The detoxification process is one of the most essential components to one’s recovery from substance abuse.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has found that nearly ten percent of the US population, over the age of twelve, requires some form of treatment for alcohol or illicit drug abuse every year. Many individuals who have become dependent and/or addicted to substances will experience some kind of withdrawal symptoms once ceasing use of said substance. In a detoxification facility an individual will have access to trained professionals to help with all the challenges that can accompany the detoxification and withdrawal experiences one may encounter.

Is Inpatient Detoxification Essential?

Every individual is different and will react differently to the detoxification process. The kind of substance abused, the individual, the severity of the addiction and one’s medical history are all components to be considered when deciding whether an inpatient detoxification center is necessary. Not all addicts will require inpatient detoxification care when going through this process. There are, however, certain circumstances where it is highly recommended. Alcoholics who have suicidal tendencies, for example, should seriously consider an inpatient detoxification center. Individuals who have unstable jobs and/or challenging home environments can also benefit from inpatient care. Inpatient care is recommended if an alcoholic has the propensity to develop and of the following:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Delirium tremens
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding

With certain drugs withdrawal can cause life-threatening side effects, such as paranoid psychosis and/or serious depression. Drug addicts should be physically and psychologically screened to determine whether an inpatient detoxification stay is necessary. There are many situations where quitting a substance “cold turkey” that one’s body has become accustomed to functioning with can prove to be extremely dangerous. Some of the possible side effects that can accompany one’s detoxification process can include, but are not limited to any combination of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Mental illness
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting

Detoxifying from many substances can cause extreme physical discomforts. Some facilities can offer medical interventions for individuals to help reduce the discomforts. Inpatient facilities provide individuals with a safe, supportive, and substance-free environment for an addict to begin his or her recovery process.

Risks of At-Home Detox

There are several risks of attempting to overcome and addiction sans the guidance and help of addiction and/or medical professionals. It has been noted that fewer than 95% of those that attempt at-home detoxification, with no outside help, will succeed. Furthermore, the possible health complications associated with one’s withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening. One’s desire to give in to some withdrawal symptoms and pains is often too strong for an individual to overcome alone. It is essential to seek some kind of professional help when attempting to detoxify from an abused substance. The help of a professional will ensure a safe detoxification and help to mitigate the possibly life threatening aspects of one’s withdrawal symptoms. They will also help to arrange follow-up support, often including some kind of substance abuse treatment program, to help one maintain his or her sobriety.

How to Select a Detoxification Facility

There are many things to consider when looking for a detoxification center. It is important to do the proper due diligence before committing to a detoxification facticity. Some possible things to consider and/or do beforehand include:

  • How far away is the treatment facility
  • Decide what amenities are important for the facility to have
  • Will family and friends be allowed to visit
  • How long will treatment last
  • Will the facility accommodate dietary issues
  • Are cell phone and/or computers allowed
  • What kind of insurance is accepted by the facility
  • The out of pocket cost for the facility
  • Talk with the people in charge and also those who will be overseeing one’s care

It is helpful for an individual to talk to and tour several different detoxification facilities before one is chosen. It is also essential to make sure one is completely comfortable before committing to a program.

Benefits of Inpatient Detox

There are many potential benefits to inpatient detoxification facilities and programs. Even if inpatient detoxification is not necessarily a necessity for specific individuals, there are significant advantages to enrolling in an inpatient detoxification program. In inpatient detoxification programs individuals will receive twenty-four hour medical supervision. This enables possible complications to be nipped in the bud and addressed before they spiral out of control. Inpatient facilities also provide an environment that prohibits addicts to encounter an opportunity to use drugs or alcohol during their stay. Residential detoxification facilities allow an individual to begin his or her sober journey without distractions from one’s substance-using environment. The detoxification process rids one’s body of toxic substances that have been abused. The cleansing of one’s system from foreign substances will enable an individual to have a fresh start for a new life.

Life After Detox

Drug addiction or alcoholism do not manifest overnight, nor does one’s recovery from substance addiction. The detoxification process is only a portion of one’s recovery from substance abuse. It is highly recommended that an individual who struggles with any form of substance abuse and has successfully completed the detoxification phase attend some form of further substance abuse rehabilitation treatment program. Entering a long-term inpatient rehabilitation facility or participating in a long-term rehabilitation program can help an individual stop the possibly perpetual substance abuse cycle that he or she is in. It has been reported that individuals who engage in longer treatment programs after successfully completing the detoxification process have a higher likelihood of avoiding future substance abuse, and a greater chance to avoid relapse.

Further Information

Inpatient detoxification facilities typically last anywhere from three to fourteen days for substance abuse, but the timeframe will depend on the individual, the substance abused, and the severity of one’s addiction. Inpatient detoxification facilities most commonly provide medical supervision and psychological guidance for individuals who are going through the detoxification stage and experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the substance abused, this guidance can be the difference between life and death for an addict. When in doubt, always consult a professional, especially in regards to one’s health.