Detoxification, or detox, is one of the most difficult aspects of addiction treatment. Detox starts right after the last time you use drugs and is not over until the drug has been completely eliminated from your body. When you have been supplying your body with drugs for a long period of time and then stop using, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Understand what detox is like, what your options are, and make sure you have medical assistance for this challenging but crucial part of getting sober.
Doc Talk: All About Detoxification
By: Dr. Jason Powers
Title: Chief Medical Officer, The Right Step and Spirit Lodge
Info: Among the first doctors certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). H Magazine Texas’ “Top Doc” in Addiction Medicine, 2007-2009. 2008 winner of Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving, Compassion Award.
Dr. Powers, The Right Step Chief Medical Officer, has worked in addiction recovery for eight years and has helped The Right Step’s inpatient detoxification program reach out to, and reform, hundreds of addicts over the years. We asked him to share some information on detoxification for addiction victims and their loved ones.
The decision to end an addiction is a life-changing one and, the easier that process is, the sooner patients will be able to move forward with the process of healing. The Right Step offers both inpatient and outpatient medically supervised detoxification programs. Our experienced staff specializes in the detoxification and treatment of alcohol addiction, benzodiazepine addiction, opiates, prescription medication, and the complexities of poly-substance dependence.
The basic process for our medically supervised detox programs is:
Patients are evaluated by our chemical dependency professionals who determine the patients’ needs, such as whether they require inpatient care or whether they can stay at home and go through our outpatient program. Our staff also discovers if a patient suffers from additional co-morbidities such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, chronic pain issues, or other risk factors so that we may treat all simultaneously for the best outcomes.
A common phrase in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is “It Works If You Work It.” AA, to my knowledge, is the world’s most well attended 12 Step organization and the originator of the 12 Step self help programs. Other programs followed similar 12 Step philosophy such as Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Sex Addict Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Alanon, etc.