Skip to main content

Individuals seeking recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) must understand that attending a treatment program is not always the first step in the process. For many, detox is required. Although many people may understand the value of detox, they may not understand what it entails or what to expect from it. Before beginning inpatient detox, it is helpful to understand how it works and why it is often a vital step in the recovery process.  

What Is Inpatient Detox?

Detoxification (detox) is the process of ridding one’s body of the remnants of substance use. Inpatient detox is medically supervised, providing 24/7 medical and psychological care for individuals who are ready to take their first step toward sobriety. Often, treatment facilities will group detox together with their treatment programs. Detox on its own is not considered treatment but rather the first step in the treatment process. 

Detox typically takes place in a medical setting, such as a hospital or specialized inpatient detox unit. The process can last anywhere from a few days up to a week or more. 

When Is Inpatient Detox Necessary?

First, it is essential to understand that chronic substance use can produce long-lasting physical and mental health consequences. Once an individual makes the decision to stop their substance use, their mind and body will likely experience withdrawals. There are several factors that can help determine the potential severity of one’s withdrawal symptoms. In general, the more severe the symptoms, the more likely an individual will benefit from inpatient detox. 

The following factors can impact the severity of one’s withdrawal symptoms once they stop using alcohol or other drugs:

  • Drug interactions, meaning the number of different drugs that were being used
  • The frequency of substance use (how often substances were being used)
  • The duration of substance use, meaning how old an individual was when they began regularly using substances
  • The intensity of substance use, like the quantity of substances being used/consumed
  • The presence of co-occurring mental health disorders

Most individuals will experience mild-moderate withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, increased irritation, anxiety, nausea, and more. However, in some cases, withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. With the help of inpatient detox, individuals can receive the comfort and support that they need to effectively manage their withdrawals.

What Can Individuals Expect From Detox?

Before an individual enters treatment, they will receive a clinical assessment to determine what type of treatment will best fit their needs. If they qualify for detox, they can expect to be closely monitored in a highly structured inpatient environment. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) TIP 45 states that the primary emphasis of inpatient detox “should be placed on ensuring that the patient is medically stable.” Medications are often administered to individuals during detox to ease withdrawal symptoms and ensure that the process is more manageable. Additionally, physicians and other healthcare staff are available 24 hours a day to oversee the process. 

Medically-assisted inpatient detox is individualized. This means that the experience will be slightly different for everyone. In addition to addressing physical dependency, detox will also provide individuals with introductions to individual counseling, group therapy, and other valuable therapeutic approaches. 

What Happens After Inpatient Detox?

Inpatient detox is only the first step in substance abuse treatment. After a person completes the detoxification process, they will be linked to a proper inpatient or outpatient program to continue treatment.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab programs are designed for those who struggle with severe SUDs or who do not have a stable home environment. During inpatient rehab, you can expect to have 24/7 medical care and supervision, along with therapy programming and psychiatric care.

It’s important to note that addiction is a disease that greatly affects the way the brain works. Even after a person has completed detox, there is still a need for further care to address the underlying causes of substance abuse and re-train the mind to live substance-free. Inpatient programs provide a safe healing environment for individuals, free from substance use triggers, necessary for achieving lasting sobriety.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

When a person has completed inpatient rehab, they may want to choose an outpatient program to further support their recovery. Outpatient programs are also designed for those who have completed the detoxification process and do not need inpatient treatment.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are a highly-structured form of outpatient treatment. These programs can include up to 30 hours per week of group programming, plus individual therapy and psychiatric care. PHPs are designed to give individuals stability and accountability along their road to recovery. When choosing a PHP, it’s important to find one that offers individualized care. 

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are often the next step down after a person completes a PHP. These programs are less intensive than a PHP but will still provide the structure and stability necessary to support your recovery journey.

IOPs also consist of group and individual therapy along with psychiatric support when needed. A quality IOP will provide individuals with the life skills training necessary to get back on their feet and re-enter daily life with confidence in their recovery. Sober living might be a great option for those that do not have stable housing while in outpatient treatment.

When choosing an intensive outpatient program in Dallas, make sure that it supports one’s unique needs and goals for recovery. It is important to remember that each recovery journey is unique. While the road to recovery is lifelong, it is a wonderful opportunity to foster intentional healing and growth. 

Inpatient detox is often the very first part of a person’s recovery journey. Inpatient detox may be necessary for those struggling with severe addictions that have dangerous withdrawal symptoms, like that of alcohol or opiates. It’s important to note that inpatient detox is not addiction treatment, and Lighthouse Recovery Texas offers outpatient programs that will support you on your road to recovery. Our PHP and IOP programs are designed to give you the stability and support you need as you learn how to re-enter daily life free from the chains of substances. Our programs are individualized to ensure that all patient’s unique goals and needs are met. Call us today at (214) 396-0259.