Going through drug or alcohol detox is often a critical component of the addiction recovery experience overall. It is typically the very first step a person takes when they are ready to stop using. In many cases, it is also the most difficult step to take.
The goal of the detoxification process is to safely manage the individual’s withdrawal symptoms. That is done in a few different ways, and it usually depends on a number of different factors, such as:
- The type of drug the person is addicted to.
- How long they have been using.
- Their substance abuse history and whether they have gone through withdrawal before.
- Whether they are using more than one drug at a time.
- How much of the drug they typically use in one sitting.
It is possible to recover from drug or alcohol addiction, and detoxing is often a big part of the process. But it can also be a scary thought, which is why we want to help make it less so. The more people know and understand about detoxing, the better. There are many detox programs in Arizona that have helped people be successful and today, we want to talk about why that is.
The Need for Drug and Alcohol Detox Services in Arizona
There are a lot of people in Arizona who are in need of substance abuse treatment services. Consider the following statistics:
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were 1,106 deaths involving opioid drugs in 2018 in Arizona.
- The number of deaths from synthetic opioid drugs (not including methadone, mainly fentanyl) doubled to 522 in 2018.
- That is a rate of 7.7 people for every 100,000 residents in the state.
- The number of heroin and prescription opioid-related overdose deaths remained relatively stable in 2018. They were 352 and 362 respectively.
- In 2018, doctors in Arizona wrote 50.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people.
- Compare that to the U.S. rate of 51.4 for every 100 people.
- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a condition that affects babies when women use opioids during pregnancy. Over the years, this has become a huge problem. In 2016, 7 out of every 1,000 births was diagnosed with NAS.
The opioid epidemic continues on in Arizona, and the Arizona Department of Health Services has some interesting and enlightening statistics. According to their research:
- Between June 15, 2017 and July 24, 2020, there have been 6,500 suspected deaths from opioid drug overdoses in Arizona.
- More than 46,000 people have overdosed on opioid drugs.
- There have been close to 89,000 doses of naloxone dispensed.
- More than 27,000 doses of naloxone were administered, saving many lives.
- More than 2,100 babies were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
- 116 law enforcement agencies ordered more than 21,000 naloxone kits.
- About 8.6% of people who had suspected opioid overdoses within the last month have received medications from 10 or more doctors within the last year.
- There have been 136,720 opioid prescriptions dispensed within the last month in Arizona.
- Less than half of doctors who have prescribed opioids or benzos have logged “lookups” in the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program. This means that more than half of prescribers are not checking for histories of abuse.
- The average Morphine Milligram Equivalent for the daily dosage of those receiving opioid prescriptions in Arizona is 43.2.
SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health also has some interesting facts to share about just the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metropolitan area:
- An average of over 500,000 people aged 12 and older have used an illicit drug in just the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metropolitan area within the last year.
- That number represents 16% of the total population of that area. It is not as high as the state as a whole (16.9%) and higher than the percentage for the entire country (14.7%).
- 6.1% of people admitted to using prescription opioid drugs non-medically.
- 326,000 people were stated to have a substance use disorder at some point within the last year.
- That number was lower than the rate in the State of Arizona as a whole, which was 10.2 for every 100,000 people.
- 7.4% of adults in Arizona over the age of 18 have experienced a major depressive episode within the last year.
- About 23% of people participated in binge drinking at least once within the last month.
Among young people in Arizona, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that:
- 18% of high school students reported consuming alcohol for the first time before the age of 13.
- That percentage works out to 21% of males and 15% of females.
- 33% of high school students state that they have had at least one alcoholic drink at least once during the last 30 days.
- This works out to 30% of males and 36% of females.
- Binge drinking behaviors were reported by 18% of high school students on at least one occasion during the last 30 days.
- That breaks down to 15% of males and 21% of females.
- 39% of high school students claim that they were given alcohol by someone they know.
- 6% of these students have driven a car after having consumed alcohol at least once within the last 30 days.
- 19% of them had ridden in a car with someone who had been consuming alcohol at least once within the last month.
- 6% of students report having used cocaine in some form at least once.
- 4% of them state that have misused prescription pain relievers at some point within the last year.
- 2% of Arizona youth stated that they felt they needed but did not receive treatment for alcohol use during the last year.
- 5% of Arizona youth stated that they needed but did not receive treatment for drug use during the last year.
