Monthly Archives: February 2016

woman detoxing from drugs and alcohol

The Dangers of Detoxing from Drugs

The long-term abuse of drugs has significant and often devastating effects on the user’s body and mind. When an addict finally makes the important commitment to address their substance abuse, the first and most important step in regaining physical and mental health is to undergo medical detoxification at a reputable drug treatment facility. Drug detox will help minimize the physical and psychological symptoms that are associated with withdrawal, and it helps set the stage for the addict to receive much-needed therapy and other essential treatment services.

While the drug detox process is an essential foundation for an addict’s individual plan of recovery, many who enter drug treatment may have a significant amount of fear and uncertainty about the process itself. While the pain and discomfort associated with drug withdrawals can be a legitimate cause for concern, much of the fear surrounding drug detox–and especially about the dangers of drug detox–come from misinformation. In this article, the main dangers of drug detox will be discussed as well as possible options addicts have in properly detoxing from drugs.

What Are The Most Common Dangers of Drug Detox?

When it comes time to quit drugs once and for all, there inevitably will be some concerns and possible dangers that come with the detox process. These dangers are not meant to scare anyone away from undergoing drug detox; it is meant to make you aware of the dangers that may await those who decide not to pursue quality medical help. The following are the dangers of detoxing from drugs.

Going Cold Turkey woman detoxing from drugs

Perhaps the biggest danger of detoxing from drugs is trying to do it without medical supervision. Many addicts may feel they do it on their own by going cold turkey or by undergoing some form of self-detoxification by using a variety over-the-counter products. On the surface, these methods may seem harmless and inexpensive, but these forms of detox can be especially risky–and can even be deadly in certain circumstances.

No matter the substance, each has a set of withdrawal symptoms that can be extremely uncomfortable to tolerate. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations

Drugs such as alcohol, heroin and prescription pills have added withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, seizures and psychosis that can pose extra dangers. Additionally, these withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if there are underlying medical conditions present or if an individual is abusing other drugs. By choosing not to undergo a proper drug detox program, an addict can turn back to drug use in order to minimize withdrawal symptoms and their overall health can worsen over time.

The Use of Medications

detoxing from drugs

Another potential danger inherent in the drug detox process concerns the use of medications during the process itself. Certain drugs such as heroin and some prescription medications have significant effects on body and brain functioning. When a person quits taking these kinds of drugs altogether, the body may go into a state of shock and may even shut down. As a result, detox staff may prescribe medications that will help minimize withdrawal symptoms and help the body gradually wean itself off of substances.

While medications such as methadone and Suboxone are very effective in making the withdrawal process more tolerable, these medications often have a similar chemical composition to the drugs they have been addicted to. If not taken as directed by medical personnel and done under strict medical supervision, people can become addicted to these medications and they can experienced longer periods of withdrawal symptoms over a greater period of time.

Leaving Detox Early

An additional danger that can occur during the detox process is if an individual leaves detox early and doesn’t follow through with the program. For many who enter drug detox, the number one question that is often asked is how long will detox last? In general, the detox process can last 5-14 days but is highly dependent on the length of time a person has been addicted to drugs, the frequency and amount of the drug taken and any underlying medical or mental health issues that may be present at time of admission.

There are some addicts who start feeling better, as a result they may feel they don’t need intensive drug treatment. There may be others who grow impatient with the drug detox process and decide to leave treatment to try and detox on their own. Whatever the reason, leaving detox early can be dangerous in the fact that people will resume using drugs and alcohol and further get caught in the downward spiral of substance abuse.

Undergoing Detox Somewhere Other Than a Drug Treatment Facility

Many reputable drug treatment facilities have drug detox facilities on treatment grounds or in close proximity to the treatment facility. This situation is ideal in the fact that staff can perform a comprehensive evaluation of their physical and mental health and can create an individualized plan of recovery that fits their unique needs. These arrangements allow family to come and provide much needed support, and the environment is safe, secure and supportive.

However, there are instances in which people have undergone drug detox in a psychiatric unit or in other environment in which they are isolated or “locked down”. These environments don’t provide the individual attention and care that is found in facilities located at drug rehabs, and the lack of family support and encouragement from staff can drive addicts away from the treatment they need to overcome their addiction.

