Drug Detox Before Entering a Drug Rehab Center

Author - JD Meints | August 2, 2014

Many people often ask whether or not they'll need a period of medical drug detoxification prior to beginning their stay at a residential drug rehab center...


Among the most common questions our staff is posed, is the question regarding the need for medical detoxification and what differentiates whether or not a new patient requires this brief process prior to starting inpatient or residential treatment. We fully understand that to many, this is a new experience which typically does not come with a set of past personal experiences in which to tap into. We're here to help!

The short answer is that each person is different and thus there is never an across-the-board response.  The two primary components that determine the need for drug detox are, which substances is the patient using and to what degree in terms of quantity and regularity. While certain drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine for instance, are less likely to result in physical dependence, others like heroin, narcotic pain killers (Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, etc), benzodiazepines (Vilium, Xanax, etc) and alcohol can definitely create varying levels of physical dependence. There are of course many added variables to consider...

The two biggest variables determining the need for detoxification are, how much and how often.  With drugs like heroin or painkillers it's more common to see people using on a daily basis; however with alcohol for instance, some drinkers prefer to binge drink for a period of several days but will subsequently remain dry for days or even weeks. While the binge drinker may ingest enormous amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, the propensity for remaining dry in between his or her binges lessens the likelihood for physical dependence. Conversely, alcoholics who drink daily but at lesser amounts than the binge drinker, will typically experience a gradual increase in consumption over time, and during that progression the body will develop varying degrees of dependence.

For those who are are of the "I'll detox myself" mindset, it is important to understand that certain scenarios can actually pose potentially fatal results if not done correctly. Recent medical advancements have seen great results with drugs like Suboxone for those coming off of heroin and other opiates, but while heroin & painkiller detox can result in substantial discomfort, it is not generally viewed as a potentially fatal process if done without the use of medication. When looking at alcohol, Valium, Xanax and other benzodiazepines, however, there can be very dangerous side effects from forcing the body into detoxification without medication and physician oversight.

As a licensed residential addiction treatment center, NuLife utilizes a multi-level information process in determining the patient's need in this regard. From the initial phone call to our admission staff, on through the intake process and into the physical exam, we identify all variables that play into the patient's actual need for medical drug detox.  From that point we arrange everything from square-one and create a treatment plan around the his or her specific needs.

We pride ourselves as being a leading recovery resource throughout Los Angeles and Southern California as a whole and invite you to contact us today and speak confidentially with any of our wonderful staff. We here here for you 7 days a week at (888) 508-1179 or feel free to use our confidential online contact form.

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