Purging the Body of Poisons

Not everyone gets addicted. But for the addict, what begins as an “allergy” to drugs or alcohol manifests itself as a fierce addiction of body and mind, a compulsion that drags one steadily toward destruction unless a commitment to getting well is made. Getting well begins with denying the body of its favorite poison and flushing the drug or alcohol from the system. But the poison doesn’t leave easily. Clients require the focused care, supervision, and support of a medical drug detoxification program, in order to withdraw from substances without debilitating discomfort and side effects.

At Granite Recovery Centers’ subacute medical detox, detoxification procedures are supervised by a medical professional and the process is oftentimes medically-managed. Green Mountain Treatment Center in Effingham, NH offers both residential drug rehabilitation treatment and medical detox services. Our facility is staffed by a compassionate, licensed medical staff trained in addiction medicine to help clients safely and comfortably detox from drugs and/or alcohol. In keeping with our abstinence-based approach, we are medication-minimalist. A typical drug detoxification procedure lasts between 5 to 7 days.

Fundamentals of Medical Drug Detoxification

There are a number of factors that determine the nature and length of a client’s medical detox including:

  • Type of substances(s) used
  • Drug or alcohol tolerance (how much the patient uses)
  • Time since last use
  • Presence of other medications
  • Presence of co-occurring mental disorders (depression, anxiety, bi-polar, etc)
  • Availability of clinical therapy
  • Type of facility
  • Facility’s stance on harm reduction or abstinence (GRC’s programs are abstinence-based)

Acute and Sub-Acute Medical Detox Care

Each client is prescribed a certain level of acute or sub-acute medical detoxification based on the factors listed above. The “adult levels of care model” from The American Society of Addiction (ASAM), specifies detox care need by client characteristics. According to this model, clients can range from requiring Level 4 acute care (full hospital resources) to Level 0.5 sub-acute care (no withdrawal risk). Granite Recovery Centers’ medical detoxification program at Green Mountain Treatment Center is citified at Level 3.7 sub-acute, which means that the facility is able to care for patients that have a high to manageable withdrawal risk and have the following need characteristics:

  • Requires 24-hour medical monitoring
  • Requires a 24-hour structured setting
  • Low interest in treatment, needs motivational strategies
  • Have great difficulty controlling substance use

Who Needs Medical Detoxification?

Medical drug detoxification is typically recommended for patients who use enough of a substance that their stopping abruptly could cause a high degree of distress or damage. It is also recommended for clients who simply cannot stop themselves from using without a professional’s assistance.

Common Substance Use Necessitating Detox

Depending on what substances the client needs help detoxing from, the withdrawal process, physiological side effects, and medication management can vary greatly. Each substance requires are unique approach to detox and has its own withdrawal symptoms and side effects. Click on the appropriate link below to learn more.

While an effective and critical first step towards sobriety and long term recovery, medical drug detoxification alone is not capable of stopping the addict from using again. If the psychological roots of the illness are not addressed, triggers will ultimately surface, and self-destructive behaviors will commence. If long-term abstinence is the goal, a formal clinical assessment of the client is required in preparation for the next step in the continuum of addiction care, whatever that may be for each client.