Call SoCal Detox Today

The drug detox process is crucial to helping addicts achieve and maintain long-term recovery. If you are looking for a quality detox program that utilizes proven and effective methods in a safe and empowering environment, call SoCal Detox today. As one of the premier drug detox facilities in Orange County, SoCal Detox offers drug detox programs that can be individually tailored to meet your specific needs. Start your recovery journey the right way and call SoCal Detox right now.

nurse working at a detox

6 Symptoms of Detoxing From Alcohol

If you make the commitment to recovery from the ravages of alcohol abuse, it doesn’t occur in a single step or specific moment. Long-term and meaningful sobriety must have in place a comprehensive plan of recovery that involves several important steps that must be completed. The first and arguably most important step in recovering from alcohol abuse is medical detoxification, which will minimize the pain and discomfort of the physical and psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal.

Detoxing from alcohol is indeed a necessary first step, but many who enter treatment or about to enter treatment may approach the detox process with uncertainty and fear. While the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal can be difficult to endure, knowing the most common symptoms associated with detoxing from alcohol will better prepare you for what to expect during the detox process.

woman detoxing from alcohol

The following are 6 symptoms that are common in those detoxing from alcohol.

Agitation

One of the most common symptoms of alcohol detox is agitation as well as nervousness and excitability. Alcohol is a depressant, and when alcohol is no longer being consumed the body– and especially the central nervous system–is starting the process of correcting itself. As the body gradually rids itself of alcohol, you may experience period of pronounced agitation, but should decrease over time. Agitation can be made more pronounced in alcohol detox due to a lack of sleep since alcohol disrupts healthy sleep patterns.

Diarrhea

Another common symptoms associated with detoxing from alcohol is frequent diarrhea. Chronic alcohol consumption inhibits the small intestine from absorbing certain minerals and nutrients, causing it to function improperly. As a result, food can pass through the small intestine at a more rapid rate and will not be absorbed properly causing diarrhea.

Hallucinations

If you have abused alcohol for long periods of time, a symptom of detoxing from alcohol can be the presence of hallucinations. Hallucinations can be simply defined as the experience of seeing or hearing things that aren’t there while awake and conscious. The hallucinations those who abuse alcohol can experience can be auditory, visual, and even tactile, and they can make those who abuse alcohol person feel like they are being touched. They can trick a person into believing the unbelievable, or that they are in a place they are not.

A form of hallucination that alcoholics can experience is what is known as alcoholic hallucinosisWith this condition, an individual can experience a variety of symptoms before the onset of hallucinations. This can include dizziness, headache, irritability and insomnia. The majority of hallucinations those with this condition will experience are most audio or visual hallucinations.

Nausea And Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are another common occurrence during alcohol detoxification. Like other substances, alcohol is a poison that causes significant changes to the body and brain. As stated earlier, alcohol significantly effects the way we are able to process and digest food. Because alcohol interferes with normal digestion processes, your bodies can be saddled with the excess “sludge” that can accumulated over a period of time. As your body rids itself of alcohol, your body naturally will find ways to force this excess out of your body in order to restore balance.

Insomnia

As stated earlier in this article, chronic alcohol consumption significantly disrupts normal and healthy sleep patterns. This occurs as a result of alcohol inhibiting specific neurotransmitters that are important to sleep regulation. Not only does alcohol disrupt crucial REM sleep, it can also increase the chances of the development of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the upper air passage narrows or closes during sleep causing one to awake many times during the night gasping for air. Since alcohol has sedative effects, the muscles of the upper air passage are affected, and as a result snoring is increased and sleep quality and total sleep time are reduced.

Sweating

Alcohol affects the central nervous system, the circulatory system, and virtually every part of your body. Drinking can increase your heart rate and dilate the blood vessels in your skin which can cause you to perspire. If you abuse alcohol, you can experience a phenomenon called night sweats during withdrawal. As with other symptoms of detox, night sweats, although unpleasant, is a way in which the body is attempting to regulate itself as alcohol gradually leaves your system.

Alcohol Detoxification is Essential to Long-Term Recovery

While the symptoms of alcohol can be unpleasant and uncomfortable to endure, undergoing alcohol detoxification at a reputable and safe drug treatment facility will help reduce the complications associated with alcohol withdrawal. As one of the premier alcohol detox programs in Southern California, SoCal Detox offers alcohol detox programs that can be individually tailored to meet your specific needs. For more information on how alcohol detoxification can benefit your recovery, call SoCal Detox toll-free today.

alcoholic man

What Does Quality Alcohol Detox consist of?

