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Category Archive: Detox

  1. How long does it take to medically detox?

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    Are you or a loved one engaged in regular, heavy drinking or drug use? Have you recently tried to quit drinking or using but found that you could not stop without getting sick or experiencing discomfort? If so, you are probably a good candidate to consider medical detox from drug or alcohol dependence. 

     

    What is Detox?

    Detox is not rehab. Although detox is often pursued as an option for people intending to then go to rehab or another type of treatment facility, detox is also available to those who are unable to attend a drug or alcohol rehab program. 

    Known to the medical community as “alcohol and drug detoxification,” detox is a safe and clinically-managed method of treatment used to help heavy drinkers and alcoholics safely quit using over a period of days. It is often achieved with the assistance of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines.

     

    Do I Need to Go to Detox?

    The question of whether or not you need to enter a detox facility depends on several factors. The most important question, however, is whether or not you have become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol.

    When someone is engaged in repeated heavy drinking or drug use, their brain chemistry can become changed. Common evidence of this change in brain chemistry is an increased “tolerance,” which is to say that the individual can use a greater quantity of alcohol or drugs before appearing drunk or blacking out. 

    Eventually, the brain develops a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol so that, when the individual abruptly stops, withdrawal symptoms occur. These symptoms can be dangerous or even deadly, and they often require that the individual enter detox in order to quit safely.

    If you are an addict or alcoholic or are otherwise physically dependent substances, is important to understand that quitting on your own is dangerous and potentially deadly. Studies indicate that quitting is fatal for as many as 5% of addicts and alcoholics who try quitting without the help of medical detox or rehab. 

     

    How Long Does an Individual Stay in a Detox Facility?

    In general, medical detox from drugs like opiates and benzodiazepines may take several days, and detox from alcohol may take up to two or more weeks. Each case is different, however, depending on factors such as the quantity of drugs used and the individual’s broader history of addiction or alcoholism. 

    If you believe you may be physically dependent on alcohol or drugs or have experienced withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking or using, it is important that you seek medical help as soon as possible. Contact us to discuss your situation as well as options for detox and/or enrollment in a rehab program. We look forward to speaking with you.

  2. Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Overdose

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    Opiates and opioids are drugs and medications used, primarily, in the treatment of pain. There are many types of opiates and opioids, from pharmaceuticals to recreational drugs. They include oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, heroin, and others

    All individuals taking opiates or opioids, both prescription and nonprescription, are at risk for overdose and for becoming addicted. This is why rehab for opioid and opiate use is so often a life-saving resource for individuals caught up in the disease of addiction.

     

    What Causes Overdose?

    Causes of opioid overdose include substance use disorder (i.e. drug addiction), unintentional overdose, intentional overdose, and therapeutic drug error. If you or a loved one are engaged in using opiates, either recreationally or as-prescribed, it is important for you to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose as well as what to do should such a situation occur.

    Individuals suffering from opioid overdose may exhibit a variety of symptoms. If you believe a loved one or acquaintance has overdosed, it is incredibly important that they receive medical attention as soon as possible. Overdose from opiates and opioids like oxycodone, heroin and fentanyl can be deadly for addicts and non-addicts alike. 

     

    Signs and Symptoms

    People overdosing on opiates and opioids often appear tired, and their breathing and nervous system response may be depressed. Other symptoms of overdose to look out for include anxiety, nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils, and itchy and flushed skin due to a histamine response to the drugs. 

    If you observe these symptoms in someone you believe is at risk for opioid overdose, it is important that you seek medical help immediately. This is especially true if the individual has a history of addiction or opiate overuse.

     

    What to Do If You Witness an Opioid Overdose

    Opioid overdose is incredibly dangerous and can be deadly. In the event that you witness someone overdosing, it is important that you are knowledgeable and prepared and act quickly. 

    Naloxone is a drug that reverses opioid overdose, oftentimes saving the life of the overdosed individual when administered in time. It is sold as a nasal spray under the brand name Narcan. Narcan easy to administer, in most cases, obtainable from a pharmacy with or without a doctor’s prescription. 

     

    Outside Help is Available

    If you are struggling with heroin use or believe you may be addicted to prescription opioids like oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, or codeine, there is outside help available. Quitting opioids can be incredibly difficult, and rehab is an often necessary resource for individuals seeking to overcome their opiate addiction. Contact us today to discuss your options for inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and other recovery resources.

  3. What is alcohol detox?

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    Alcohol detoxification (or “detox”) is a safe and clinically-managed method of treatment used to help heavy drinkers and alcoholics safely stop drinking. It is achieved by slowly weaning the individual off alcohol or, more commonly, with the assistance of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines.

    If you or someone you know is engaged in regular heavy drinking or has recently tried to quit drinking alcohol and suffered symptoms of withdraw, medical detox and rehab or rehabilitation can be a necessary and life-saving resource. This is true even for individuals who have not been diagnosed or do not otherwise identify as alcoholic or drug addict.

     

    What Is Physical Dependence on Alcohol?

    Alcohol dependence is increasingly common and is one of the most often diagnosed psychiatric conditions in the world. When someone is engaged in repeated, heavy drinking or suffers  from alcoholism, their brain chemistry can become changed. Common evidence of this change in brain chemistry is an increased “tolerance”  to alcohol, i.e. the individual can drink a higher quantity of alcohol before appearing drunk or blacking out. 

    Eventually, the brain develops a physical dependence on alcohol in order to keep its chemical functions balanced and active. Then, when the individual abruptly stops consuming alcohol, withdrawal symptoms occur. These symptoms are often unpleasant and dangerous, and they can be deadly.

    Chemical dependence is also possible in cases of drug addiction. Depending on the substances involved, quitting may require detox and/or drug rehab in these cases as well.

     

    Withdrawal: The Dangers of Quitting Drinking on Your Own

    If you are physically dependent on alcohol, quitting on your own is dangerous and potentially deadly. Symptoms due to alcohol withdrawal syndrome include:

    • Sweating
    • Anxiety
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Headaches
    • Insomnia and fatigue
    • Mood swings
    • Depression
    • Loss of appetite
    • Shakiness or “delirium tremens”
    • Death

    Studies indicate that quitting is fatal for as many as 5% of alcohol-dependent drinkers who try to stop drinking without the help of detox or rehab. Death is most commonly the result of severe shakiness or seizures, otherwise known as “delirium tremens.” Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, including delirium tremens, may begin anywhere from 6 to 24 hours after alcohol consumption has been abruptly stopped. 

     

    Help is Available

    If you believe you may be physically dependent on alcohol or have experienced withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking, it is important that you seek medical help as soon as possible. The same is true  if you believe you may suffer from drug addiction and are physically dependent on other drugs. Contact us to discuss your options for stopping alcohol or drug use without the risks of withdrawal, including detox, hospitalization, and enrollment in a rehab/rehabilitation program.