Detoxification treatment in substance use disorder is the systematic removal of poisonous chemicals from a person’s body. It is commonly applied when people cease chronic usage of drugs, and for recovery from acute intoxication or drug overdosing. Medically supervised withdrawal, in a hospital or medical clinic with 24-hour surveillance, is recommended for severe cases – It minimises withdrawal symptoms, prevents life threatening developments, and offers treatment for emergency conditions and injuries.
We have the resources and network outreach to advise you about detoxification treatment. Phone us for free advice and referrals.
Choosing a detox facility
Patients with moderate detoxification requirements, stable home environments and supportive family or social networks, can benefit from outpatient or mutual-support groups in their communities. However, hospitalisation or other medical in-house treatment is required if the person has overdosed, has severe withdrawal symptoms, injuries, suicidal thoughts, multiple drug dependency, or failed to complete previous detox efforts.
Concerns about detox
There is concern about potential abuse of detoxification. It is felt users may utilise it simply to briefly ease the burden of maintaining drug supplies, or to return to a state that allows resumption with reduced doses. They may also cooperate to appease others, with no real intent to maintain sobriety afterwards. However, the process frees them from fear of withdrawal, clears the mind, and may open them up for enlistment to long-term sobriety.
Detox and rehabilitation
Drug usage may have been triggered by psychological problems requiring further rehabilitation after detoxification, but it is not always the case. Mental anguish can be caused by drugs and withdrawals, instead of deeper emotions. Conversely, affected patients may be over-confident after detox and reject further treatment, only to relapse later. Reassessment of emotional stability should be done after detoxification has stabilised a patient.
Drug detoxification ins and outs
Hospitals, and some medical clinics, are the most common destinations for in-house detoxification treatment. They offer comprehensive resources for physical caretaking, such as emergency stabilisation, 24-hour medical surveillance and management, treatment of concurrent physical disorders, lab testing, special diets and other utilities.
Some rehabilitation centres have dedicated detoxification facilities. They are suitable for patients who do not have serious injuries or extensive medical problems. Other rehabilitation centres may contract medical practitioners, psychiatrists and laboratories to attend to in-house patients on a set schedule or when necessary.
If physical condition and circumstances allow it, an outpatient can detox at home with the periodic assistance of a medical doctor or psychiatrist and, usually, prescribed medication. The affected person is more exposed to temptation and the risk of relapse, but has the advantage of freedom of movement and maintenance of daily tasks.
Certain enterprises offer doubtful detoxification solutions and should be avoided. They usually promote highly controversial or unproven remedies not recognised or controlled by the health professions or authorities.
Abrupt cessation of chronic drug taking without any medical consultation or intervention is not classified as treatment. In mild cases it may work, but it can be dangerous, as unforeseen reactions may suddenly develop and cause serious dilemmas.
Detoxification is not the same as rehabilitation treatment. Substance use patients often have emotional, financial, legal, and relationship problems. Psychological therapy may be needed to fortify their resolve, but many refuse further evaluation after detoxification. In their refreshed state they often feel they are capable of coping with the problems that await them.
Psychological rehabilitation treatment involves additional services to restore and maintain high levels of social competency and to reduce risk factors that initiate substance use disorders and relapses. However, detoxification remains the first major step to full recovery and should be completed before consideration of further treatment.
Call us for detoxification advice
Finding the best detoxification solution for a person’s unique circumstances and condition can be daunting, especially when you are under pressure. Phone us to discuss your personal situation. We can help you with discreet advice and referrals. Our phone number is available on this page.
Disclaimer: Media publications about health matters are intended for broad public audiences. Individuals are required to consult a suitably qualified health professional for personal health advice.