Medical Withdrawal Management

Withdrawal symptoms and detox from drugs and alcohol can have a huge impact on one’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. Many drugs such as alcohol, morphine and cocaine create strong physical dependence. Withdrawal can produce intense psychological and emotional distress. Detox can actually be very dangerous and life-threatening, particularly with respect to withdrawal from alcohol or barbiturates. It is important to not go “cold turkey” from these substances.

WARNING: Seek medical supervision when detoxing from alcohol and barbiturates and any drug that has been abused for a long period of time at high doses. 

Technically, withdrawal symptoms occur when your body and brain are deprived of a drug or alcohol that they have grown dependant on. The type, intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms vary from one person to another and one substance or drug to another.

The detox experience is always difficult and hard to tolerate. Completing detox in a safe, supervised environment is more effective than struggling alone and in fact, outcomes are improved and relapse is prevented with comprehensive medically supervised detox and drug rehab.

The goal of detox is to support people during withdrawal from drugs or alcohol through the use of medications used to decrease the symptoms of withdrawal and eliminate cravings for the drug or alcohol. According to experts in the field, medically supervised detox and the appropriate use of medications during detox dramatically increases the likelihood of successful detox while minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal and cravings.

When considering a Detox (detoxification) Program look for full medical detoxification/withdrawal management services from any and all prescription or illicit drugs and or alcohol.

What Does a Successful Detox Include?

It is important to understand that just helping someone safely withdraw or detox from drugs or alcohol may not be enough to prevent relapse. According to leaders in the field, successful detox or withdrawal management services include:

  1. Evaluation and Assessment – Including a comprehensive physical assessment by a Physician or Nurse Practitioner and full testing for the presence of substances of abuse in the bloodstream, their concentration and screening for  mental health issues by mental health professionals including psychologists and psychiatrists.
  2. Stabilization – Includes medical support to help clients through the often difficult process of withdrawal from drugs and/or alcohol. Indeed, the available use of medications to support clients through acute intoxication and withdrawal to a medically stable, “clean,” drug-free state is often necessary for clients to be successful. Intense and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and cravings are what often prevent clients from getting off drugs or alcohol alone.
  3. Continued Support: It is critical to note that detox is the first step to “recovery.” It is imperative for clients to understand that psychological and Behavioural changes need to take place to prevent relapse. Detox is the first step in treatment; weather that treatment takes place in the form of long-term or short-term rehab or participation in an outclient program such as Day Treatment or Intensive Outclient Treatment, follow-up is critical post detox.