Medical Detoxification, otherwise known as Detox, is administered in an inpatient setting. Generally, when our client is admitted to the NorthStar facility, they are immediately evaluated by a Medical Doctor who is a Substance Use Disorder Specialist, to ensure that the detoxification process can be administered safely. The Physician will then create a detoxification plan and medication regimen for the client, to allow a safe detoxification process.
This process lasts 5 to 7 days and is monitored by staff and the physician through the process. Detox from substance use is often accompanied by severe withdrawal symptoms which can be quite uncomfortable and at times life threatening. Administration of certain medications during this process helps the client to more easily and safely overcome the Detox process. Such a detoxification process can be uncomfortable and dangerous if administered without constant medical attention.
At NorthStar the patient will be monitored 24/7 by our highly trained medical team to ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable detox experience. You can also count on our staff to be available around the clock to help you through the physical and mental effects of detoxification.
Definition of Drug Withdrawal
Drug withdrawal is the physical response of the body when people reduce or cease the consumption of drugs to which they have grown addicted. Withdrawal is usually accompanied by various types of physical, emotional, and mental symptoms. According to the Comprehensive Pediatric Hospital Medicine journal, withdrawal may encourage the further use of illicit substances among individuals who wish to avoid its unpleasant effects.
A growing number of the U.S. population are susceptible to experiencing drug withdrawal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 11.7% of Americans who are 12 years old and above used illicit drugs in 2018.
Reasons Behind Drug Withdrawal
Drug withdrawal takes place because the human brain gets accustomed to drugs and alcohol when people consume them regularly. Over time, individuals might grow physically and mentally dependent on these substances to the point that they can’t function properly without them.
Withdrawal is a normal reaction to the sudden reduction or elimination of the substance from the bloodstream. During the withdrawal period, the body of a person tries to adjust to its new state while it flushes out the remaining drugs or alcohol from its system. Aside from alterations in the brain chemistry, there are also other physical and mental consequences of withdrawal.
Timelines of Drug Withdrawal
Drug withdrawal timelines may vary depending on the type of substance that is used and the level of dependence of a person on the drugs or alcohol. The length of the withdrawal process may range from days to weeks to months. Nevertheless, there is a typical withdrawal duration for each kind of substance:
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines usually starts around one to four days after the last use. It often grows worse within the first two weeks, although some users experience extended withdrawal for months or years if they don’t get the proper treatment.
Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
On one hand, withdrawal from fast-acting opioids like heroin and other prescribed pain medicine often manifests itself approximately eight to 24 hours after the last usage. This stage endures for around four to 10 days. On the other hand, withdrawal from slow-acting opioids like methadone could begin within two to four days. The effects gradually fade away after 10 days or so.
Types of Drug Withdrawal
There are different kinds of drug withdrawal and the symptoms that accompany each one are based on the kind of substance which is misused by a person. Here are some of the common types of withdrawal:
Benzodiazepines are a category of drugs that are used to treat anxiety disorders and seizure disorders. Some examples of benzodiazepines are Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, and Valium. These medicines have sedative properties since they increase the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters in the brain. While benzodiazepines are prescribed by doctors to some patients, other people misuse this medication because of its relaxing, calming effect.
The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Extreme sweating
Opioids are usually prescribed by physicians to reduce pain which is caused by sickness, injuries, and operations. These drugs work by stimulating the release of dopamine, a brain chemical related to pleasant sensations, in the brain. Heroin and other kinds of opioids are usually abused because of their feel-good effect.
Here are some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids:
- Hot or cold flashes
- Runny nose
- Muscle cramps
- Body pain
- Flu-like effects
- Sleep disorders
- Excessive yawning
- Psychological distress
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is very addictive because of the temporary high it provides. It causes a short-term boost in energy and alertness by increasing the amount of the natural chemical dopamine in the brain. These are examples of the symptoms that are linked to withdrawal from cocaine:
- Extreme cocaine craving
- Enhanced appetite
- Sluggish motions and thoughts
- Depressed mood
- Concentration issues
Risks of Drug Withdrawal
Withdrawal from drugs may potentially be dangerous if it is not performed under medical supervision. It may lead to extreme symptoms and even to life-threatening situations in certain cases if it is not handled properly.
For example, acute alcohol withdrawal may result in delirium tremens, which may lead to seizures and even possibly to death. A study by the StatPearls journal indicates that the expected mortality rate for people undergoing delirium tremens is 37% for those who don’t get professional treatment.
To share another example, opioid withdrawal may increase the risk of relapse among users if it is done without the guidance of licensed clinicians. Its symptoms are very unpleasant so it could provoke people to return to opioid consumption. If opioid users relapse after their tolerance becomes lower because of their abstinence period, these people may be at risk of an overdose.
Importance of Drug Detox Treatments
Withdrawal is a complex process that can have a wide range of effects on the physical and mental condition of people. That’s why detox from drugs and alcohol must be performed under the supervision of qualified physicians and healthcare staff.
A well-planned inpatient drug detox treatment at an accredited drug detox center has the following benefits:
1. Proper Withdrawal Management
Detox programs typically involve withdrawal management. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes withdrawal management as the medical and psychological care of patients with withdrawal symptoms. The rehab team will monitor vital signs and administer the necessary medications during the treatments to protect the well-being of the patients.
2. Minimized Withdrawal Risks
Withdrawal management can lead to fewer and milder physical and mental withdrawal symptoms for some patients. As a result, the risk of developing pain and sickness will be reduced among patients who are undergoing the withdrawal stage. In extreme cases, detox treatments can even help prevent untimely death caused by withdrawal complications.
3. Lower Chance of Relapses
The fewer the withdrawal symptoms that people struggle with, the lower the chances that they will be tempted to return to the use of the substances they were once addicted to. The psychological support through counseling and therapy sessions will also encourage patients to stay clean and sober even after they complete the detox program.
Drug Detox Programs at NorthStar Detox & Rehab Center
Detox from drugs is a vital part of your recovery process from drug and alcohol dependence. NorthStar Detox & Rehab Center is the ideal option for you or your loved one if you are searching for a secure, comfortable environment in Southern California where you can overcome your addiction.
Our comprehensive inpatient drug detox program allows you to experience in-depth evaluation, customized planning, effective detoxification treatments, and a personalized medication regimen.
Our drug detox center is owned and operated by a licensed physician so you can rest assured that you will always have the proper medical supervision during your treatments. Our friendly, professional staff is ready 24/7 to guide you as you face the physical and mental effects of detoxification.
We are conveniently located in Tarzana so you can easily access our center if you are based in Los Angeles and other surrounding areas. You can stay at our pleasant, spacious facility which is highly conducive to rehab treatments.
Call us at (888) 577-0550 or fill out the contact form to experience freedom from alcohol and drug dependence through the inpatient drug detox programs of NorthStar Detox & Rehab Center.