What Happens in Inpatient Medical Detox?
Making the decision to go to an inpatient medical detox is very scary. It can be less so if you know what to expect. Withdrawal, and detox, occurs in stages. Everyone who is admitted into a medical detoxification program goes through these stages. The process is designed to evaluate a patient’s needs and provide the medical support necessary for a complete detoxification.
Intake is the registration process and the very beginning of your drug treatment. During the intake process, a counselor or nurse will take vital information such as:
- what drug you are on
- how long you have been using
- how much you take
- when your last dose was
- how much you take on a regular basis
They will also take down vital information such as your name, address, living situation and your vitals. To make an intake appointment all you have to do is call 800-405-2627 (Who Answers?).
Some intakes are done if you go to a hospital because of overdose or severe symptoms. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, some of these things are:
- unstable vital signs
- extremely high or extremely low blood pressure
- delirium tremens
- other life threatening symptoms
In these cases, the intake is done automatically and you will be evaluated by a physician next.
Whether you are voluntarily going through detox or are detoxing due to overdose or life threatening symptoms, you will receive a physical. The doctor will assess your condition and overall health. Then he or she will make recommendations on what needs to be done. Usually this involves blood and urine tests as well as a physical exam.
Withdrawal is never pleasant. After you have come down from the drugs, you will probably start to show withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes doctors will give you medication before your withdrawal starts to make your more comfortable, other times like in the case of overdose, they have to wait until the drugs are out of your system before they can give you anything.
Once you are cleared for medication, the doctor will prescribe any medications needed. Usually this starts with saline and potassium because many people going through drug or alcohol withdrawal are dehydrated and vitamin deficient. Then depending on your drug of choice they will give you medication to relieve your withdrawal symptoms and balance your body back out.
During this whole process of you will probably talk to a counselor. This therapist will assess your mental health needs. At the very least they will explain and help alleviate your fears about the detox process and get you started on the road to recovery.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a medical detoxification program is only the first stage of an overall treatment program. In order to leave drugs and alcohol behind completely, you will need to complete a treatment program. You can find both inpatient medical detox and a treatment program that is right for you by calling 800-405-2627 (Who Answers?).