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5 Ways Medical Detox Treatment Improves Your Success Rate

The success rate for many drug rehab programs is less than 25%, but 90-day programs at medical detox centers often have higher success rates. The National Institute of Drug Abuse says that rehab programs lasting fewer than 90 days are often of limited effectiveness, and that longer programs are linked to higher success rates and more positive outcomes. When a medical detox is included as part of a 90-day treatment program, patients face an even lower risk for relapse, and can withdraw from drugs and alcohol more safely while surrounded by medical staff 24/7.

Here’s a close look at the benefits of a medical detox treatment, and at how this treatment can improve your recovery success rate while decreasing your chance for a relapse.

Why Detoxing at Home Isn’t Your Best Option

Detoxing at home may seem like the easiest, most inexpensive way to overcome drug and alcohol addiction without any hassles. You may think that detoxing at home will be painful and tough to endure for a short while, and you can resume normal life as a sober individual within just a few weeks. But detoxing at home is often risky and highly dangerous, and significantly increases your chance for relapse, overdose, and death.

Quitting drugs and alcohol abruptly can send your body into severe withdrawal that can lead to other serious health complications. For instance, people who quit cold turkey after struggling with alcohol addiction for many years can experience a severe form of withdrawal called delirium tremens that causes seizures and hallucinations. Vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea are also common drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms that can increase the risk for problems like dehydration and malnutrition.

At-home detox kits are also mostly ineffective at treating addiction since these products only flush drugs and alcohol from the body, and do nothing to relieve withdrawal symptoms. A large number of at-home detox kits are not regulated or approved by the FDA, and may have adverse effects on those who have pre-existing medical conditions.

All in all, detoxing at home may be able to help you flush toxins from your body, but often does nothing to address the true root cause of your substance use disorder. Detoxing at a medical detox center can help you stay safe, and prevent you from relapsing.

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5 Ways Medical Detox Treatment Improves Recovery Rate

Detox is always the first stage of addiction treatment, and helps you overcome physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. Detox is not a standalone cure for addiction, but remains an essential component of addiction treatment in every service setting. A medical detox is a type of detox program in which you withdraw from drugs and alcohol in a safe, controlled medical environment surrounded by experienced medical staff who monitor your vitals and lower the risk for complications.

A medical detox is available at many inpatient and residential drug rehab centers, and may involve the use of medications that can minimize or completely eliminate all your withdrawal symptoms.

Here are five ways a medical detox can improve your recovery rate, and increase your odds of becoming a sober individual for the rest of your life.

1. You Experience a More Comfortable Withdrawal

People who quit cold turkey or who use at-home detox kits will experience a wide range of mild to severe withdrawal symptoms until all traces of drugs and alcohol have left the body. Symptoms will vary from one person to the next based on the drug being used, and on the severity of the addiction. Going through drug and alcohol withdrawal is often compared to getting the flu, and may be accompanied by additional symptoms such as depression, seizures, and delusions.

Many times, withdrawal symptoms are severe to the point that people relapse just to make their symptoms go away. Withdrawal can be incredibly painful and difficult to endure, which is why a medical detox is often the recommended course of treatment. Certain medications can relieve some or all withdrawal symptoms, and make for a safer, more comfortable recovery.

A medical detox that uses medications to relieve symptoms is also sometimes known as medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. Studies show that MAT increases retention in treatment, and that patients who receive MAT are more likely to remain in therapy and stay sober. MAT is currently one of the most effective treatments for heroin and painkiller addiction.

A recent study showed that 61% of opioid patients who received MAT were still sober 3.5 years after beginning treatment.

2. You Gain 24/7 Access to Care and Support

Detoxing at home can be a really scary experience for some — especially for those who have never experienced symptoms like hallucinations, seizures, and bone pain, and who have no idea how to prepare or what to expect. Many drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating, and make it difficult for you to move around and take care of yourself during your recovery. Withdrawal symptoms can make you feel sick to the point that you lack strength to eat properly and nourish your body as needed to successfully get through detox.

A medical detox treatment often lasts an average of two weeks, and takes place in an inpatient or residential rehab setting. With a medical detox, you gain 24/7 access to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who can address any complications as they arise, and also help prevent potential complications. If at any point you feel unusually sick during withdrawal, or have concerns over certain symptoms, a nurse or doctor can immediately intervene and offer care as needed.

Withdrawing from drugs and alcohol can drain you just as much mentally as it does physically. An added benefit to having a medical detox at an inpatient facility is gaining access to counselors who can offer you emotional support during withdrawal. If you need to talk about your feelings, or need help addressing depression and anxiety as it relates to your addiction, a counselor can step in at any time to offer you guidance and help you stay on track with recovery.

3. You Can Begin Therapy Right Away

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Therapy offered in medical detox will help you overcome the desire to use drugs.

