Medical detoxification (or detox) is a treatment program to help individuals with drug and alcohol addiction safely remove substances from their bodies and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Indeed, drug detox sets the foundation for addiction treatment. However, despite this benefit, detoxification is only the first step in addiction treatment. People who complete detox still need to enroll in a formal rehab program to overcome substance dependency.
In Massachusetts, the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) is tasked by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to license and regulate facilities offering drug detox to residents with substance abuse disorder.
Drug detox in Massachusetts usually takes seven days, according to the SAMHSA 2019 report. Generally, the detox duration is unique to each individual. Factors like the type of drug abused, a person's age, weight, and co-occurring health issues often determine how and when withdrawal symptoms will occur.
In Massachusetts, medical detox to rid the body of alcoholic toxins usually lasts for seven days, as seen in the SAMHSA 2019 report. Individuals who stop taking alcohol experience withdrawal symptoms in different stages depending on their addiction history.
According to an expert study, mild withdrawal symptoms like headaches start between six to 24 hours after taking alcohol. After 24 hours, individuals will experience moderate symptoms, which can continue for months in older persons. Severe withdrawal symptoms typically begin after 72 hours.
The drug detox process in Massachusetts varies according to the patient's needs and type of substance used, but it always includes these three stages: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Preparation.
In this stage, patients undergo a comprehensive examination of their past and present health conditions. A health professional conducts different tests to detect addictive chemicals in the body and other medical issues associated with drug abuse disorder. Results from the evaluation are used to prepare the appropriate level of care necessary for the patient.
After evaluation, patients begin drug detox under the supervision of medical professionals. The use of FDA-approved medications may also be necessary to treat the physical effects of drug withdrawal. Depending on the type of drug, level of addiction, and patient's health issues, stabilization can last from a few days to weeks.
Addiction treatment should continue after medical detox as detox does not deal with the mental aspect of recovery. Without further treatment, the patient may relapse. As such, it is important to visit a professional therapist or join a support group after rehab.
Individuals undergoing detoxification will experience side effects and withdrawal symptoms. These temporary signs vary with the types of drugs. While some symptoms like headaches, insomnia, and fatigue are common in all drug withdrawals, others are associated with a particular drug. Here are some side effects of common drugs and alcohol.
Opioids include synthetic pain relievers and other illegal substances like heroin. Generally, a prescribed low dosage of opiates is suitable for pain relief and cough suppression. However, continuous use can lead to withdrawal symptoms like fever, stomach cramps, diarrhea, runny nose, depression, excess yawning, and stress.
These are depressants prescribed for individuals suffering from insomnia and seizures. Regular use of 'barbs' may lead to dependency and tolerance, making the individual want to use more doses to feel the same effect. Withdrawal symptoms of barbiturates include tremors, fast heartbeat rate, excess sweating, restlessness, fatigue, delirium, hallucinations, and anxiety.
Like all other depressants, physicians prescribe benzodiazepines to help individuals overcome anxiety and sleeplessness. However, continuous use for recreational purposes can lead to side effects like panic attacks, racing heart, bodily sensations, seating, hypersensitivity, and headache. Severe withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, hallucination, and depression.
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are often mild. Detoxing from this drug comes with side effects like restlessness, irritability, extreme anxiety, and loss of appetite. Severe side effects include poor judgment, lethargy, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Stimulants like meth and cocaine increase the activity of the central nervous system, thereby making people more alert and energetic. People who stop using these drugs begin to feel withdrawal symptoms like depression and inconsistent sleeping after 24 hours. Other side effects include fatigue, high appetite, hypersomnia, anhedonia, and slowed movements.
Common side effects during alcohol withdrawal include fast heartbeat, hand tremors, cognitive dissonance, seizures, vomiting, confused mental state, and hallucinations. In severe cases, patients may encounter delirium tremens, leading to a medical emergency.
Performing drugs and alcohol detoxification at home can be uncomfortable. Patients need medical supervision to help them manage withdrawal symptoms. Unsupervised drug detox can result in other side effects listed below:
Triggers remind patients undergoing detox of their past cravings. When detoxing at home, it is easy to visit a friend, watch movies, or perform other social functions that can easily increase the urge to use drugs. This will make the detox process ineffective. Rather than get exposed to these social triggers, consider detoxing at a rehab center in Massachusetts.
A typical detox has physical and mental side effects. Withdrawal symptoms can start as a mild headache after some hours but often develop into a serious affair after some days. Many of these withdrawal symptoms can lead to a medical emergency without medical attention and stabilization.
At-home drug detox often leads to relapse. Some withdrawal symptoms include excessive drug cravings, which cannot be managed without the help of a professional therapist. To avoid drug relapse, consider detoxing at a rehab center.
Rapid detox involves using approved sedatives to remove addictive toxins from the body. Generally, rapid detox is a faster approach to conventional detox. Also, rapid detox is more expensive but varies depending on the nature of withdrawal symptoms and treatment facility. However, rapid detox is a more complicated medical procedure, and individuals may have unpleasant complications with the drugs. Examples of some health complications resulting from rapid detox include:
Massachusetts detox is only the first step in addiction recovery. The body metabolizes the remaining chemical substances from the brain throughout the detox process. After detoxing, patients must take further steps to overcome drug and alcohol dependency. Here are three basic steps to take after detox:
Inpatient and outpatient rehab in Massachusetts offers a drug-free environment for individuals recovering from substance use disorder. While an inpatient rehab involves round-the-clock treatment, outpatient rehab offers part-time services. Generally, inpatient rehabs are for individuals with severe addiction problems, while patients with lesser health complications need outpatient care.
Substance abuse group meetings allow individuals to share their struggle with drugs and alcohol addiction. Popular examples of support groups in Massachusetts include Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step support groups.
Patients can maintain a substance-free lifestyle by understanding their major triggers. Examples of those triggers are stress, financial issues, emotional distress, peer pressure, and relationship problems. It is also important to form healthy habits like exercising, meditating, and other stimulating exercises.
Information on drug detox and other addiction treatment services is available on the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services webpage. You can equally call the agency at (617) 624–5111. An alternative way to find drug detox centers near you is to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 24/7 hotline at (800) 662-4357.
Be rest assured that your interaction with a SAMHSA representative is discreet. However, suppose you are not comfortable with the phone conversation. In that case, you can use Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration treatment facility search, which makes finding a rehabilitation program examined and rated by outside experts easier. The facility's location and contact details are displayed in the finder. A list of different therapies, facilities, and payment alternatives is also provided.