Clearly, there is a need for drug and alcohol treatment in Arizona like never before. So many people are using illicit substances and many do not know where to turn to get the help they need. Fortunately in Arizona, there are a lot of wonderful options.
The Importance of Detox
Continued use of alcohol or other drugs may cause the body to develop dependence. If you abruptly quit certain substances, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be life-threatening in some cases.
- Provide relief from the discomfort of withdrawal.
- Offer the smoothest way towards becoming clean or sober.
- Help with any medical situations that may happen.
An effective detox can reduce one’s likelihood of suffering from relapse.
Is it Safe to Detox at Home in Arizona?
A lot of people want to try detoxing on their own at home before they will commit to a professional treatment program. But there are a lot of reasons why that is a bad idea. For example, an at-home detox can:
- Put people through difficult withdrawal symptoms that they might not have to experience if they opt for a professional detox.
- Increase the risk of a relapse later on.
- Increase the risk of an overdose by people who have relapsed.
- Make it easier to get addicted to a different drug in the future.
- Put the addict at risk for serious medical complications or problems.
Quitting cold turkey or doing an at-home detox is never a good idea. But this may be even truer for people who live in Arizona.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms people experience when they quit using drugs or alcohol are nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. All three of them can lead to dehydration if they are not treated and monitored properly. People who live in Arizona are subject to dry heat constantly, and they can easily get dehydrated if they simply forget to drink enough water.
For someone who is struggling to overcome an addiction, the risk of becoming dehydrated during detox increases. It can be hard to monitor one’s own water intake; especially when withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. It is much safer to choose a professional detox facility that can provide the care that is needed during this time.
Substances That Require Detox
Certain substances require detox supervised by a medical specialist. Withdrawal from these substances can be a reason for the individual to experience potentially lethal convulsions or seizures or become severely agitated.
These substances include:
- Benzodiazepines – e.g. Valium, Xanax, and Ativan
Some studies show that non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics (like Lunesta and Ambien) also require closely supervised detoxification.
Detox is strongly recommended for those addicted to:
- Opiates – including illegal drugs like heroin
- Stimulants – including methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription drugs like Ritalin and Adderall
- Prescription opioids – including oxycodone and hydrocodone and their brand formulations like OxyContin, Lortab, Percocet, Norco and Vicodin
While withdrawal from these substances does not cause a medical emergency, the dangerous side effects of the withdrawal may trigger relapse for some people.
Quitting “Cold Turkey”
Quitting drugs or alcohol without medical supervision or going “cold turkey” may lead to serious and deadly conditions, especially for individuals experiencing withdrawal from substances like barbiturate, benzodiazepine, and alcohol.
Possible Effects of Quitting Cold Turkey:
- Higher chances of relapse
- Higher risk of overdose during relapse because of reduced tolerance to the substance
- Uncomfortable withdrawal
- Death – often due to convulsion and uncontrolled seizure
Locating Quality Drug and Alcohol Detox Programs in Arizona
The SAMHSA treatment locator tool says that there are about 107 detoxification programs that are available in the State of Arizona. These programs are a mix of inpatient and outpatient facilities. Many offer both because while some people may need to be on an inpatient unit initially, eventually, they may still need detox services on an outpatient basis.
What to Look for in the Best Arizona Drug and Alcohol Detox Centers
For those who have never been through detox or any other type of professional treatment before, it can be daunting to choose. It is tempting to simply perform a Google search and opt for the one of the first results. But there is a lot more research that should go into it than that.
When choosing a drug or alcohol detox, it is important to look for all of the following:
- A program that has experienced medical staff available at all times.
- A facility that offers the type of treatment that is needed. For example, inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, etc.
- A treatment center that participates with the individual’s health insurance plan. This will help to keep out-of-pocket costs as low as possible.
- A program that is accredited through the Joint Commission. This will help to ensure that the quality of the treatment they offer is excellent.
- A higher than average success rate among clients or patients in the past.
There are a lot of choices available for alcohol and drug detox in Arizona. But they are not all the same. Anyone who is interested in going to rehab needs to carefully do their own research to ensure they are picking the right program for them.
The Detox Process
People recovering from drug or alcohol abuse have different detox needs. This process will help them get personalized treatment. It generally involves three steps.
Patients will undergo screening with medical specialists to check for mental and physical health problems. Through blood tests, doctors will measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in their system. This will help determine the type and level of medications the patients need.
During the evaluation, there will also be a thorough review of medical, psychiatric, and drug histories of the patient. This will establish the basis for the long-term program of the patient.
