The Keele Center
Detox services in the Keele Center
Neag Medical Center
Detox services in the Neag Medical Center
Detox unit bedroom in the Neag Medical Center

Program Highlights

The detox process takes place at one of Caron’s state-of-the-art, on-campus medical centers, The Keele Center in Florida or the Carole and Ray Neag Center in Pennsylvania. Full-time, on-site, expert clinicians, physicians (most of whom are double board certified), nurse practitioners, and nurses as well as clinical case managers provide 24-hour care and supervision. They continuously evaluate each patient’s withdrawal symptoms and their physical and mental health, prescribing withdrawal medications as clinically indicated so that patients stay comfortable.

Treatment Program Details

Detox refers to the process of metabolizing drugs and alcohol in a person's system to neutralize their toxic effects. Because of those toxic effects, the detox process must be managed carefully, considering health conditions and ensuring that the patient is as comfortable as possible.

Caron's detox staff has extensive experience and knowledge about the process. They are adept at managing the medical complexities of detoxing from alcohol and drug use as well as related conditions like chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, and other co-occurring disorders.

The first step in detox treatment at Caron’s medical centers is determining whether a patient would benefit from medical detox (and potentially the use of supplemental medications, such as those used to control cravings). Comprehensive assessments include blood and urine screenings, medical history, psychological assessments, and other testing as needed. Caron uses all psychiatric medications conservatively, including anti-craving drugs. Medical staff and addiction specialists work together to make a careful diagnosis, ensuring that all prescriptions are medically justified.

Patient-centered Treatment

Use of Anti-Craving Medications

Recent research indicates that anti-craving medications can be a critical component of treatment. For those patients who need it, anti-craving medication typically works by:

  • Reducing the feelings of craving drugs
  • Inhibiting the pleasure induced by drugs
  • Causing severe physical reactions, making the consumption of drugs a negative experience

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Caron’s medical experts oversee every facet of Caron’s detox services.

FAQs About Detox

The comprehensive assessment every Caron patient undergoes determines if they would benefit from medical detox, as well as the use of supplemental medication like those used to control cravings. Caron uses all psychiatric medications conservatively, including anti-craving drugs. Medical staff and addiction specialists work together to make a careful diagnosis, ensuring that all prescriptions are medically justified.

Detox refers to the process of metabolizing drugs and alcohol in a person's system to neutralize their toxic effects. The medical term for detox is “withdrawal management,” because when the process is managed correctly, detox helps patients maintain physical comfort as they safely withdraw from the effects of drugs and alcohol. It is important for detox to be medically supervised at a detox addiction treatment center or in a drug detoxification program, where doctors are on-site to provide supervision, observations, and support to manage symptoms, stabilize the patient’s health, and keep patients safe from the harmful physical complications of intoxication and withdrawal.

Regardless of whether a person is entering inpatient alcohol treatment, inpatient drug treatment, or some type of outpatient drug or alcohol rehab, safely managing the withdrawal effects of detox is often a critical component of treatment and care. The side effects of detox from alcohol and drug addiction can vary depending on the type of drug or drugs a person has in their system, how long they’ve been using, the state of their general overall health, and the like. Detox symptoms and effects vary, so the process looks different for each person. Some general expectations for detox side effects are described on this page.

Alcohol detox happens when someone who has been using alcohol regularly stops drinking suddenly. It is the process by which the body rids itself of toxins from alcohol use and can be uncomfortable or even dangerous for someone who has alcohol dependence or who drinks heavily.

Detoxing from alcohol includes a wide set of symptoms that can be dangerous to the person experiencing them. They include anxiety, headaches, nausea, seizures, irritability, sweating, loss of appetite, restlessness, aggression, nervousness, rapid heart rate, confusion, and more. In extreme cases, detoxing from alcohol can cause death. Alcohol users who have been drinking heavily for a long time should only detox under medical supervision.

Alcohol withdrawal is the most dangerous for people to undergo because physically detoxing from alcohol can be fatal. It can also cause grand mal seizures, strokes, and heart attacks in some people. Because of these risks, alcohol detox should always occur in a medically supervised setting where close monitoring is possible. Other side effects of alcohol detox include hallucinations, delirium tremens (DTs), anxiety, nausea, insomnia, increased body temperature, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, and more. These symptoms of withdrawal, and others, can be properly managed with medical supervision in an alcohol detox center or hospital.

Opioids include opiates like morphine, heroin, and codeine, as well as synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. They are a class of drugs used to manage pain. Once a person has become dependent on opioids, the withdrawal will happen with cessation.

Opioid detox side effects can vary greatly from person to person, depending on the type of opioid used and the duration of dependence. In general, though, opioid detox side effects can be broken down into two stages. Comfort medication is commonly used in opioid drug detoxification and opioid addiction rehab programs as the experience after the first 24 hours can be incredibly unpleasant.

Early-stage opioid withdrawal side effects
(usually within 24 hours of a person’s last opioid use — and often as soon as 12 hours post-use)

  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Delusions
  • Restless legs
  • Sweating

Later-stage opioid withdrawal side effects (24 hours or more post-use)

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • High blood pressure
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Blurry vision
  • Dilated pupils

Detoxing from benzodiazepines can be dangerous and should only be done under medical supervision. Physical withdrawal can take months to complete, so choosing a drug detoxification program and treatment program can greatly reduce discomfort and relapse.

Because different benzodiazepines have different half-lives, side effect symptoms and timelines can vary, but in general, benzodiazepine detox side effects include:

  • Irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Sour stomach
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

Side effects from a stimulant like cocaine, crack cocaine, or methamphetamines usually start within 36 hours of stopping the drug and can continue for a few weeks or even months. Withdrawing from cocaine use and other forms of stimulant use is uncomfortable, and the symptoms are difficult to manage. Comfort medication is often used in cocaine and methamphetamine treatment.

Common side effects that occur when detoxing from stimulants can be broken down into three stages.

Early Stage (or "crashing")

  • Intense drug cravings
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Delusions
  • Fatigue

Middle Stage

  • Inability to focus
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Cravings

Late Stage

  • Intense sleepiness
  • Extreme appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Bad dreams
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