Some questions to ask an inpatient or residential drug treatment center to see if medical detox is needed in order to assist in the drug withdrawal.
Medical detoxification is often the first step towards getting clean. Many substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana do not pose a health threat if you detox on your own. Sure, you may experience physical symptoms but nothing is life threatening. Then you have drugs such as opiates-opioids and synthetic opiates (i.e. suboxone, subutex and subsolv) that can provide extreme withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, hot and cold sweats, headaches, restlessness and anxiety. You will not die from going through withdrawal on your own, the the symptoms are much more manageable with medication. The two most dangerous drugs to detox from are alcohol and benzodiazapines. Those using those substances should absolutely be in an acute medical detox facility first.
The classes of substances most likely to cause discomfort during withdrawal are; opiates/opioids/heroin, alcohol and benzodiazepines (i.e., Valium, Xanax and Ativan) When someone is about to enter a drug treatment facility, it is critically important that the clinical staff is very well aware of what drugs the patient is using, and to what extend he or sure is using them. For instance, a heroin addict who shoots 3 grams per day is much more likely to require medical detox (with Suboxone or Subutex) than someone who just smokes a little bit here and there, which in fact is quite rare.
There are many detox programs out there – ranging from outpatient (often unsuccessful) to residential (often referred to as inpatient rehab) – where there are medical professionals on staff at all times, and also stand-alone detox facilities. Before someone enters a treatment center for substance abuse, there are a number of questions that are commonly asked in order to ascertain whether or not he or she requires medical detox first.
SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO THE ADMISSION STAFF:
- Does your treatment center offer “medical detox” services?
- What is the detox protocol there?
- What common medications does your facility utilize during the detoxification process (i.e., Suboxone, Subutex, Methadone, etc.)?
- What type of medical staff do you have on-site
While you are detoxing and not feeling your best physically, your decision making is poor. The risk of relapse can increase as client’s are reacting to how they feel. To best prevent this, make sure no one in your life will co-sign your wanting to leave and ask all the questions you need to in order to make sure you admit to the most appropriate facility for you.
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