Seeking sobriety and obtaining a long-lasting recovery are multi-step processes. Here, at Vertava Health of Massachusetts, we’ve assembled the finest team of addiction professionals so that we can offer you, or your loved one, the epitome of good care. Our program has been created around one guiding force—providing you with the highest caliber of evidence-based drug and alcohol addiction treatment so that you can successfully obtain and maintain a drug-free life.
We recognize that recovery occurs on many levels. In order for a person to fully emerge from the vicious cycle of addiction and be protected against relapse, they must receive treatment that addresses their physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health needs.
To do this, we provide a broad spectrum of treatment modalities and best practices that work in conjunction with each other to give you holistic and individualized care.
The Dangers of Unsupervised Drug Detox
As a person progresses from substance abuse to addiction, the toxic overload on their body increases, likely creating in greater intensity and frequency a host of health troubles and side effects. Any addiction, whether it be to drugs or alcohol, has the potential to be very dangerous and in many cases it can even prove fatal. For this reason, the sooner you stop using and begin progressing towards improved health, the better. As soon as you become sober, you’re granting your body and mind a stronger platform on which to heal and build better health.
We never recommend that you or your loved one quit “cold turkey,” as this can be dangerous and even life-threatening, especially in the case of benzodiazepine addiction. Instead, we recommend a medically-supervised detox at a licensed detox facility. Despite the prevalence of literature on the internet or some opinions, detoxing without the supervision of a highly-trained addictions specialist is never a good idea. We implore you—let Vertava Health of Massachusetts help you do this safely, with the aid of our expert and caring staff.
Detox From Drugs Under Our Compassionate Care
Second to obtaining treatment, detoxing from the harmful substance you were addicted to is your first step towards sobriety. Our physician-supervised staff will stand by you through this trying time, 24/7, offering you compassionate support so that you progress through detox as comfortably and as safely as possible. Our clinicians will also aid you in fighting off the cravings that can threaten your pursuit of a drug-free life. Detox not only places a burden on your body and brain but on your emotional and mental standing as well; our staff will continuously monitor these states.
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At times, you may feel very overwhelmed or experience anxiety, which is one reason why seeking a medically-supervised treatment is so essential. In addition to providing medical support, we have counselors standing by that can offer you distractions, provide you with companionship during this daunting time, and address any worries you might have, while in turn preparing you for the next step. At our detox facility we aim to make this process as painless as possible by providing as much support as we can. Our compassionate medical professionals will be with you every step of the way.
Sometimes, in more severe instances, and specifically with drugs like strong opioids and alcohol, certain medications may be used to help you better transition through the withdrawal period.
Medication-Assisted Therapies Used at Drug Detox Centers
Due to the strain that the chemical components of the drugs or alcohol placed on you, some of your body’s delicate systems are not processing correctly. When you use these substances, your body’s physiology and neurochemistry are altered. In the latter case, your brain’s very chemistry has changed. Certain neurotransmitters, important chemical messengers within your brain, have adapted to the influx of the drug within your system.
If you suddenly cease using the addictive substance, your body and brain will react harshly, as they have become dependent on the drug in some capacity to function, resulting in what can, at times, be very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
For example, your brain may have adjusted to a substance being its sole provider of dopamine (a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of relaxation and contentment) and stop producing the chemical on its own. With time, the brain is able to bounce back and begin producing dopamine on its own again.
Due to these reasons our specialists may, in some situations, determine that a person be better helped through this period by the aid of medication. We will skillfully and gradually taper you off of the addictive substance, that way your body can acclimate and progress towards stability, preparing you for the next steps of treatment.
In addition to prescription medications to treat withdrawal and the accompanying agitation, anxiety, and depression that might be present during this time, we may use a variety of non-addictive medications to further help you find an equilibrium and address any other health and medical issues that may stem from your withdrawal.
We may also supplement your health with nutritive support to help give your body better protection and balance after the addiction’s devastating effects.
We treat a wide variety of addictions. Next, we will discuss two types of drug use specifically, and how we will help you to detox from them.
At Vertava Health of Massachusetts, we specialize in treating opiate addictions, including those due to heroin, prescription narcotics, or other opioids. When a person stops using opioids, their body can experience a harsh and unpleasant reaction to the absence of the drug within their system. This is because opioids affect your brain’s chemistry. Specifically, the drug attaches to opiate-sensitive neurons at the mu-opioid receptor sites, affecting various neurotransmitters, the most notable being dopamine. These biochemical processes are responsible for eliciting feelings of reward and pleasure.
Eventually, the brain’s functioning becomes, in essence, dependent on these harsh chemicals and cannot function normally without them, which in the case of withdrawal is why you experience symptoms when you stop using a drug. The body and brain rely on opioids as their sole source of dopamine, leading to a deficit when the user halts opioid use.
