Drug and alcohol detox is removing toxic, addictive substances from the body. Detox aims to use medications to manage the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process.
Medical detox is necessary, but it is not enough to end addiction. It is only the initial step in the continuum of treatment toward addiction recovery. Therefore, a follow-up rehab program is necessary to address physical, mental, and social problems associated with the addiction.
The Maryland Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) requires all facilities operating as a provider of medical detox services to obtain a license. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides information, programs, and resources to reduce the negative effect of substance use disorder and promote drug and alcohol treatment services in Maryland.
All drugs have different chemical constituents, which translate to how long they linger in the body. In turn, this nature contributes to the duration of the detoxification period. For instance, the SAMHSA estimates that the average timeframe for a cocaine detox is three to four days and several weeks for marijuana detox. In reality, other factors influence a patient's length of stay in treatment during detox. They include:
The duration of substance dependence influences how long a patient stays in detox. Drug detox is shorter for persons at the beginning stage of addiction than for persons addicted to a particular drug for a long time. Symptoms are usually harder for a person with long-term drug addiction, prompting the extended stay in treatment.
Again, persons who habitually consume addictive substances over time stay for extended periods in rehab centers. Drugs consumed in large quantities over time affect the regular performance of the body. They linger longer in the body, thus elongating the recovery period during detox.
The method of administering addictive substances into the body impacts the patient's stay at a detox center. Typically, addictive substances inhaled or injected circulate through the body faster than drugs taken orally. Therefore, persons who administer drugs intravenously or inhale addictive substances have a lengthier stay in treatment during drug detox than their counterparts who administered addictive substances orally.
The number of addictive substances used also impacts the detox period. Drugs vary in chemical composition, and the effect of more than one addictive substance complicates the detox process. Consequently, patients with more than one substance dependence require constant monitoring and extra care during detox, resulting in a lengthier stay in rehab than patients addicted to a single drug.
Individuals with co-occurring medical conditions have severe withdrawal symptoms during detox, impeding the detox process. SAMHSA recommends a long-term, gradual approach for patients with substance abuse and co-occurring medical conditions. Therefore, most patients with underlying medical and mental health conditions stay longer in detox than persons with stable health conditions.
A patient's age, gender, weight, ethnicity, and other genetic factors can influence the period they stay in detox. Females have an extended stay in detox treatment than their male counterparts due to issues affecting women, including sexual abuse, victimization, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. Again, the same holds for older persons. Older persons without underlying medical conditions have a lengthier stay in rehab than younger contemporaries.
The average time for alcohol detox in Maryland is three days, according to SAMHSA's report on admissions and discharge for substance use treatment. In reality, other factors influence the duration of stay at an alcohol detox center in Maryland. For instance, alcohol addiction combined with other addictive substances or the amount of alcoholic substance consumed can increase or decrease the stay in rehab.
Again other factors such as gender, age, weight, race, medical condition, and mental health can elongate the stay in an alcohol detox center.
The primary purpose of detox is to rid the body of drugs and alcoholic substances while minimizing physical harm to the patient. A well-planned detox process can prevent fatal complications. Consequently, a drug detox center must follow these steps to get the best treatment that suits the patient's needs. These components of the detoxification process may take place concurrently or as a phased process, and they consist of:
Evaluation forms the foundation for future treatment. During the evaluation phase, the drug detox center obtains information on the medical history, social state, and any known underlying medical or mental health issues. The drug detox center also collects blood samples from the patient to test for the presence of addictive substances and their concentration in the individual's body. The results and findings form the basis of the patient's treatment. The drug detox center ensures that the treatment plan suits the specific need of the patient.
Stabilization involves using medicated-assisted treatment and psychological therapy to help a patient go from high substance dependence to a substance-free state. During stabilization, the drug detox center administers medication while constantly monitoring the patient throughout detoxification to ensure the efficacy of the treatment plan and manage any medical challenges that occur during the process.
Stabilization aims to ensure that no harm comes to the patient during detox by ensuring that the patient is medically, mentally, and physically stable throughout the detox process.
