Drug Detox Programs
When dealing with substance use disorders (SUD), attempting to detox at home may be dangerous, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe. The safest option is to detox from drugs at a drug detox center or addiction treatment center. There are different types of drug detox programs that, depending on the severity of the drug addiction, provide different benefits for the patient.
Medical detox is an option that can be very beneficial for the patient as it reduces cravings and eases withdrawal symptoms, decreasing the risk of relapse and making the transition into recovery easier. During medical detox, patients are given prescription medications that help taper off of substance abuse. Detox prescription drugs can include suboxone, methadone, naltrexone, or vivitrol and can be taken orally or in the form of an injection.
Some patients with less severe drug dependence may choose to quit their substance cold turkey, meaning that they stop taking the drug abruptly with no medication to soothe them. For severe addiction, this can be a life threatening route as withdrawal symptoms can create dangerous side effects and make the patient more prone to relapse.
At Innovative Health, we recommend that the patient undergo medical detox so they can start their treatment program free from the distraction that symptoms of drug withdrawal can create. Medical detox is not considered to be a cure for substance use disorder, and this program is most effective when done in combination with support groups, counseling, and behavioral therapies.
When planning to start detox, many wonder “how long does it take to detox from drugs?” but unfortunately, there is not one answer that fits every patient. The drug detox timeline is dependent on a variety of factors such as the individual’s age and gender, which substance they used or whether they used multiple substances together, the frequency of use, the amount of substance taken, and the individual’s tolerance.
For drug detox, the program will typically last around 3 to 7 days. Each class of drug has a different length of withdrawal, so even if detox has ended, the patient may still benefit from Medication Assisted Treatment to reduce cravings. In the case of benzodiazepines, withdrawal symptoms may occur for up to two weeks, while opioid withdrawal symptoms can linger for months. Cravings for stimulants may last for months, even after all other symptoms have subsided after the first two weeks.
Those with severe addiction can greatly improve with extended treatment options, and may require a residential stay at a treatment facility as opposed to outpatient treatment. Residential treatment programs are typically either 30 day, 60 day, or 90 day programs, although they can last indefinitely if more treatment is necessary. Outpatient treatment is usually a much longer process as it does not achieve around the clock care like residential treatment.
The process of detox and the following treatment varies based on the needs of each individual, and the goal is to foster long term recovery for the patient. Since there is no clear path that every individual must follow to achieve sobriety, the staff at Innovative Health works with each patient to determine the best course of action to set them up for success. At Innovative Health, we cater each treatment program to the specific requirements of the individual to make sure they are receiving the best possible care.