What to Expect from Detox at Pathways Recovery Center

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Many people seeking treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) may not know how to begin their recovery. Usually, detoxification is a necessary first step in the pre-treatment process. Detox is an essential service that assists individuals as their brains and bodies rid themselves of alcohol and other drugs. Afterward, individuals usually choose to enter a treatment program that can help them achieve lasting sobriety.

Pathways Recovery Center is an addiction treatment facility that provides detoxification services along with residential treatment programs. Our medically-supervised detoxification services were created with the safety and comfort of our clients in mind.

For those considering treatment, it may be helpful to understand why supervised detox may be necessary for you. Additionally, knowing what to expect from detoxification at Pathways can help individuals feel better prepared and more knowledgeable about the first step toward recovery.

What Is Detox?

A publication by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines detoxification as “a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal.” In other words, detox services seek to minimize the physical harm that may happen during withdrawal.

To understand detoxification, then, it is necessary to understand withdrawal.

Understanding Chemical Dependency and Drug Withdrawal

Individuals who engage in chronic substance abuse may develop a physical dependency on their drug of choice. Over time and through repeated use, their brains and bodies become accustomed to the drug. This means that people may struggle to feel normal or function in daily life without the use of substances. In these circumstances, abruptly ceasing substance use can lead to many serious health complications, some of which may be life-threatening.

The severity of an individual's withdrawal symptoms depends on a variety of factors. These factors can also determine the length of detoxification. At Pathways, detoxification typically lasts three to seven days, depending on the:

  • Type of drug being used
  • Number of drugs being used (polysubstance use may require longer detox)
  • Frequency and intensity of substance use
  • Route of administration for substance use
  • Individual's unique biology

Withdrawal symptoms vary based on the factors above. However, there are symptoms that are common in withdrawal. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Excess perspiration
  • Dehydration
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Severe Withdrawal

Certain types of drug abuse almost always call for supervised detoxification, as withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. For example, withdrawing from alcohol and lead to fatal consequences without professional support and guidance.

At-home alcohol withdrawal can lead to the following complications:

  • Severe agitation
  • Extreme fluctuations in body temperature and blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium

The Value of Supervised Detox

To limit any potential complications resulting from alcohol and drug withdrawal, it is imperative for individuals to utilize professional detoxification services. Qualified treatment centers that provide supervised detox can get you the help you need before your withdrawal becomes life-threatening.

People going through supervised detoxification may have the option to receive medications to help. These medications can reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. This can make the process more comfortable and reduce its potential to become dangerous.

Medically supervised detox is also valuable because it provides the accountability that individuals need to cease substance use completely. Detoxing at home can put an individual at a high risk of relapse. After all, when the withdrawal process becomes uncomfortable, people may be very tempted to relapse rather than finish the process. This may be especially likely when people are exposed to triggers and cravings in their home environment. Using detoxification services builds a strong foundation for treatment engagement and lasting sobriety.

Detox at Pathways Recovery Center

The main goal of supervised detox at Pathways Recovery Center is to reduce the potential for harmful physical effects and withdrawal symptoms after long periods of substance abuse.

At Pathways, we use a three-step medically supervised detoxification plan. This helps us ensure that clients are safe and comfortable during detox. It also allows us to curate a treatment plan that fits a client's individualized needs and goals for recovery.

This three-step process is as follows.

Step 1: Evaluation

During the evaluation stage, clients will undergo various assessments (including our biopsychosocial assessment) to determine the severity of their SUD. This helps staff better understand the client's detox needs.

Additionally, this helps staff create an individualized treatment plan that the client will use once detoxification is complete.

Step 2: Stabilization

During the stabilization stage, our onsite detox staff will ensure that clients are medically stable and comfortable. This is often when medications are administered.

Therapies may also be used during stabilization to provide emotional support for clients.

Step 3: Preparation

During the preparation stage, we prepare clients to enter a long-term treatment program. We address detox as the first step in overcoming addiction. However, participation in a treatment program will provide the best chance of success for recovery for the client. Treatment will identify and address underlying issues that may have contributed to the client's problematic use of substances.

Although withdrawal symptoms will subside at the completion of our detox program, substance use triggers and cravings will not. Often, triggers and cravings can linger for months or years after beginning recovery. Fortunately, clients can feel confident in their ability to manage cravings with the help of our long-term residential treatment program.

If you are seeking recovery from addiction, it is vital for you to recognize detoxification as an essential step in the pre-treatment process. Medically supervised detox can provide you with the medical stabilization and professional support that you need to safely cease chronic substance use. Using detox services can minimize the risks of withdrawal complications and foster the accountability you need to participate in treatment. At Pathways Recovery Center, we use a three-step process for detox that includes evaluation, stabilization, and preparation for treatment. We strive to individualize our client care, ensuring that your needs and recovery goals are met during detox and treatment. To learn more, call us today at (888) 771-0966.

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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