When you abuse an addictive substance — like alcohol, opioids, or other drugs — your body becomes dependent on the drug. You build up a tolerance as toxins accumulate in your system, and when you stop using the substance your body begins to detoxify and cleanse itself.
Detox is an important step when kicking substance abuse, but it’s a complex process. It can be dangerous to go “cold turkey” and stop using drugs or alcohol on your own, which is why a detox program is a safer way to start recovery.
Inpatient detox programs can be very effective, but temporarily leaving your job and your life isn’t always a realistic option. At Headrick Medical Center, Daniel J. Headrick, MD, and our team offer an effective, flexible alternative: outpatient detox.
It might be more convenient than inpatient detox, but it still requires commitment and dedication. If you’re considering outpatient detox, here are some tips to help you stay successful throughout the process.
Detoxing is the first step of recovering from addiction. It’s the period of time after you stop using a substance when your body naturally rids itself of the toxins that have built up in your system.
This cleansing process triggers withdrawal, which is a combination of physical and mental symptoms that happen when you stop using drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can be intense, so it’s important to know what to expect before you start outpatient detox.
Common symptoms of withdrawal include:
Some substances, like alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids, can cause more severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop using. Withdrawal from certain substances may increase your risk of seizure, which could be life-threatening.
Outpatient detox can be easier to fit into your life than an inpatient program because you don’t have to take time off work or move out of your house for any period of time. That doesn’t mean it takes less dedication, however.
During outpatient detox, you need to attend regular medical appointments at Headrick Medical Center. We generally recommend bi-weekly checkups, as well as frequent urine screenings, to help you stay accountable.
We offer medication management as part of the detox program. Depending on your medical history and substance abuse, we might prescribe Suboxone® to relieve some withdrawal symptoms. Other therapies, like IV vitamin therapy or NAD+ IV therapy, could help replenish and fuel your body during detox.
The physical symptoms of withdrawal and detoxing can last up to one week, but the mental symptoms can persist much longer. Treating your physical symptoms is an important part of outpatient detox, but your mental health shouldn’t be overlooked.
That’s why your detox program includes individual and group therapy sessions. In individual sessions, your counselor helps you make lasting lifestyle changes to support recovery. In your group sessions, you’ll find a support network of people who understand exactly what you’re going through.
Withdrawal is physically and emotionally demanding, but detoxification is an essential step in your recovery journey. As the physical dependence begins to fade, you’re better able to focus on counseling to improve the mental symptoms.
Our team at Headrick Medical Center is here for you every step of the way. Once your detox program is complete, we help you transition to a long-term recovery plan.
Recovery from substance abuse is possible. To find out if outpatient detox at Headrick Medical Center is right for you, schedule a consultation today. Contact us online or call our San Juan Capistrano, California, office at 949-220-2412.