The first step toward recovery for someone dealing with drug or alcohol addiction is accepting the problem. Many people don’t want to admit when there’s abuse or dependency and may think they have their situation under control. Once they have finally reached a point in which they are ready to seek help and start on the path to recovery, it is no easy journey. Especially if they try to go at it alone.
For someone who uses an addictive substance regularly, and has been for an extended period of time, quitting cold turkey is extremely difficult. Aside from feeling the urge to use again, not giving your body a chemical it has grown used to can lead to horrible withdrawal symptoms. That’s why assisted inpatient medical detoxification is a key component of dependency recovery.
Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox Severity
Withdrawal symptoms begin shortly after the addictive substance is removed from the body. According to the American Addiction Centers, the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the substance that was used and how long it was present in the person’s system. Below are a few examples of how long it takes to start feeling withdrawal symptoms:
- Alcohol: Withdrawals can begin between eight hours and a few days after the last drink
- Heroin: Symptoms of withdrawal start within 12 hours of last use
- Prescription pain killers: Most opiate withdrawal symptoms begin 8 to 12 hours after last dose
- Cocaine: Users can feel withdrawals within a few hours once they stop using it
Going through withdrawal can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, but it’s regular side effect of detox. Because this experience can be so unpleasant, inpatient treatment is offered by detoxification centers to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and encourage complete detoxification of the substance from the body.
Trying to deal with the side effects of withdrawal on your own at home can be extremely challenging. Because detox can make people feel very sick, medical supervision is usually recommended. Even if the person genuinely wants to quit, detoxing alone can drive someone back to a drug to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.
Side effects of withdrawal may include:
If you know someone who has a chemical dependency and is interested in detox treatment to help him or her get sober, Chicago Lakeshore Hospital can facilitate the withdrawal process. Our medical detoxification program is designed to manage the removal of the harmful substance from the patient’s body. We administer medication to stabilize the patient and alleviate some of the discomfort of withdrawal, while ensuring a safe environment for detoxification. Our health professionals closely monitor patients and their medical conditions as they go through the process.
How Long Does Detox Take?
The average length of time for inpatient detoxification treatment at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital is between five and 10 days. Each patient is different, however, and the exact length of time in our care depends on the substance, the person and the degree of abuse.
What Happens After Detox?
Most cases that require medical detox will move to continuing chemical dependency care once the patient has the substances out of his or her system. If substance dependency was only part of the problem and our providers determine the greater issue was another mental or behavioral disorder, we may provide inpatient treatment for a dual diagnosis. When alcohol or drug addiction are the primary concerns, Chicago Lakeshore Hospital will refer patients to other facilities in the Chicago area for either outpatient chemical dependency treatment or 28-day inpatient care.
Getting Help for Alcohol and Drug Detox
Although admitting and accepting an addiction is not an easy first step, once patients decide to move forward with treatment, the Chicago Lakeshore Hospital medical detox program is available to help. No one should have to go through the detoxification process alone, and with our detoxification program, you or your loved ones can start on the road to recovery.
Contact Chicago Lakeshore Hospital for more information about our inpatient detox program.