Addiction

Medical Detoxification/Withdrawal Management

Medical Detoxification/Withdrawal Management

People who have been using substances for some time go through withdrawal symptoms that are a result of the body and brain trying to maintain balance despite substances coming on board and then readjusting when substance use is curtailed or stopped. Most people can handle withdrawal symptoms on their own or with some psycho-social support. However, there are some instances especially with Addiction involving alcohol and other drugs that require monitoring and prescription drugs administration in a supervised setting. This is particularly critical if someone has a history of alcohol withdrawal seizures and/or someone who relapses often because of inability to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. Some people, especially those with Addiction involving opioids may require maintenance medications such as methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone).

Symptoms may include:

  • Shakes
  • Poor concentration
  • Mind racing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Fever
  • Seizures- can happen during the first 48 hours of withdrawal from alcohol or during the 7-10 days after stopping sedatives abruptly. Tapering off slowly is an important way to avoid withdrawal seizures.
  • Delirium Tremens (DTs) is a very serious medical condition that manifests after the first 72 hours of untreated alcohol withdrawal that features psychosis and fever, in addition to the usual, common symptoms of withdrawal. This is a life threatening condition that can be prevented by proper medical treatment earlier during the withdrawal process.

How we treat this issue:

We offer medical monitoring after the comprehensive assessment to ensure that withdrawal management is addressed. Some people need to attend for 3 consecutive days for monitoring and administration of medications. This may be needed for opioids as well for symptom management or starting on opioid agonist therapy (methadone or buprenorphine).

The Available Services For This Issue:

These issues are addressed on an individual basis during the comprehensive assessment. The withdrawal management for each individual is tailored to their needs in consultation with the HUM physicians.

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