What is Drug Detox?

When an individual habitually uses drugs, their body and mind can develop a tolerance to those substances. This means that over time, the person will need to consume more of the substance to produce the same desired effect. Over a period of time, this creates dependence. Without the substance, the person’s body and brain do not function the same way. This is what makes a drug detox so important.

For some people, this dependence is physical, and withdrawal symptoms affect the body. For others, the dependence is mental, causing emotional and psychological symptoms to appear when the individual stops using drugs. Depending upon the substance they are ingesting, a patient can experience both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Drug Classifications

Drugs are classified based on the effects they have on the body. Different classes of drugs produce different highs and varying withdrawal symptoms.

Stimulant Drugs

This class of drugs includes cocaine, methamphetamines, and prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Vyvanse. Stimulant drugs produce euphoria and high energy. 

Depressant Drugs

This includes substances like alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines (i.e. Xanax and Valium), and barbiturates. Depressants slow down the central nervous system. 

Narcotic Drugs

This includes such drugs as heroin, prescription morphine and oxycodone, and codeine. Narcotic drugs work on pain receptors in the brain.

Psychedelic Drugs

This class of drugs includes LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, and DMT. Psychedelics produce hallucinations.

Inhalant Drugs

Inhalants, such as nitrous oxide, are consumed by inhaling vapors through the mouth and nose, and produce varying effects on the user.

All of these drugs affect users differently depending upon the amount and frequency of use as well as individual physical and mental condition of the user. Therefore, detox is a highly individualized process.

What is Drug Detox Like?

Drug detox is different for each person based on their overall health, what they were using, and the length of use. It is one of the most difficult parts of making the transition to a sober lifestyle. At Discovery Institute we make sure to create a specific plan for each client to ensure that their detox is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Upon entering detox, individuals are assessed to determine their overall physical health, medical history, substance use history and patterns, and individual medical needs. In many cases, doctors may prescribe medicine to ease withdrawal symptoms.

Detox at Discovery Institue

Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal Can Include:

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Agitation
  • Disorientation and mental confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills or sweats; changes in body temperature, clammy skin
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Body aches and discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Seizures (in extreme cases)
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Changes in appetite
  • Abdominal cramping or gastrointestinal issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Shakiness and tremors, uncontrollable trembling
  • Hallucinations

Fortunately, at Discovery Institute of New Jersey, our medical staff members are trained to monitor detox symptoms and to administer medications that prevent the most dangerous of these symptoms, and reduce the discomfort associated with all of them. Our team of professionals monitors individuals constantly, checking vital signs such as temperature and heart rate, to ensure that patients are responding to the treatment and detoxing safely and as comfortably as possible.

Drug Detox in a Safe, Supported Environment

Our detox program is referred to as a medically supervised detox. Throughout this program, our clients are monitored 24/7 to ensure that no medical emergencies occur, and if they do they are treated promptly. We administer non-habit-forming medications throughout detox for patients who require it. Because we closely monitor our clients, we can safely and comfortably wean them off of these medications when the timing is clinically appropriate.

In addition to medication, we provide regular assessments of clients’ physical health and vital signs as well as their mental and emotional states. We provide nutritious, regular meals and comfortable beds for patients so that they can begin to nourish themselves in a healthy way and get as much rest as they need during this process. Because many individuals come to detox with outside physical and mental health concerns, our staff is trained to identify and treat these issues. Those who successfully detox but who struggle with untreated illnesses unrelated to their drug dependence may struggle in a treatment environment, so we strive to address these issues effectively from the very beginning.

The Discovery Difference

At Discovery Institute, we also understand that the detox process can be very emotional and mentally difficult for our clients. For this reason, we have a staff of compassionate, certified therapists on hand to counsel our clients from the very beginning of their detox. Individuals are encouraged to utilize the advice and counsel of all of our staff members, from nurses and doctors to therapists and technicians. Treatment at Discovery Institute is holistic in nature, and we strive to treat the mental and spiritual health of our clients along with their physical health.

Why Detox at Discovery?

Those who are working to overcome substance dependence need a unique, individualized treatment plan for their detox. At Discovery, this is what we provide. Drug detox varies based on the substance the person was addicted to. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and no two patients will have identical experiences during detox.

From individual, detailed assessments to comprehensive treatment of mind, body, and spirit, we ensure that all of our clients are treated based upon their special needs and requirements. The detox process is a difficult, uncomfortable time for an addict. If detox is not done properly, there is a greater chance of relapse. In order to make a successful beginning in the recovery journey, addicts need a thorough, safe, comfortable detox that clears their mind and body of all harmful substances and prepares them to address the deeper, underlying factors in their substance use disorder.

The best thing to do for detox is to have medical supervision and counseling support throughout the process. Not only do we provide the medical treatment necessary for detox, we provide emotional and mental health services throughout our patients’ stay at Discovery.

At Discovery Institute we pride ourselves on ensuring that our clients will be as comfortable, safe, and supported as possible. Reach out to our team today at (844) 433-1101. Or you can contact us here. 

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.