What Happens in Detox?
People detox from many different drugs, alcohol, or combinations of drugs and alcohol. So, whatever you are currently using will determine the right detox medications for your individual case. Everyone should be detoxing in an inpatient setting and in a clean, modern facility. You may be taking “street drugs” but you shouldn’t be detoxing in the street or at home. Inpatient detox means you stay in a facility 24 hours a day in a safe, secure, medically supervised setting, until it’s safe for you to leave. No one wants to be detoxing in a lockdown facility or doing an unsafe outpatient detox. A medical detox should be safe and as comfortable as possible. Detox should be assisted by a variety of medications depending on what you’ve recently used.
You will be assessed before you come in to make sure your detox facility is the best place for your individualized care, and that it’s the most appropriate level of care. When you arrive at a detox the medical staff will perform an assessment to determine how to lessen your withdrawal symptoms and make your stay as safe as possible.
The common misconception about detox medications is that the medication itself takes the drugs and alcohol out of your system. That the medication somehow attaches itself to the drug (toxin) and takes it out of your body. Detox medicines do not do that.
What detox medicines can do is make it safe and comfortable for you to NOT use drugs and alcohol. Detox medicines prevent things like seizures from happening as well as lessen the pain, anxiety, and discomfort of not using. These medicines lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and can greatly reduce the medical complications of suddenly not using drugs and alcohol. Additionally, they lessen the shock to your body from the sudden stop in drug and alcohol use. Comfort medications stop or ease symptoms like anxiety, sleeplessness, nausea, ache, and upset stomach issues.
You shouldn’t be home alone and in pain with no one to help you in case of severe complications. A safe detox needs medical supervision. What that means is, caring, experienced doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, therapists, and behavioral health techs should be constantly monitoring your health and well-being 24/7.