24-hour medical supervision
Medical detoxification is a process designed to provide patients a safe, medically supervised withdrawal from addictive drugs or alcohol. Physicians experienced with or trained in addiction treatment provide 24-hour monitoring and can administer medication if needed to manage uncomfortable or serious withdrawal symptoms.
Many people begin taking drugs as an escape mechanism to avoid emotional distress, family dysfunction, or financial problems, and one important aspect of rehabilitation programs is to teach the individual how to function in these day-to-day situations without needing drugs as a crutch. For this reason, it is important that the detoxification process be followed by enrollment in a rehabilitation center in order to ensure complete and lasting recovery.
Each treatment facility has their own approach and protocols for treatment, but these programs can be tailored to address the specific needs of each individual based on the substance being abuse, duration of the addiction and other factors such as psychosocial issues, co-existing medical conditions, psychiatric problems and age. Detoxification can be done in an outpatient or inpatient basis; however, studies show that inpatient facilities provide higher success rates. Inpatient detoxification also provides the patient a sense of security that can be beneficial in the recovery process.
In comparison, outpatient detox is less demanding on the patient’s lifestyle and is less expensive, while inpatient detox is considered disruptive because it removes the person from their daily routine in order to avoid exposure to drugs and other factors that contributed to the addiction. Inpatient detox is preferable for those who have been using addictive substances heavily for long periods of time and may require medication to manage intense withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient detox is also advisable for those who have co-occurring physical or emotional problems that will require careful monitoring.