What is Involved in a Hospital Detox Program
For many people drug and alcohol addiction is very real. This disease is a complicated and chronic one, which requires extensive treatment. It is also very dangerous to the health and well-being of everyone that gets involved with it. Tens of thousands of people die every year from overdosing on illicit drugs. When your existence is endangered by drug or alcohol abuse, a hospital detox program may be necessary to save your life.
Guidelines for Admittance
A hospital detox program, more commonly called medical detoxification, is detox program administered in a hospital on an inpatient basis. As such, there are specific guidelines that must be followed to ensure that people that need the most help get it in a timely manner. This is known as triage. According to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, there are a number of thresholds that must be met in order to be admitted for detox. These include:
- whether or not the patient’s life is at risk due to toxic levels of drugs or alcohol (if not, the patient is typically referred to another treatment center)
- whether or not the patient needs observation (if so they are put under 48 hour observation, if not they are moved to a managed care area)
- positive urinalysis and blood tests for drugs or alcohol
- a doctor’s determination of the need for medical detoxification
These guidelines are set to ensure that the people that need the most help get it in a timely manner. If you do not meet these guidelines, you should consider entering a different detox program.
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Once admitted to the hospital the procedures performed will vary greatly, depending on the nature of your substance abuse, and exactly how it is threatening your life. These procedures may include:
- pumping someone’s stomach if they have ingested the drugs or alcohol,
- administration of medications to halt the effects of the drugs or alcohol,
- administration of medications to ease the physical symptoms of withdrawal,
- physical examinations and tests,
- mental health examinations and preliminary counseling, and
- referrals to treatment facilities and counseling upon release.
Any or all of these procedures may be performed depending on the needs of each individual patient.
Why it is Used
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, medical detoxification safely manages the physical symptoms of withdrawal while removing toxins related to substance abuse from the body. However, detox is only the first step in drug or alcohol treatment, and is not effective as a means of recovery, in and of itself.
If you or someone you love is endangering their life with drugs or alcohol, you should go to the hospital, and seek medical detoxification right away. Don’t wait until you are just another statistic. For more information on detox call 866-351-3840(Who Answers?) and take the first step toward recovery today.