Medical specialists will also assess the social situation of the patient. Finally, patients will undergo risk evaluation to assess the possible severity of withdrawal and to determine if medical supervision is needed.
This step will help the patient through withdrawal with medical and psychosocial treatments. It aims to prevent any kind of harm to the patient. To lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and prevent complications, doctors may prescribe medications to treat their addictions.
The process of stabilization will also help determine the proper diet and nutrition for the patient. Specialists will educate them on what they can expect during their treatment and recovery. When appropriate and with confidentiality, this step may also include the family and friends of the patient.
Preparing for Entry into Treatment
This last step of detox will prepare the patients to enter treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. Specialists will persuade them to continue with a treatment plan and aftercare. There are many programs that can help them prepare for their treatment plan. Here at SpringBoard Recovery, we provide treatment plans that suit the needs of every patient.
Alternative and Holistic Programs for Detox
Many alcohol or drug detox treatment plans involve the intake of medication. However, there are alternative and holistic approaches that combine more non-conventional therapies, including the following:
- Healthy nutrition
- Yoga and meditation
- Creative arts therapies
Arizona Detox for Pregnant Women
Detox may lead to stress on the unborn baby (through severe fetal distress and preterm labor). Medical supervision is essential for pregnant women during detox to manage the pain and prevent relapse. Often, doctors prescribe medications to pregnant women during detox to stabilize them.
Rapid and Ultra-rapid Detox
In clinical studies, rapid detox is also called anesthesia-assisted detox wherein the patient will be given anesthesia and medications to replace the drugs or alcohol in their body as they go through the symptoms of withdrawal. This process was initially intended for individuals who have addictions to opiate drugs, such as heroin and painkillers.
Compared to an ordinary detox, advocates claim that rapid detox is a faster way of eliminating the drugs or alcohol in a patient’s system while also preventing pains caused by withdrawal symptoms. As advertised, people going through rapid detox will just “sleep through withdrawal,” because it is a virtually painless process.
However, this method is widely criticized because its risks outweigh its benefits. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that rapid detox processes have little to no evidence to justify its practice and have demonstrated substantial risks, which include death.
Rapid detox can take about two to three days, while ultra-rapid detox can take as quick as a few hours. While rapid detox carries fewer risks than ultra-rapid detox, both are quite expensive and insurance does not usually cover them.
What is an Arizona Medical Detox Program?
Medical detox is often referred to as medication assisted treatment, or MAT. MAT refers to the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. This offers a “whole person” approach to treating drug and alcohol addictions.
Most of the time, MAT is used for people who have addictions to opiates and opioids. But it is useful for people who are addicted to alcohol as well. It can help to control withdrawal symptoms by normalizing brain chemistry. Certain medications can block the euphoric effects of alcohol and drugs. That means that even if people do use while they are on these medications, they will not experience the high they are used to.
It is estimated that about 2 million people in an opioid use disorder in the United States in 2018. MAT has shown to be very effective at treating this addiction. It is a more comprehensive, individually-tailored program that meets the needs of most people in treatment.
What Medications are Often Used During the Detox Process?
There are several types of medications that are used during medical detox in Arizona. It really depends on the type of addiction a person has. The following lists the medications that may be prescribed based on the person’s addiction.
- Alcohol use disorder medications – People with alcohol use disorder need to have medications to help with their withdrawal symptoms. The right treatment can help them avoid complications, such as delirium tremens, which can occur during withdrawal. Naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram have all been FDA approved to treat alcohol withdrawal.
- Opioid addiction medications – People who are addicted to opioid drugs are at a high risk for overdose; especially if they try to quit using on their own. But there are medications on the market that can be used to treat their withdrawal symptoms. Methadone, naltrexone and buprenorphine are all excellent examples, although there are others as well. They should only be taken for a limited period of time because it is possible to get addicted to them if they are taken too long.
- Opioid overdose prevention medications – Opioid overdoses have increased drastically over the last several years. So many people have died as a result, but now, there is a medication that can help to reverse the effects. It has already been responsible for saving many lives in Arizona. It is called naloxone, and according to the World Health Organization, it is one of many medications that is considered to be essential in a functioning healthcare system.
It is important to note that while certain drugs have medications that have been specifically approved to treat withdrawal, not all of them do. But that does not mean that the person needs to suffer unnecessarily. Doctors will often prescribe medications to treat individual symptoms, based on the person’s needs.
