Drugs that Require a Medical Detox

If you suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction, you might be tempted to quit using drugs cold turkey. However, quitting suddenly can be very dangerous and a shock to your system. That’s why the first step toward addiction recovery is detox. This allows your body to remove toxins from drug and alcohol use so that you can begin your therapy and treatment with a clear mind and healthy body.

When you go through medical detox, there’s a team of addiction specialists and medical professionals monitoring you to ensure you stay safe and healthy. Medications can also be prescribed to ease your withdrawal symptoms.

Almost all drugs from drug use require detox.

Drugs that Require Detox

The below drugs all require medical detox. Trying to quit any of them without the help and support of a substance abuse facility can result in serious health complications, including severe dehydration or seizures. 

  • Alcohol
  • Adderall
  • Benzos
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Kratom
  • Meth
  • Opioids
  • Xanax

If you use any of the above drugs, you might be a candidate for medical detox

What is Medically Assisted Detox?

Many of the above-mentioned drugs require medically assisted detox. This is true whether you are experiencing alcohol detox from alcohol use disorder, opioid withdrawal symptoms, or prescription drug withdrawal. 

Medically assisted detox provides you with medications that can help to reduce the severity of your symptoms to make you more comfortable. 

The most commonly prescribed medications during medical detox include methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. Each of these medications works in a slightly different way and your medical team will know which one is the best for you.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include the below. The exact type of withdrawal symptoms you have and the length of time they last will depend on your current health, duration of use, and type of drug being used. 

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle weakness and tremors
  • Severe headaches
  • Paranoia or confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating, fever, and chills
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens
  • Hallucinations
  • Flashbacks

The above symptoms can affect anyone who has a substance use disorder and is withdrawing from a wide range of drugs, including alcohol addiction, opioid addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, and many others previously mentioned.

Withdrawal Phases During Medical Detox

There are several phases to drug detox, including early withdrawal and acute withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal is much less common, but can be extremely severe when it does occur. 

Early Withdrawal

During the early withdrawal phase of medical detox, symptoms will begin within a few hours to days from when the drugs were last used. Many people will experience anxiety, nausea, and headaches. 

Acute Withdrawal Phase

The acute withdrawal phase begins shortly after the early withdrawal phase, sometimes as soon as a few hours after. This includes more serious symptoms such as hallucinations, vomiting, muscle weakness, seizures, confusion, and many others. 

The severity of symptoms will vary based on which drugs were used. 

Protracted Withdrawal

The protracted withdrawal phase is rare and affects up to 10 percent of individuals. Symptoms can last for years and include anxiety, arm and leg tingling, and difficulty sleeping. 

Withdrawal Timeline

Most people will experience withdrawal symptoms from drug abuse within 24 of when they last took the drug. These symptoms will begin as mild, including headaches and nausea. By 72 hours, more severe symptoms usually take effect. Physical symptoms can last up to one week and will vary based on each person’s health, drugs used, and length of use. 

Emotional symptoms such as anxiety and changes in mood can last for several weeks.

What To Expect From Medical Detox

It can feel overwhelming to begin an addiction treatment and start your medical detox, but the best drug rehab facility will help you feel comfortable and supported. When you first begin, staff will conduct a detailed medical history. 

Once the detox takes place, a medical team will monitor your symptoms around the clock so that you stay healthy and safe. If the withdrawal symptoms become severe, medications can be prescribed. 

After your medical detox is complete, you can begin your inpatient treatment program to address the underlying causes of your addiction and begin therapy.

Get Substance Abuse Treatment Today

Enlight Treatment Center in Ventura, California provides effective therapies and treatments that enable clients to fully concentrate on solving their addiction issues and regain hope and optimism about their future. In addition to medical detox, we also offer inpatient rehab programs and dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions. 

If you or a loved one has a drug or alcohol addiction, were are here to help. 

- Reviewed by Lilit Asulyan, Psy. D

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