detox could ensure recovery stays inexpensive. However, the cost-savings could result in a relapse because of inadequate care.

What determines the length of drug detox?

Various factors go into deciding the duration of drug detox.

The particular drug that was used plays a large factor as certain drugs have a shorter half-life than others, which means some drugs stay in your system longer. For example, heroin can take a week to leave a patient’s system, whereas LSD takes only a few days.

There are also rapid detox programs, in which a patient is given anesthesia, and the toxins are removed in a shorter span of time. When the anesthesia subsides, patients awaken free of physical dependence on the drug.

That being said, mental dependence is another story. It’s important to note that rapid detox is not a possibility for all different types of drug addictions. Although most do, not all drugs have withdrawal collateral effects. For such situations, these short-term detox programs joined by counseling and therapy can be effective.

However, for those seeking lasting recovery, a longer-term detox coupled with drug rehabilitation may be the best solution, as both are geared towards providing a patient the tools and support needed for lasting sobriety.

Find the right drug detox center

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder and are interested in getting treatment, drug detox is the first step. Call (877) 262-6566 today to speak to one of our specialists to find the best detox for you or a loved one.

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