Detox, also known as detoxification or medical detox, is the first stage of treatment that sets the foundation for addiction recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), detoxification allows the body to remove alcohol or drugs while managing withdrawal symptoms.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program sets the standard for addiction treatment in Florida, including medical detox. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) jointly oversee this program.
Most people attempt to quit using drugs or alcohol cold turkey, which means to abruptly stop without help. Quitting cold turkey is inexpensive compared to detoxing with professional help. However, this method relies on willpower instead of changing brain chemistry and personal habits over time.
Moreover, a person quitting cold turkey is more likely to relapse as withdrawal symptoms become severe, especially for alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines. Florida detox is an essential aspect of addiction rehabilitation since it prepares the body for physical recovery and sets the foundation for mental recovery.
According to a 2019 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) report, the average length of stay for drug Florida detox in Florida is five days. However, the detox time varies across patients depending on different factors, including:
Opioids are drugs that interact with the brain, thereby producing effects such as pain relief and euphoria. Opioids can be either long-acting or short-acting. Long-acting opioids include Oxycodone and Fentanyl, while the short-acting ones include Codeine and Morphine.
Specific opioids may result in more severe and persistent withdrawal symptoms than other substances. Generally, short-acting opioid and heroin withdrawal symptoms may show anytime from the initial 8-12 hours after use. The withdrawal symptoms may peak within the first three days and continue for about a week, albeit with milder symptoms.
Benzodiazepines are drugs prescribed to manage anxiety, insomnia, and depression. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms from this drug varies. However, they generally last 24 hours after the last use and may last several weeks. It all depends on the Benzodiazepine the patient used and the time it will take for the body to remove the chemicals. For example, withdrawal symptoms from detoxing from Valium can last for 12 days. On the other hand, clearing Xanax from the body generally takes about 5 days.
Stimulants are drugs that increase energy and alertness. Examples of these drugs include Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Biphetamine. In most cases, stimulant withdrawal symptoms begin to show after some hours after last use. However, it may also start after several days for some people. Nonetheless, symptoms peak about a week after the start. Psychological symptoms such as depression may remain after weeks or months since last use. Withdrawal from this substance is very severe and may lead individuals to relapse or make others violent or suicidal.
Barbiturates are drugs that help the user to relax. For Barbiturates abusers, minor withdrawal symptoms generally begin from 8-12 hours from the last dose. On average, withdrawal peaks 16 hours later before lasting for up to 5 days. Still, emotional and mental withdrawal symptoms from Barbiturate may last for several months.
Hallucinogens are drugs that, when used, alter the user's awareness of time and space. Common examples include Psilocybin and LSD. For hallucinogens, signs of withdrawal start within days and may last for a week. However, symptoms such as depression and cravings may continue for more extended periods. Depression may persist after a week and even intensify. The patient might also have to deal with gaps in memory and insomnia. However, these symptoms resolve with time.
Cannabis withdrawal symptoms generally last for about a week or two, although certain users experience the symptoms for several weeks. The symptoms typically begin within the first 24-72 hours of quitting. The withdrawal symptoms from cannabis are not dangerous but may be intense enough to cause a relapse.
Alcohol detoxification takes an average of six days, according to the 2019 TEDS report. An individual that is detoxing from alcohol can develop multiple withdrawal symptoms. In some instances, the symptoms are severe. Below is the timeline for what patients typically go through during alcohol detox:
This is when the minor withdrawal symptoms from alcohol begin. Individuals with a long drinking history may even experience seizures within this time frame.
Certain persons experiencing withdrawal symptoms may begin to hallucinate 12-24 hours after the last drink.
Other withdrawal symptoms such as tremors and headaches may persist after the patient's last drink.
In extreme cases, persons in recovery go through severe withdrawal symptoms, like delirium tremens (DTs), for example. Generally, this occurs between 48 and 72 hours after the patient quits drinking. Persons that go through the DTs condition may experience seizures or develop an increase in heart rate.