The withdrawal symptoms a patient experiences during detox vary according to the severity of substance dependence, the type of addictive substance consumed, and the duration of substance use. In general, most addictive substances present similar symptoms during the detox process. They include:
An individual experiences restlessness, lack of appetite, poor concentration, insomnia, agitation, excessive sweating, hand tremors, increased blood pressure, elevated heart rate, seizures, and hallucinations following an alcohol detox.
During an anabolic steroids detox, patients may experience depression, aggression, mood swings, headaches, restlessness, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, excessive weight gain, reduced libido, bladder irritability, skin blistering, delusion, high blood pressure, and impaired judgment.
Anxiety, slurred speech, agitation, lack of physical coordination, sweating, elevated heart rate, difficulty sleeping, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and hallucinations are the known unpleasant side effects following benzodiazepine and sedative-hypnotics detox.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with detox from ecstasy include fatigue, depression, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, memory loss, paranoia, drug cravings, and insomnia.
The most frequent withdrawal symptoms for persons dependent on inhalants and solvents include restlessness, anxiety, weakness, depression, headaches, excessive sweating, dizziness, runny nose, poor memory, hand tremors, psychosis, weight loss, delirium, insomnia, and hallucinations.
Detox from a hallucinogenic substance has the following side effects: agitation, rage, fear, confusion, restlessness, fatigue, decreased respiratory function, elevated body temperature, loss of motor skills, hyperactive eye movements, headaches, chills, numbness, muscle spasms and tremors, hearing loss, diarrhea, insomnia, cognitive impairment, delusion, seizures, and hallucination.
When a person dependent on marijuana and hashish stops taking the drug, the individual has a likelihood of experiencing the following withdrawal symptoms during detox: anger, aggressiveness, nervousness, anxiety, depression, restlessness, substance cravings, headaches, sweating, tremors, insomnia, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
Nicotine found majorly in cigarettes is a highly addictive substance. Persons detoxing from it can experience unpleasant symptoms, including depression, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, mouth ulcers, constipation, coughing, increased appetite, fatigue, anxiety, anger, frustration, dizziness, insomnia, decreased heart rate, and nicotine cravings.
Known withdrawal symptoms from opioid detox include insomnia, sweating, goosebumps, tearing, runny nose, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, muscle spasms, fast pulse, anxiety, irritability, elevated heart rate, high body temperature, abdominal cramps, and high blood pressure.
Mild stimulant withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, irritability, depression, lack of energy, weight gain, dehydration, chills, drug cravings, chills, and insomnia. Acute potential side effects from a stimulant detox include mood swings, psychosis, paranoia, inability to feel pleasure, and suicidal thoughts.
Yes, persons with chemical dependence may detox at home. However, medical professionals in Maryland do not endorse home detox as it can be dangerous. Home detox, also known as quitting cold turkey, is the abrupt cessation of addictive substances at home without medication, monitoring, and treatment from a licensed professional.
Withdrawal symptoms come with the detoxification process, which detox centers aim to manage for their patients. Persons detoxing at home lack the medical expertise or care to manage these symptoms at home. Consequently, it is easier for individuals who subscribe to home detox to have a relapse or, worse, an overdose.
Again, home detox fails to treat any underlying medical and mental health condition the individual may have, making home detox potentially life-threatening. It is best to detox under the supervision and care of licensed professionals who will recommend the safest withdrawal management plan to suit the patient's recovery needs.
Ambulatory detox is an outpatient detox service where patients receive drug and alcohol detox treatment daily and return home instead of residing in the treatment center.
In essence, it is an outpatient detox service that could take place in a doctor's office, detox center, day hospital, or the patient's home. Medical professionals provide medical support with medications and monitoring to ensure the patient is safe and comfortable during the withdrawal period transitioning the patient safely to recovery.