For those who are in the grips of alcohol abuse, finding the appropriate professional help is absolutely essential in order to fully address and overcome addiction. Long-term recovery from alcohol addiction consists of several essential steps, and the first and perhaps most important step is undergoing a quality medical detoxification program. Detoxification allows clients who gradually rid the body of the toxins that have accumulated after long periods of chronic abuse and allows them to regain their health and vitality. Once the detox process has been completed, people are fully ready to tackle the underlying causes of their alcohol addiction through intensive drug treatment and aftercare programming.

women alcoholic

Why Do I Need Alcohol Detox? Can’t I Just Quit Cold Turkey?

When you are ready to enter an alcohol treatment program, you may fear the detoxification process because of the discomfort and pain you will endure. As a result, you may feel that you can detox on your own by quitting alcohol together or by utilizing some method of self-detoxification. While these self-administered methods may seem appealing, they are very risky and can pose significant health risks.

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you can experience the following symptoms:

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • rapid heart rate
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting

While the majority of alcohol withdrawal symptoms peak within 24 to 72 hours, withdrawal symptoms can be felt for weeks after you have taken your last drink. If your alcoholism in chronic and severe, you can also run the risk of developing a condition called delirium tremens. This is a serious condition in which you can experience high fever, hallucinations and seizures and even death.

For those reasons, an alcohol detox program is a necessity. Under the strict supervision of experienced treatment staff. You will receive the expert medical care and support  in a safe and inviting environment that you need in order to make the alcohol detox process more tolerable.

What Are the Essential Parts of a Quality Alcohol Detox Program?

When you are looking for an alcohol detoxification program to begin the recovery process, there are several essential components must be present. The following are important considerations that you must keep in mind in your search:

Where is the Detox Program Located?

When you are looking for a quality alcohol detox program, you ideally want to find a program that is located in your hometown or in a location in a neighboring town if possible. An advantage of finding an alcohol detox program nearby is the fact that you would be familiar with your surroundings and that you can have immediate support from family and friends.

However, you may want to consider an alcohol detox program that is located in a city that is farther away or even in another state or part of the country. This would be the most ideal option if you don’t have strong support from family and friends and if your home environment provides too many distractions that can cause you to relapse. Receiving detox treatment in a new and neutral location will allow you get the fresh start that you need.

Is the Detox Facility Secure and Safe?

Another important component in a quality alcohol detox facility is looking at the facility itself. The alcohol detox center you go to has to be clean, safe, and features strict supervision around the clock by experienced and licensed treatment staff. The health and safety of both the addict and the staff should be top priority. The staff that is employed at the alcohol detox center you are visiting needs to have  many years of experience in dealing with the attitudes and behaviors associated with alcohol addiction and be able to handle any situation calmly and with a high degree of professionalism as well as compassion.

Are the Detox Programs Offered Effective and Proven to Work?

When you make the commitment to enter an alcohol detox program, you are making a considerable commitment of both your time and money. First and foremost, you need to make sure that the alcohol detox program employs methods that are proven to work and backed by solid research. Additionally, the alcohol detox program that you are considering needs to feature staff who can create an individualized program that fits your specific needs. These individualized treatment plans should be drawn from a wide range of interventions including medication therapy, nutritional therapy, physical exercise programs, holistic therapy and other interventions.

Does the Alcohol Detox Facility Have Dual Diagnosis Evaluation?

More often than not, alcohol abuse it of itself is a symptom of a deeper psychological issue. These underlying causes of addiction must be fully addressed and dealt with in order for you to fully overcome your addiction to alcohol. The staff at the best alcohol detox facilities perform a comprehensive evaluation that focus on diagnosing any co-occurring disorders that you may have. In the event that you are diagnosed with a co-occurring mental disorder, treatment staff will be able to address those issues when you complete detox and enter more intensive and formal drug treatment.

Will the Alcohol Detox Facility Accept Multiple Forms Of Payment?

Perhaps the most important component of a quality alcohol detox program is its’ cost and offering multiple ways to pay for their services. Many of the best alcohol detox facilities offer their services to anyone who seeks them regardless of their ability to pay. In the event that you are underinsured or uninsured, alcohol detox facilities should over alternative forms of payment including sliding fee scales, alternative payment arrangements, and some may even feature financial assistance.

