Drug & Alcohol Detox Centers
Drug and alcohol detox centers focus on helping addicts safely
and humanely withdraw from their drugs of choice. For most substance
abusers, detox is the first step in a longer term recovery program.
Detox, however, may take from several hours to 3 - 14 days for
completion. Detox facilities are usually located in inpatient
settings inside of hospitals or residential treatment centers.
A few detox programs are standalone facilities, which contract
out to other facilities.
Drug & Alcohol Detox Programs Change
Detox centers use three main models for withdrawal from substance
abuse, though many alternative models exist as well. The three
main models for drug and alcohol detox are the social, medical
and rapid detox models.
The social detox model is for those with moderate drug and alcohol
dependency problems that do not have a long-history of chemical
dependency issues and are medically able and willing to go through
detoxification without the use prescribed detox drugs. The social
model may or may not be medically supervised and emphasis is upon
being in a supportive environment with other like-minded individuals
who are struggling with the same issues and offering support.
The medical model of detoxification
is for those with severe substance abuse issues, or those who
are in poor health or have other existing medical conditions,
who need medical intervention and prescribed medications to aid
in the detoxification process. Medical detox is completed under
the close care of a physician and supporting medical staff. Medical
detox is necessary for those with severe alcoholism in order to
combat the withdrawal effects of seizure, Delirium Tremors (DT's)
and autonomic hyperactivity.
Medical detox is also required for many of those with addictions
to both illegal drugs and prescribed medications. Medications
can be given individuals that will aid in the pain and discomfort
of withdrawal. Medication can also aid in the ridding of toxins
from the body and help with some of the withdrawal effects
such as tremors, vomiting, severe body pain and sometimes
hallucinations. For some with opiate addictions, medications
such as Methadone, levo-alphaacetylmethadol (LAAM) or Naltrexone
(which may also be inserted under the skin for release over
time) may be used in detox and in ongoing treatment.
The rapid detox model, which has been in existence about 10 years
now, is for some substance abusers with opiate addictions, who
need special medications to cleanse the client's opiate receptors.
Rapid detox may be completed in just 5 -8 hours while under general
anesthesia inside an intensive care unit, under the supervision
of a physician and anesthesiologist. Follow-up medication is also
given to help break the opiate addiction. Medication such as Subutex
(the sublingual form of buprenorphine/buprenex) or Naltrexone
may be used at rapid detox facilities.
Some other non-traditional
detox programs may include bio-physical treatment,
nutritional detox and faith-based detox programs. Bio-physical
treatment may include sauna, exercise and vitamins as part of
the program. The nutritional detox program uses megavitamin therapy,
nutritional supplements and diet to achieve results. Faith-base
programs resemble the social model, but with emphasis on specific
Ideally, Detox centers should provide counseling along with the
detoxification services to help those substance abusers with the
psychological and emotional distress that usually accompanies
withdrawal. Follow-up treatment in a short-term, long-term or
outpatient rehab center is also highly recommended in order to
assure recovery over the long haul.