Ambulatory detox is safe and effective and provides an alternative to an unsupervised and unsafe detox at home. However, it is not for everyone. Only persons with mild to moderate drug dependence, in a stable and supportive living environment, without a protracted history of substance dependency or underlying medical conditions, may subscribe to ambulatory detox.
The benefits of ambulatory detox include:
It is the swift removal of addictive substances from the body within a few hours. During rapid detox, the medical professional places the patient under anesthesia and uses medication to remove drugs from the patient's system.
Unlike normal detox, this type of detox aims to bypass or minimize the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms by using sedatives and medication to take the patient from active substance use to sobriety within a short period.
Rapid detox can be dangerous and fatal in some cases. The risk outweighs the benefits. For example, rapid detox does not treat substance addiction nor address the medical or mental health conditions of patients. Therefore, patients who opt for this have a higher chance of relapse. Again, unpleasant side effects such as paranoia, heart failure, renal failure, delirium, respiratory failure, liver failure, suicidal thoughts, drug overdose, and coma are customary with this form of this detox process.
Furthermore, it is costly. The process of rapid detox occurs within a hospital requiring an inpatient stay. In addition, there are costs associated with medication, sedation, and monitoring, making rapid detox an expensive treatment program. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not cover the cost of rapid detox as it considers it medically nonessential.
Detox is the first step in rehabilitation treatment. In Maryland, following a successful drug and alcohol detox, patients may continue their rehab treatment in any of the following programs:
Patients can continue recovery after detox in an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient or residential treatment programs provide structured treatment and 24 hours medical care for substance abuse in a safe and supportive environment. Typically in a hospital-based facility, inpatient treatment programs deliver intensive medication treatment with substance abuse counseling and therapy sessions to patients in a peer-supported environment.
In addition, patients participate in other activities, including life skills training, educational programs, and complementary therapies. Inpatient treatment programs best suit individuals with chronic addiction or co-occurring medical and mental health disorders.
In a PHP, patients receive substance abuse treatment during the day and return home after treatment daily. PHP uses medication, counseling, therapies, and support group sessions to provide a highly structured and effective treatment for substance dependence. PHP is appropriate for persons who do not need round-the-clock medical care or persons with mild or non-severe withdrawal symptoms after detox.
IOPs offer a highly intensive treatment but non-residential treatment for substance abuse. Patients receive addiction treatment a few hours daily, several days a week, and return home after each treatment. Patients can expect to receive treatment services, including medicated-assisted treatment, individual counseling, therapy, group sessions, educational programs, drug testing, and employment assistance.
IOP is appropriate for persons who cannot leave family or career commitments to attend inpatient treatment. Also, IOP best suits persons with a stable home support system, mild to moderate addiction, and minor or no underlying mental health issues.
After detox, patients can use outpatient treatment to continue their rehabilitation treatment. Outpatient treatment programs are less intensive than IOPs but provide effective recovery programs for patients, including drug abuse education, relapse prevention, individual and group counseling, and therapy sessions. Patients live at home while receiving substance abuse treatment.
Patients with a safe home environment, mild withdrawal symptoms, and without co-occurring medical conditions may find outpatient treatment programs a befitting option after drug detox.
Sober living houses provide structured, supportive, and substance-free accommodation for persons out of rehab to continue with recovery. A sober living home serves as a bridge between rehab treatment and substance-free living. Sober living programs offer peer support, counseling, therapy, accountability, and support group meetings to help patients maintain sobriety.
If you or your loved one is struggling with substance addiction and looking for a licensed drug and alcohol detox center within Maryland, then call the Maryland Department of Health. The helpline offers information, support, and referral services to the substance abuse detox center closest to you. Also, you can use the directory to contact the Behavioral Health office close to you to connect you with detox treatment services within your community.
Likewise, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at (800) 662-435. The representative provides information on substance abuse detox centers closest to you. All calls to SAMHSA's helpline are confidential and toll-free. Alternatively, you can access licensed and approved drug detox facilities using the SAMHSA's treatment center locator. You can get the location, contact details, payment options, and services of detox facilities close to you using this service.