Why do some facilities offer medical detox and others say medically managed detox and how do I know what detox is best for my drug and alcohol addiction?
Drug and alcohol addiction are chronic, progressive diseases that can be interrupted by beginning with detoxification. Detox is the removing of toxins (poisons or harmful things like drugs and alcohol) from the body. Medical detox means that the detoxification process is done under medical supervision. Without medical care, withdrawal symptoms from drug and alcohol addiction can be unpleasant, dangerous and even life-threatening.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), a medical detox is provided through an inpatient setting and is used to treat severe cases of drug and alcohol withdrawal. Individuals requiring this level of treatment require 24-hour nursing care and daily physician or provider visitation, evaluation, and withdrawal management. Typically, medical detox takes place in a licensed health care facility, rehabilitation center or a freestanding detoxification center.
Medically managed detox is typically provided on an outpatient setting where individuals do not require 24-hour nursing care. It is considered to be an ambulatory detox as people reside at home and come see a physician once a day or once a week as determined by their detox protocol.
Oftentimes, individuals attempt outpatient detox initially as they do not have to uproot their lives or stop working while still receiving supervised detox. This is a good option to consider for individuals who have a drug dependence as opposed to a drug addiction. People with a strong support system surrounding them have a better chance at thriving in this type of setting.
Unfortunately, many people fail in medically managed detox as their withdrawal symptoms may be so uncomfortable that they either abuse their detox medications or return to drinking or their drug of choice.
Be honest with yourself and ask yourself the following questions when considering medically managed detox:
· How many times have I successfully detoxed while still having access to people, places and things?
· Am I drug dependent or do I have a drug or alcohol addiction?
· What supports do I have in place that will increase my chances of adherence to this program?
· Is there anyone I can be honest with as thought of drinking or drug use arise?
· Is this a safe option for me?
When taking an honest inventory, you will be able to identify which level of care is the most appropriate given your circumstances. For more information on medical detox, please contact Revive Detox at (844) 467-3848.
Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley is the CEO and Founder of Revive Detox, a Joint Commission Accredited and Legit Script Certified Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in Los Angeles in 2007 and has extensive experience working in the addiction and recovery field and the LGBT community. To learn more about Dr. Calvert-Conley click here.