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Detox Treatment Programs

All patients experience withdrawal differently in terms of the types of symptoms, severity and duration of them. Before determining if going to a detox center is the right course of action for a patient, it is always best to consult with a medical professional familiar with that patient’s history and current level of wellness.


As a rule, any individuals for whom detoxing without medical assistance and supervision would potentially be dangerous, should consider pursuing medical detox. Additionally, any patients whose withdrawal produces greatly diminishes their ability to cope with the demands of daily living should as well consider medical detox as well.


Individuals attempting to break dependencies to certain drugs are more likely than not to experience pronounced withdrawal symptoms. Examples are heroin, alcohol, prescription pain pills (including opiates as well as benzodiazepines), cocaine and methamphetamine

Types of Detox Programs

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) delineates types of detox facilities/levels of care as follows:

Acute Hospitalization: A general or psychiatric hospital, providing intensive, medically-managed detox and 24-hour supervision. Generally, the most optimal venue for patients having elaborate medical needs and/or at risk of complications arising from severe withdrawal.

Medically Monitored Inpatient : A standalone detoxification center staffed by medical professionals providing 24-hour monitoring.

Residential Detox : Similar to a Medically-Monitored Inpatient detox, but often residing within a traditional inpatient rehab facility providing a greater emphasis on peer support and group therapy than on the administering of medical treatments.

The Muran Method is a public approach versus private detox program. Public, or government-funded, detoxes are often low-cost, making them a good option for those who are economically disadvantaged and/or have no medical insurance. The downside is that many are underfunded, higher volume, less personal interaction and demand for them is often excessive, resulting in lengthy wait times to enter. The cost for private detox services is generally higher, but many insurance plans cover the majority of those costs after a small copay.


What to Expect

According to “Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment,” a Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM), medically assisted detox is traditionally undertaken in the following three steps:

Evaluation: Patient is tested to determine which substances (and at what levels) may be present in his or her bloodstream. He or she is also evaluated for potential dual diagnoses or co-occurring disorders, as well as any preexisting mental/behavioral issues.

Stabilization: Patient is guided through the detoxification process, most often with the assistance of medications. Counseling on what to expect during treatment and the remainder of one’s recovery process is also generally part of this step.

Guiding Patient into Treatment: Patient is primed for the actual recovery process. Since detoxification only addresses the physical dependency of addiction (and not the psychological aspects of it), it is typically recommended at this stage that the patient commit to enrolling in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.

Detox programs in general require a 3-14 day commitment depending on the severity of the case and the amount of time devoted per day. The physical detox process and accompanying withdrawal symptoms can be over in several days or take many months depending on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the type of substance one is addicted to, the duration and severity of the addiction, family history/genetics, and any medical and/or psychological conditions.

Muran Method Detox Program

In addition to providing peace of mind from being in the hands of trained, credentialed professionals, medical detox programs provide the following benefits:

Launching Pad to Recovery

Launching Pad to Recovery. In addition to providing a much-needed medical service, detox programs lay the groundwork for guiding the patient into what will hopefully be a successful treatment program. According to “Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says” published by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, “Although detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.”

Safe and Comfortable Environment

Whether a patient is fully immersed in an inpatient facility or simply attends several hours a day on an outpatient basis, he or she is able to experience temporary protection from stressful situations and other types of circumstances that trigger cravings and substance use.

Focus on Sobriety. A controlled atmosphere free of outside distractions enables patients to concentrate on moving closer to recovery and further from their drug of choice.

Focus on Sobriety

A controlled atmosphere free of outside distractions enables patients to concentrate on moving closer to recovery and further from their drug of choice.

Level of Care

Patients enrolling in rehabilitation treatment following detox often benefit from the ability to attend the same treatment facility for both phases as they have access to the same resources they are already familiar with and are usually attended to by professionals who are familiar with their case histories, and with whom they have already developed a rapport. Additionally they may have the added benefit of receiving outpatient services alongside individuals with whom they formed friendships during the detox process.

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As many as 40 million people in the United States have a substance abuse problem. And many of them never seek help for their addiction. Overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol alone is not just challenging, but can also be dangerous. That’s why a medically supported drug detox center is so important.