Detox only helps you overcome physical dependency on drugs and alcohol, and doesn’t treat the reasons you started using drugs and alcohol in the first place. After you go through detox, you may still have tendencies to use drugs and alcohol due to negative habits and behaviors that became part of your lifestyle. If you try overcoming addiction on your own at home, you face the risk of falling back into previous habits if you also lack the skills needed to handle your triggers.

Rehab centers that offer a medical detox usually also offer therapy. Therapy teaches you how to identify and overcome triggers, and how to change negative thoughts and behaviors that influence you to use drugs and alcohol. As soon as your withdrawal symptoms dissipate, you can immediately start receiving therapy to overcome the mental and psychological root causes of your addiction.

Patients with opioid use disorder who receive MAT can usually begin therapy at the same time as starting MAT, since MAT eliminates all opioid withdrawal symptoms. Patients receiving MAT can avoid symptoms like insomnia, headaches, and nausea that can interfere with therapy and all other daily activities. The sooner you can start receiving therapy, the greater your success rate will be since you can quickly learn skills that help you stay sober.

4. You Can Establish a New Daily Routine

Part of overcoming addiction is being able to establish a new daily routine that doesn’t support the use of drugs and alcohol. If you’re serious about becoming sober, you’ll need to find new healthy activities and interests that fill your spare time such as exercise, art, and cooking. Sometimes it can be difficult to establish a new routine on your own if your current lifestyle has been built around prioritizing drug and alcohol use.

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Medical detox centers will help you get into a new healthy routine after overcoming drug and alcohol dependence. Your days may consist of therapy, counseling, and support group meetings, and recreational activities such as dancing and hiking that can teach you how to have fun without drugs and alcohol. A 90-day rehab program gives you plenty of time in which you can learn how to live a healthy, structured life as a sober individual.

Throughout your recovery, your counselors and therapists will teach you how to replace thoughts about drug use with other activities that are far healthier and more productive. Some medical detox centers will even help you transition to sober living facilities to ensure you can stick to maintaining a healthy routine. As long as you feel dedicated and motivated about your sobriety, your new daily routine will keep you happily busy and occupied for years to come.

5. You Can Build a Strong Support Team

Fighting addiction can be tough to do on your own without having people by your side who want to see you succeed. Friends can be there to calm you down when stressful moments have you reaching for a beer, while family can support your sobriety by keeping drugs and alcohol out of the home. But unfortunately, not everyone has access to drug addiction help and a strong support team to fall back on when they’ve decided to get help for their substance use disorder.

The staff at medical detox centers understand how important a support team can be for your sobriety. Beginning with the first day of detox treatment, you can speak with counselors and therapists who can help you feel more confident, motivated, and excited about getting sober. Many medical detox centers offer 12-step support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous so you can widen your chances of meeting people who share your same compassion about maintaining sobriety.

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As you work your way through a 90-day medical detox program, you’ll most likely end up meeting people who become part of your support system, and who become part of your life indefinitely following rehab. A 2007 membership survey by Alcoholics Anonymous found that the 12-step support group program helped 33% of its North American members stay sober for more than 10 years. Your therapists can even work with you on mending relationships with close friends and family members ready to aid you in your fight against addiction.

Steps in Addiction Treatment after Medical Detox

When recovering from addiction, keep in mind that a medical detox is only the first stage of treatment, and that additional therapies are needed to help you stay sober in the long run. Detox, therapy, and aftercare are all essential components of addiction treatment that can help you combat and overcome your substance use disorder as a whole.

Look for medical detox centers that offer the following:

  • 90-day programs
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Aftercare

Individual therapy helps you identify when and why you initially started using drugs and alcohol, and teaches you how to manage stress and triggers that could lead to relapse. Many times, individual therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which teaches you how to replace negative thoughts and behaviors with healthier, more positive counterparts. Group therapy allows you to interact with others who may share similar struggles with addiction, while family therapy helps you repair relationships that may have severed due to addiction.

Aftercare programs offer all these therapies on an ongoing basis after you leave rehab so you can continue to stay sober in the months and years ahead. In addition to therapy and support groups, medical detox centers may offer relapse prevention training to keep you educated about drugs, relapse, and new stress-management techniques.

Local Treatment Facilities Available

Use our rehab directory to find local medical detox centers in your city and state. Click the “Details” link next to any rehab listing to find out whether the facility offers inpatient medical detox, and read reviews posted by patients, their families, and rehab staff members. If you need help recovering from heroin or painkiller addiction, select our live chat option for help with finding medical detox centers that also offer MAT.

Before you try detoxing at home, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak in private with an addiction specialist who can offer drug addiction help. We’ll help you find affordable medical detox centers that offer all the treatments you need to successfully overcome addiction for good.

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