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Common Questions About Drug And Alcohol Detox

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Things To Know About Drug and Alcohol Detox

For many individuals, making the decision to go into detox for their substance use can be difficult. As they put their life on hold to deal with their problem, they may have some concerns. Here are some common questions about drug and alcohol detox.

What is drug and alcohol detox?

The human body begins to detoxify within hours of stopping usage of drugs and/or alcohol. Detoxifying is when the body returns its systems to a normal state after drug and/or alcohol use.

How long does detox last?

It depends on the substance used, but detox can last from a few days to a couple weeks. Not all drugs cause a person to detox, and therefore many people do not require medical detox after drug use. You should check with your doctor regarding your substance use to see detox is right for you.

Does alcohol and drug detox hurt?

Alcohol and drug withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be uncomfortable, painful and for heavy, chronic users, life threatening. Withdrawal symptoms vary and depend on the substance used, how long you have been using and how much you have been using.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, headache, irritability, anxiety, depression and fatigue and in some cases seizures and delirium tremens (DT's) which consists of periods of confusion, extreme agitation and hallucinations.

Drug withdrawal symptoms vary with the type of drug used, but symptoms may include sweating, chills, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, irritability and seizures.

What are the different detox programs and how are they different?

There are several different types of detox programs and they include: Outpatient, inpatient, medical and nonmedical.

Outpatient detox can be medical and nonmedical. A nonmedical detox program uses methods that do not include medication, such as acupuncture, medication therapy, vitamin therapy, saunas and yoga. Outpatient medical detox consists of self reporting to a clinic for medication and counseling sessions.

Inpatient medical methods of detox include checking into a facility such as a hospital detox unit or private detox facility.

What are the differences between medical methods for detox?

Medical detox is available in oral medication and IV therapy medical detox.

Oral medications such as methadone and suboxone, among others, are given to the individual to take by mouth that will help them detox from opiates in their system. Those detoxing from alcohol are typically given benzodiazepines such as Librium and Ativan.

IV therapy medical detox, on the other hand, is given to the individual by intravenous methods. Individuals undergo a health screening including physical, psychological and social well being. A special medication protocol is created based on the results and the medication is given to the individual by IV therapy. This allows the doctors to keep the patients comfortable and safe throughout the detox process.

Does insurance cover detox?

In many cases, insurance policies have a stipulation that covers a certain amount of days or a specified dollar amount that they will pay for detox. There may be a co pay, deductible or percentage for which you will be responsible. You should check with your insurance company to see what they will cover.

Is detox expensive?

The cost of detox will depend on the type of program you choose. Outpatient detox treatment is less expensive than inpatient. Inpatient detox in a hospital unit may cost less than inpatient detox in a private facility. Most private facilities and some other detox programs offer discounts to individuals paying for the cost out of pocket, as well as sliding fee scales based on financial need and scholarships toward the cost of detox – based on financial need.

The bottom line is this: if you need medical detox to safely come off the substance you are using and regain control of your life from drugs and alcohol, your life is worth the investment of detox.

Do I need treatment after detox?

Some individuals need help rebuilding their life after detox, so entering a program that can help you may be a good idea for you. Most rehab programs are based on the 12 step program. 12 step programs promote the idea that you need treatment for the rest of your life because you have an incurable disease. Yet the disease theory has been rejected by researchers around the world. The truth is there is no disease and no one needs lifelong treatment to overcome drug and alcohol problems.

St. Jude Retreats offers a cognitive behavioral education program that guides guests through the process of self evaluation and self-directed change. Guests learn concrete strategies to regain control of their lives and are empowered to overcome substance use problems permanently.

Testimonial by Mary Ann

I needed a program before my family gave up on me. Thankfully they found Saint Jude's. To me, the personal attention I received helped me understand my priorities. I am now the Mother I always wanted to be.More Testimonials Here

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