Start Your Road to Recovery the Right Way With Help from SoCal Detox

There can be considerable stress and worry in your search for a quality alcohol detox facility. As one of the premier detox centers in Southern California, SoCal Detox offers alcohol detox programs that are proven to work and will give you a strong foundation to build a meaningful long-term recovery. Call SoCal Detox toll-free today and start creating a new and healthier you.

California

California Revamping Medi-Cal Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment

The biggest obstacle that stands in the way of people who are seeking addiction treatment is the lack of resources. Of all who are affected by substance abuse, those who are low income are often at the biggest disadvantage. Not only is the cost of quality drug treatment out of reach in most cases, those who are fortunate to find help are often severely restricted in regards to the types of treatment and services they can receive. These barriers to recovery often will lead those with limited means to cycle through various treatment centers, jails and hospitals in order to try and get the help they need.

In California, efforts are currently underway to completely overhaul the addiction treatment system for low-income people. The state is the first in the entire country to receive permission from the government to revamp drug and alcohol treatment for those who receive Medicaid, also known as Medi-Cal in California. Through what’s known as a drug waiver, state officials will have new spending flexibility in their attempt to improve treatment outcomes as well as reduce the social and financial costs associated with drug and alcohol addiction.

California Republic

How the Medi-Cal Overhaul Will Help Improve Access To Treatment

The revamping of Medi-Cal will have tremendous benefits for those on Medicaid who need drug treatment services. Under this waiver, the state of California is planning to expand addiction treatment services in several critical areas. Among these changes includes the expansion of inpatient care options as well as increased case management, recovery services as well as increasing the number of available medications that are used to help detoxification efforts. Effective this year, drug treatment centers across California will be able to get reimbursed for providing this much wider range of options to people on Medi-Cal.

Those who receive Medi-Cal and need addiction treatment services will have access to up to two 90-day residential stays annually, and can get a possible 30-day extension depending on the severity of their addiction. The Medi-Cal overhaul will also allow those in the criminal justice system and others in vulnerable populations to stay in treatment for longer stays. While their is no specific cost estimate available, many officials believe that the changes in Medi-Cal in regards to drug treatment will help lower the overall cost of healthcare by focusing on relapse prevention and overall health.

Additionally, the drug waiver will also help improve communication and coordination of addiction services, mental health services and medical services. The implementation of the waiver will begin in January and will first roll out in the counties of the Bay Area before being introduced to Los Angeles and Orange counties later on in the year.

A Change That Has Been A Long Time Coming

The overhaul of California’s Medi-Cal program may be the start of changes on a nationwide level. According to statistics provided by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 14% of Medicaid beneficiaries likely have a substance use disorder. However, only a small fraction of those people will receive the quality drug treatment they need to effectively address their substance abuse. This is due in large part of the substantive restrictions placed on the types of services that are covered by Medicaid.

Among the federal rules that restricted access to treatment included the following:

  • general limits of a drug treatment center’s ability to be reimbursed under Medicaid.
  • Intensive treatment and residential care was only made available to pregnant and postpartum women.
  • Clinics with more than 16 beds were not eligible to get reimbursement.

With these changes in Medi-Cal in California, substance abuse disorders will be treated like as a disease rather than a short-term illness. Up until the overhaul, substance abuse was treated in an acute fashion even though it has long been known through research that substance abuse is a progressive and chronic condition.

While the Medi-Cal overhaul is a positive step, the success of this overhaul is highly dependent on reimbursement rates which have yet to be set. The change in policy is expected to bring in large numbers of people to treatment facilities, and many of these people will be seeking treatment for the first time. With the projected significant increase in treatment admissions, there is concern that if rates are not adequate, the overall quality of treatment will suffer and people will not receive the care they need. Despite concerns, the change in Medi-Cal will hopefully signal the start of easier treatment access.

Make A Commitment to Recovery

This year can be a transformative year for you if you are struggling with substance abuse. If you are truly ready to make the commitment to your recovery, help is closer than you think. At SoCal Detox, we offer a wide variety of effective treatment programs that will give you a solid foundation for long-term and lasting recovery. Call SoCal Detox today.