By its simplest definition, detoxification means the removal of toxic or addictive substances from the body. From a medical standpoint, however, detoxification is usually the first phase of a holistic treatment of addiction towards alcohol or drugs.
It’s in this step where a patient is cut off from the source of his addiction. During this stage, he or she may be given medications to help stave off withdrawal symptoms. Emotional support during this time is also considered necessary to help the patient fight off withdrawal, which can both be deleterious (and even lethal in some cases).
Inpatient and Outpatient Detoxification
Treatment for alcohol or drug addiction can be done with the patient either being admitted to a qualified facility or undergoing treatment at as an outpatient at a clinic. If a case is serious, then admission is almost always most likely recommended (e.g., he or she will undergo a 14 day inpatient rehab program).
How long does inpatient rehab last? In mild cases, it can take as little as a few days. For more serious cases, it can take weeks to months.
Several groups (both government and NGOs) offer drug and alcohol rehab detox programs. There can be one week alcohol rehab or two week detox programs depending on the person’s needs.
There are also programs that cater to the rich and famous. As one would guess, it’s usually CEOs, celebrities, executives and other affluents who avail of these executive detox programs. Packages again are tailor-fitted; there are 7 day rehab programs, 14 day rehab programs, etc.
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How Does Drug Detox Work?
Drug detox typically works in a medical setting, where the patient is evaluated and monitored regularly. Medications are usually given to relieve him or her from both benign and serious symptoms of withdrawal.
How long detoxification lasts typically depends on the patient’s condition, as well as the nature and extent of his or her addiction. He or she may be subjected to a 7 day drug detox program; other times, the patient may undergo a 14 day inpatient rehab program if his or addiction is especially severe.
In any case, be it a 7 day drug detox or 2 week drug rehab program, the process of total recovery should not stop there. Detoxification, which only usually deals with the person’s physical dependence on the substance, won’t be enough.
Once a patient has been stabilized, the next step is rehabilitation—a process which can range anywhere from months to years (or even a lifetime). The treatment will cure him or her of any lingering psychological dependency to the substance.
How Does Alcohol Detox Work?
The process of alcohol detoxification is similar to that for drugs. The patient (who usually abruptly stops the alcohol intake) is monitored regularly for signs of withdrawal. Medications would also be given to fight off cravings and serious symptoms.
As with drug detox, the length of alcohol detox would depend on the severity of the patient’s condition. He or she can undergo a 1 week alcohol rehab program in case of mild addiction; in case of severe addiction, the patient can be subjected to a 30 day alcohol detox program.
In a few instances, patients (if they qualify) are allowed to undertake their detoxification at home. It must be borne in mind that these patients who are allowed to dos are usually the ones who aren’t diagnosed as serious cases. Regardless of the length of the outpatient treatment, be it a 1 week alcohol rehab, or 30 day alcohol detox at home, it is important that the patient be regularly monitored by loved ones and treatment providers for any adverse reactions.
Like with drug detoxification, finishing a one week alcohol rehab program won’t mean the end of the patient’s long road to recovery. No matter how many days to detox from alcohol the patient, it will ultimately lead to relapse if he or she does not undergo rehabilitation, which will help him or her finally wean away from alcohol addiction for good.