For example, a person who is going through withdrawal may struggle with anxiety or depression. Their doctor may recommend a benzodiazepine or antidepressant to help them with their symptoms. If a person is addicted to a drug that could lead to seizures when it stopped, Gabapentin or another medication to help with seizures may be prescribed.
Medical detox offers a lot of options, and many doctors in Arizona have tried and true regimens that they recommend for certain types of drugs.
Do People Need to Choose Between Medical and Holistic Detox in Arizona?
There is no need for people in Arizona to feel that they have to choose between a holistic and a medical detox program. Most treatment centers that offer detoxification services use a combination of both.
As we mentioned earlier, medical detox is often a necessary part of recovery. The medications that people take during detox can help them get through the withdrawal period. But this type of treatment is not always good by itself.
Holistic detox offers people more natural options for treatment that are aimed at improving their overall health. What a lot of people do not realize is that when they use drugs and alcohol, their health and well-being suffers greatly. They are typically not eating the way they should, they may not be getting adequate water intake each day, and they may not be exercising at all.
Holistic withdrawal treatment can help in the following ways:
- It can provide nutritional therapy to people who may be deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients. This helps by improving the health of the liver and kidneys, which are the organs responsible for detoxing the body.
- It can teach people how to relax through mindfulness techniques that can give them more control over their cravings and urges.
- It can aid in the detoxification process by adding a physical exercise regimen to the recovery plan. The body is very adept at detoxing itself, and toxins are released through the pores of the skin as the individual sweats during their workouts.
- It can help to connect people with their spiritual side through yoga and other forms of natural treatment.
- It can teach them new coping techniques, such as journaling, which is a great way to get their thoughts out so they can better understand them.
Does SpringBoard Recovery in Arizona Offer Detox Services?
At SpringBoard Recovery, we offer outpatient addiction treatment services to our clients. The best way for a person to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction is to go through an inpatient detox first. While we do not offer this service, we recognize it as a critical part of recovery.
We always provide a referral for detox when someone comes to us with an addiction that requires it. For those who may not need it, but who might benefit from detoxing, we can also provide them with a referral for this service. We only recommend programs that we know and trust.
Detoxing off drugs and alcohol can make a big difference when someone is in recovery. In some cases, it can result in long-term success with continued care.
Life After Detox in Arizona: What Treatment Comes Next?Detox is only the start of treating drug and alcohol abuse. By itself, detox is generally insufficient to accomplish an effective addiction recovery. While it is not required, we recommend that patients go into treatment right after going through the detox process. Our specialists here in SpringBoard Recovery can help you transition to treatment centers. Treatment after detox includes multiple program types, including support groups. Treatment options after detox are as follows:
- Inpatient Residential Treatment – Inpatient programs are, by far, the most popular type of treatment. When a person attends this type of rehab, they stay in a facility for a period of about 28 days. During that time, they go through detox and go to rehab. This is extremely convenient because the entire program is offered under the same roof.
- Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab – Outpatient rehab is a very broad term for many different types of treatment. In some cases, it refers to working with a therapist on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. It can also refer to more intensive programs, such as IOPs, day treatment or partial hospitalization in which people live at home.
- Support Groups – Peer support is known as a critical component of the recovery process. Support groups give people a chance to offer each other help based on their own experiences. They are available on their own, on an outpatient basis, but they are also often a part of drug and alcohol rehab.
- Individual Counseling – Working with a therapist in a one-on-one environment is a major part of addiction recovery. It is their job to determine if the patient has a co-occurring disorder that needs to be treated alongside their addiction to drugs or alcohol.
- 12-Step Recovery Programs – Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings can be really helpful to people with addictions. These are outpatient organizations, although many inpatient rehabs use the 12 Steps as a part of their programs too.
- Structured Sober Living – Sober living homes offer a sense of stability that a lot of people do not have. Many people with addictions struggle from day to day and their home lives are not supportive of a clean, sober lifestyle. Sober living can be a great alternative and it can help people get their lives back on track.
Arizona Alcohol and Drug Detox Programs: Learn More and Get Started
At SpringBoard Recovery, we understand the importance of drug and alcohol detox. In many cases, it is dangerous for people to stop using without going through the detoxification process. We hope that we have answered some of the questions you may have had about what detox is.
Help is available for you in Arizona if you are searching for detox services. Please contact us today to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Going Through Detox Important?
