But a new generation of medical drug detox centers is providing new, more effective protocols that help substance-dependent patients ease through withdrawal with a minimum of discomfort.
In most cities and towns in America, alcohol and drug detox facilities only offer ‘cookie-cutter’ detox — everyone dependent on a similar substance is put through a similar withdrawal program. Often, it’s little more than putting patients in a room and letting them sweat it out on their own.
Expectations for cookie-cutter drug detox are understandably low. And a large percentage of drug-dependent people don’t get through them, no matter how much they want to, or how many times they’ve tried.
That’s why medical drug detox has become the de facto choice in recent years — personally-tailored, science-based programs that match each patient’s unique health needs radically reduce both discomfort and detox times, and achieve success rates approaching 100 percent.
What cookie-cutter detox is completely missing — or willfully ignoring — and what thousands and thousands of drug-dependent people need to be told, is that no two addicts are the same — not physically, mentally or emotionally.
And withdrawing from prescription opioid painkillers like OxyContin, methadone, oxycodone or hydrocodone, or street drugs like heroin, morphine, methamphetamine or crack cocaine, is more than just excruciatingly painful. It can be medically dangerous, even fatal.
Steve Hayes, clinical director at Novus Medical Detox in Pasco County, Florida, says many of his patients have tried multiple times to get off a drug before finally arriving for medical drug detox at Novus. And it’s not unusual for some who tried “cold-turkey” withdrawals to have landed in hospital emergency wards needing medical assistance just to survive.
Hayes said everyone has personal health situations that must be considered when facing the incredible physical stress of withdrawal. Most people are undernourished, many people are borderline dehydrated, and standard drug detox frequently fails to address these issues. Trying a cold-turkey detox is an invitation for pain and failure, he added.
“Everyone’s DNA is unique, everyone’s metabolism is unique, everyone has a unique health situation, and everyone has his or her own personal and often very private issues that must be considered,” Hayes said. “Cookie-cutter detox programs don’t even begin to deal with these factors, which of course has led to their high rate of failure, and reversion to substance abuse among those who try them.”
If you or anyone you know is suffering from a prescription drug addiction, or is dependent on any substance at all, it makes sense to avoid cookie-cutter detox and seek out a medical drug detox facility that takes into account these unique personal factors that help guarantee a successful recovery.