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Detox: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How?

Headshot of Mandy HazelDetox or withdrawal management may be the first step for some people to get help stopping substance use. It may also be the scariest step. Part of the fear may come from the fear of the unknown. Let us work to help you understand a little more about detox programs.

Who should use detox programs?

Anyone abusing substances may need the assistance of a detox program to stop using. There are many factors that go into how long and what type of detox program a person needs. Some of these factors include: substance of choice, living environment, age, physical and mental health, as well all how long a person has been using and how much.

What is detox?

Detox is the process of removing substances from the body. There are different types of detox programs to help people manage their symptoms safely. The two types of detox programs we will discuss include medically monitored (which is often referred to as social detox) and medically managed (which is often referred to as medical detox).

Medically monitored (social detox) is less intense than medically managed (medical) detox. Medically monitored detox can provide the patient with some medications to help ease symptoms. In medically managed detox, however, the patient needs medications and/or more intense medical care to help the patient safely detox. Medically managed detox requires more frequent checks by medical staff. Medically managed detox programs are generally for substances such as, but not limited to, alcohol, heroin, and opioids.

When can I get into detox?

Now. All you need to do to get you into detox is to call your nearest detox facility. If you have a history of medical problems, such as seizures when you detox, you will want to contact a medically managed detox detox. If you are unsure, call your nearest detox facility and complete the admission questions and they can guide you towards the right type of detox program. You should be able to schedule an appointment within the next 24 hours from your call.

Where can I get into a detox program?

You can call Centerstone to inquire about medically monitored detox services by calling 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123).

Why do I need to go to a detox program?

Detoxing from some substances at home can be dangerous and potentially life threatening. Having medical professionals to help you detox safely is important. Staff can also help you with next steps to take after you complete the detox program.

How does detox work?

  • Arrive at your appointment at the scheduled time. Bring your insurance information if you have it. It is helpful to bring any medications if you have them. Bring a few changes of clothes and toiletries and anything else the facility suggested or asked for.
  • Staff will complete a medical evaluation to make sure you are receiving the appropriate services and can refer you to other services if necessary.
  • Once admitted you will begin your detox program.
  • You will be monitored frequently during your detox for physical symptoms, mood and how you are sleeping and eating. Medical staff can provide medications as necessary to help manage symptoms.
  • Many detox programs last 3-5 days, but there is no set timeframe.

Final thought

Completing detox is not enough to keep a person sober. Choosing to not follow through with continued substance use services leads to a higher risk of relapse. Relapsing after detox often leads to a higher chance of overdose. Following through with residential services allows the body and brain more time to begin healing, and it allows the person more time to begin learning and practicing recovery skills.

Start your recovery journey by making this life changing call today.

Mandy Hazel, BS CADC, has been a counselor and case manager at Centerstone’s Fellowship House campus since July 2014. Mandy works with patients in the outpatient, detox, residential and family programs and has also served as a preventionist.

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