Detoxing is important for a few different reasons. For one, it can help you get through withdrawal without your symptoms becoming too severe. The biggest reason people relapse is because they cannot handle the severity of withdrawal. They often end up using just to get some relief.
Another reason detoxing is important is because it can help you avoid certain complications that can occur when you go through the withdrawal phase. For some drugs, withdrawal is extremely dangerous. Benzodiazepines are a perfect example of this.
When a person goes through benzo withdrawal, they actually have benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. It leads to symptoms such as:
- Increased anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Hand tremors
- Dry heaves and nausea
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle pain
In some cases, people can develop seizures and even psychosis. This typically happens with people who take high doses of these drugs. The right treatment can effectively reduce the severity of these symptoms and even eliminate many of them.
What is Withdrawal?
Withdrawal refers to what a person feels when they stop using a drug or alcohol after they have gotten addicted to it. It produces symptoms that can be very difficult to manage on one’s own. Some common drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Getting irritable
- Experiencing sleep difficulties
- Appetite fluctuations
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Feeling restless
- Pain in the muscles and bones
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- An increased heart rate
- An increased blood pressure
- An increased or decreased body temperature
- Cold or hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Depression with or without suicidal thoughts
- Exhaustion or fatigue
In the simplest of terms, withdrawal happens when the brain and body have grown used to a drug and then that drug is stopped. There are changes that happen inside of you when you become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Your body adjusts, and when things change again, it can throw everything into chaos.
For example, dopamine is a chemical that the brain makes on its own, generally. It is what makes you feel good when something nice happens, such as getting to spend time with a friend. Drugs and alcohol cause dopamine surges which is where the feelings of euphoria come from. Over time, addicts’ brains are no longer able to make dopamine without their drug(s) of choice. As a result, the addict finds that they need to use to even feel like their normal selves.
Fortunately, there is treatment available for withdrawal at many Arizona detox programs. When symptoms are well-managed, it increases the individual’s chances of being successful long-term.
Should You Choose an Inpatient Detox Program in Arizona?
A lot of people get confused about what type of detox program they should choose when they are ready to stop using. There are two basic choices; inpatient and outpatient detox centers.
At SpringBoard Recovery, we always recommend inpatient detox for our clients’ safety. While it is possible to detox on an outpatient basis, it increases the risk of complications for some types of drugs. It can also leave the person vulnerable to a relapse because they will not have supervision 24/7.
During inpatient detox, patients are monitored at all times for any potential complications during withdrawal. Because they receive care around the clock, the chances of an emergency arising are very small. The staff is able to intervene at a moment’s notice, which makes it a much safer way to stop using.
What is a Medically Supervised Detox?
The term, medically supervised detox, refers to the presence of medical professionals and treatments during the detoxification process. In this type of environment, patients are able to take medications to help them through the withdrawal phase. There are some medications that have been FDA approved to treat withdrawal, such as Suboxone, Vivitrol and Methadone. But doctors may use several types of drugs to treat individual symptoms as well.
For example, someone who is recovering from an addiction to methamphetamine may experience symptoms of depression. Their doctor can offer them an anti-depressant to help with those symptoms during medically supervised detox.
Please keep in mind that these medications are not to be considered a long-term solution for recovery. They are intended to be utilized on a short-term basis because some of them can be addictive on their own.
Is it Painful to go Through Detox?
It can be quite painful to go through the detoxification process, but this is subjective. Everyone has their own unique experience that is based on a few different factors, such as:
- How long they have been using their drug(s) of choice.
- How much they use at one time.
- Whether they also use an additional drug and/or alcohol.
- The type of treatment they choose.
- Personal aspects, such as pain tolerance.
With the right treatment, most people find that their withdrawal symptoms are managed quite well. Their physical and mental pain is minimized and they start to feel better faster than they would if they had quit using on their own.
Will Health Insurance Pay for Detox Services in Arizona?
A lot of people fail to get treatment for their addictions because they are nervous about the cost. It can be expensive to go through detox in Arizona, but usually only if the person does not have health insurance. If they do have health insurance, they typically find that their out-of-pocket costs are minimal.
The Affordable Care Act is a healthcare law that was passed in 2010. It requires all health insurance companies to provide addiction treatment benefits to their customers. This is an important change because in the past, many health insurance plans did not include this type of coverage.
Today, many more people are able to get the help they need at a price that is affordable for them. Please note that you should always have your health insurance benefits verified prior to starting treatment. This will clarify your benefits and help you understand how much you are responsible to pay.