Treatment Programs

Detox Services

With Caron's expert medical care, patients undergo a safe, comfortable withdrawal process when appropriate.

Closeup of a doctor's hand writing on a clipboard with a patient in the background.

At a Glance

  • Two state-of-the-art medical centers

    are well-equipped to care for patients’ complex medical needs.

  • Experienced, full-time medical and behavioral health care staff

    provide 24/7 medical and psychological care.

Caron's Inpatient Detox Treatment

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.

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 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.

The experienced staff teams are proficient 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. If more specialized care is needed, the patient may be referred to trusted outside providers who have experience working with patients with substance use disorder.

Use of Anti-Craving Medications

Recent research indicates that a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program that utilizes anti-craving medication can form a more holistic approach to 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

Detox Treatment for Drugs and Alcohol Addiction

Explore this Q&A for more insight on detox, MAT, withdrawal and symptoms from various substances.

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 (the 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:

  • 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 — the following side effects appear: intense cravings for the drug, anxiety, aggression, anger, delusions, restless legs, and sweating.
  • Later stage opioid withdrawal side effects
    After 24 hours post-use, the following side effects are common: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, high blood pressure, racing heartbeat, blurry vision, and dilated pupils.

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.

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

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.

Stimulant detox side effects can be broken down into three stages:

  • Early Stage (or "Crashing"): Intense drug cravings, increased appetite, anxiety, anger and aggression, agitation, delusions, fatigue, etc.
  • Middle Stage: Inability to focus, fatigue, confusion, insomnia, depression, memory loss, cravings, etc.
  • Late Stage: Intense sleepiness, extreme appetite, mood swings, bad dreams, etc.

Starting the Recovery Process

Caron takes the treatment process very seriously. Our detox programs in Pennsylvania and Florida are designed to help individuals on the road to recovery. We are dedicated to providing you with the tools you need for relapse prevention. Contact us today to learn more.


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