We utilize a medically supervised taper, which enables our staff to slowly wean you off the drug of abuse so that you experience as minimal withdrawal symptoms as possible.
At Vertava Health of Massachusetts, we utilize buprenorphine, a dynamic medication that allows us to temper the pain and uncomfortable nature of withdrawal, significantly alleviating, and in some instances ceasing, some withdrawal symptoms and the accompanying cravings. In addition, we may use other medications at the discretion of your treatment team, to further help you find stability.
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Benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as “benzos,” are a group of sedatives and sleep aids prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety, panic, and insomnia. Benzos can be very effective for their prescribed purposes but are only safe for short-term use.
Taking a benzodiazepine for an extended period of a few weeks can lead to a drug tolerance and cause dependence. This can make the drugs work less effectively and require that a person takes higher doses to feel the desired effects.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be very dangerous and dependence can happen to anyone who has taken the drug over an extended period of time, even when used as prescribed.
It is not recommended that anyone who has been taking high doses of benzodiazepines attempt to stop taking them all at once. This can result in serious physical and mental side effects that, without supervised medical support, can become life-threatening.
Some of these withdrawal symptoms may include increased blood pressure, panic attacks, rebound anxiety, hallucinations, and seizure.
Depending on the severity of a person’s dependence, the detox process may require an individualized substance tapering schedule for a gradual, but safe, weaning process.
Addressing the Stigma of Taking Medications During Recovery
What is most unfortunate, is that many people still adhere to the false and hazardous notion that using a medication within treatment is wrong, weak, or dangerous. This all too frequent misconception can not only make detox more severe and intolerable, but could result in someone losing themselves to drugs as they return to using to circumvent these unpleasant symptoms, or literally losing their lives, as they could die.
Using medication to overcome an addiction does not make you weak. Instead, you are being extremely strong as you face your addiction head-on and make the wisest and most responsible decision possible.
Used properly, under the guidance and expert direction of the trained professionals employed at Vertava Health of Massachusetts, these medications may mean the difference between your success or a continued life of drug use.
Cleanse, Center and Build a Better Life
Detoxification from drugs is only the first step within rehab for building a strong recovery. During your time with us, we will also offer you an extensive array of therapies and modalities that are geared towards providing you with a thorough, holistically based treatment.
These include behavioral adjustment techniques, psychosocial therapies (both in individual and group settings), and family support, as well as therapy, recreational treatment, and adventure therapy activities.
With over 500 acres of rolling countryside in the Berkshire Mountains, there is plenty to explore on the Vertava Health of Massachusetts grounds. Doing so allows for the renewal of the human spirit through adventure. Some distinguishing features on our campus include high and low ropes challenge course, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, as well as ATV/RZR vehicles to explore the area with counselors.
Click here for more information about treatment options to consider after detox.
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What medicine is good for detox?
There are medicines that may be used to ease the detoxification process. Depending on medical necessity certain drugs can be used to manage acute withdrawal symptoms. Over the counter medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, anti-nausea or anti-diarrheal drugs may be used to treat a patient’s individual symptoms. For more severe or dangerous withdrawal episodes a doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety, or anti-seizure medications. Other drugs such as suboxone can be used to both treat the acute detox symptoms and as a medication assisted treatment during the long term therapy phase of the treatment episode.
How long does it take for your body to detox?
Everyone’s body is different and treats addiction differently. The length of the detoxification process will vary depending on the individual and what particular substance was used. Opiate withdrawal can last 4-10 days on average while benzodiazepine withdrawal can last two weeks or more. It can take days, weeks, and even months for withdrawal symptoms to resolve completely.
How do you detox at home?
The medical community has universally agreed that no one should attempt to detox on their own. Medically supervised detox is often crucial to your immediate health during the detoxification process. Quitting “cold-turkey” can have dire consequences and may also lead to an increased risk of relapse.
What happens during a detox?
During the detox process, the body and brain are reacting to no longer receiving the harsh chemical they were accustomed to. This may lead to intense symptoms of withdrawal and even life-threatening consequences if not done under the close supervision of medical professionals.
Let Us Help You
We know that becoming sober and working within your recovery isn’t always easy, and can at times be very challenging. That’s why we employ powerful, and life-changing research-proven treatments. It is imperative for your health, and to protect your very life, that you begin this process as soon as you can.
We also understand that this can be overwhelming—at Vertava Health of Massachusetts, our compassionate and expert staff is standing by to help you better understand the information regarding detoxification and treatment, so that you can begin making wise and positive decisions. Contact us today at (844) 906-0978 to start your journey toward living well.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Alcohol Dependence, Withdrawal, and Relapse
- U.S. National Library of Medicine — The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: Implications for Treatment