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Is Detox Required Before Inpatient Treatment?

woman and doctor discuss detox before inpatient treatment

Going to a drug and alcohol detox center is a vital part of inpatient rehabilitation because it helps those in recovery beat their physical addiction and avoid painful withdrawal symptoms. But is it always an absolutely necessary first step? Does every drug require detox before inpatient treatment? Learn more today about drug and alcohol detox—and reach out for help from an addiction treatment center near you.

Detox Isn’t Always Necessary

The false concept that detoxification is always necessary in every drug addiction case is easy to understand: drug addiction is often thought of as a primarily physical problem. However, detoxification is rarely, if ever, required for quite a large number of drugs, including:

  • Nicotine
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine

The reason detox isn’t necessary for this drug is simple: the withdrawal effects are either minimal to the point of non-existence or addiction is primarily psychological. That is especially true of marijuana, a drug that many persistent users take in order to self-medicate psychological problems. This doesn’t mean marijuana is physically safe: it still damages your lungs and kills brain cells. But it doesn’t carry a heavy risk of physical dependency. What may surprise many people is that cocaine rarely, if ever, requires detoxification. There are a few reasons for that. The first is that cocaine is processed very quickly: it usually passes out of the system in a matter of hours, and in regular users, may leave as quickly as 30 minutes. And cocaine is, surprisingly, rarely physically addicting: it is usually more psychologically problematic. [inline_cta_two]

Certain Drugs Do Require Detoxification

While detoxification procedures certainly won’t hurt you if you’re addicted to cocaine, the process is really only necessary for drugs that are physically addictive. These drugs work on the pleasure receptors in your mind and force your body to become reliant on them. These drugs include:

  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Benzos
  • Alcohol

And while psychological addiction to these drugs is just as likely as physical addiction, the latter is often the most painful aspect for many. People who are addicted to these drugs are often psychologically prepared to quit, but can’t handle the painful withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Physical pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Dehydration
  • Delirium tremens

These symptoms often occur as quickly as eight hours after the last use and can last anywhere from three days to two weeks. Beyond these symptoms, your body will also scream out for the addictive substance: it craves it at high levels and makes it incredibly hard to resist relapsing.

How Detox Helps with Inpatient Treatment

Medically-assisted detox can help ease severe withdrawal and bring people safely out of harm’s way. Remember that withdrawal from physically addictive substances can be a life-threatening situation. Slow and medically-controlled detoxification helps remove substances from your system while minimizing your withdrawal dangers and helping you maintain a healthy state. Controlled detox requires the use of replacement medicines. The doses of these replacement medicines will be slowly lowered during detox in order to wean you off your substance with as little pain as possible. Typical medications used in a medically-assisted detox program include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naloxone
  • Librium
  • Valium
  • Chlordiazepoxide

It is important to note that detoxification is not meant as a way to replace one dangerous addiction with a less serious one. Yes, some of the substances used in the treatment are addictive. But they are used only as a way to gradually help your system get used to life without them.

What If a Rehab Center Requires Detox Before Inpatient Treatment?

If you experience a rehab center that demands detoxification before you undergo any other rehabilitation treatment, it’s worth reconsidering your attendance. While the center may offer a specialized treatment you may desire (such as yoga therapy), no treatment should ever force you to undergo detoxification if you don’t require it. Just think of rehabilitation like any other kind of medical treatment. It is a process that is designed to identify a problem, the concerns that influence it, and to find a solution to that problem. Compare it to a heart bypass surgery. That surgery is designed to help avoid clogged veins and arteries and keep people from having a heart attack. Heart-ballooning (the process of literally inflating the heart) serves a similar purpose.

However, imagine if doctors forced you to get both procedures and refused to perform one without the other. It’s unthinkable and inappropriate, especially if you simply don’t need both procedures. Detoxification can be thought of in the same way: while it is a crucial tool in the fight against addiction, it isn’t always necessary. And using it without need is wasteful and potentially dangerous.

Talk to Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi to Learn More

Confusion about the necessity of detox has plagued many in the addiction treatment world for years. However, it’s important to understand that it isn’t always a necessity. If you have any more questions about detox and whether it is right for your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi at 662.222.2989 today. We will steer you towards finding a treatment plan that suits your needs.