Typically, withdrawal symptoms in alcohol addicts peak after 72 hours. On the other hand, moderate cases of alcohol withdrawal symptoms last for only a month, and the symptoms are usually rapid heart rate and delusions.
During alcohol withdrawal, physical symptoms are typically followed by psychological symptoms. Such a situation demands long treatment. Attending support groups for several months or years can help individuals adapt to life without alcohol.
The typical process of detoxification at a Florida drug detox center is a s follows:
Detox programs should evaluate clients before starting the process. This evaluation reveals the substances in the body as well as their levels.
Furthermore, addiction recovery specialists also make dual diagnoses or identify co-occurring disorders and existing mental health issues. With this information, rehab professionals can devise the most effective detox treatment for the patient.
Stabilization is the most important phase of detox. Here, the treatment team makes the client comfortable and manages withdrawal symptoms. For clients with severe chemical dependence, the addiction specialist typically incorporates medication into the detox process. The medication administered here is similar to addictive drugs but safer. This property makes them effective at maintaining body chemistry and managing withdrawal symptoms. Overall, this improves the client's experience and recovery outcomes.
After detox, medical professionals will provide treatment guidance depending on the client's needs. Here, the addiction recovery specialist helps the client choose the next phase of treatment, like going to residential rehab, outpatient rehab, or a sober living home.
A person's brain chemistry changes during detox and the body's response to this change is withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be physical or psychological, and the intensity varies with the kind of drug and addiction history.
Some commonly experienced side effects of alcohol detox include:
Withdrawal symptoms from Benzodiazepine include:
The side effects of detoxifying stimulants in the body are more intense for psychological symptoms. The general symptoms include:
It is not advisable to attempt drug detox at home, especially because withdrawal symptoms can lead to relapse or become life-threatening if not properly managed. With multiple relapses, a person can lose the motivation or incentive to achieve sobriety.
Rapid detox is the process of ridding the body of drugs rapidly using devices or drugs to hasten the body's natural process of drug removal. Despite the advantage of speed, rapid drug and alcohol detox can take a heavy toll on the body, and there is no guarantee of success.
Rapid drug detox is considered an inpatient procedure and is typically performed in a clinic or hospital setting. During this treatment, individuals are placed under general anesthesia as medication hastens the detox process.
Rapid detox treatment is more expensive than a conventional Florida detox since it happens in an inpatient rehab facility. Additionally, the costs go higher due to the sedation and intensive monitoring. As a result of this high expense, insurance companies do not often cover this procedure.
Furthermore, the procedure puts the body under heavy stress and can be unsafe for persons with a long history of complex addiction. The body of individuals who have been addicted to opioids may not be immediately ready to undergo anesthesia which is required in rapid drug detox.
Rapid detox comes with side effects that can be critical for patients with health risks like cardiac arrest. Besides that, rapid detox patients cannot wholly avoid withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms can appear days after the procedure has been completed, leading to a relapse. According to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) report, the procedure has proven to be unhealthy. Therefore standard detox procedures are advised as it has been proven to be successful for decades.
Detox is only the first step in addiction treatment; it is a complete program on its own. Persons in recovery can choose one of the following options, depending on their needs:
This is the recommended option as it helps individuals through therapies and mental health education programs. Inpatient treatment programs offer individuals intensive therapeutic care, further helping them develop the skills necessary to cope without the drugs.
This could be a good option for clients with mild chemical dependence. A sober living home is also an excellent compromise for clients who want to transition to their regular life. And while at a sober living home, the client can participate in intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) or outpatient treatment.
If you or a loved one is looking for a detox center, call (800) 662-4357 to get a free and confidential referral from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The agency also maintains a Treatment Facility Locator you can use to find addiction treatment centers in Florida.
This Locator uses zip codes to locate the nearest rehab center. When you enter your zip code, town, or city in the search bar, you will get a list of the nearest rehab and detox centers. The search results will also show the center's address and phone number.
The Treatment Facility Locator also shows the list of treatment services provided as well as the payment methods accepted by the drug detox center.