Rehabilitation from drugs or alcohol can be especially difficult when you are suffering from physical withdrawal effects. Detox programs can help you or your loved one safely stop using addictive substances in a comfortable environment. Safe medical detoxification can give you the strong foundation you need for a successful recovery.


Start the new life you deserve today, beginning with a medical detox to cleanse your body before you start to heal your mind and spirit through a holistic rehab program.


Use the following menu to skip to any section you are most interested in:

  1. What is drug and alcohol detox?
  2. What can I expect during the process?
  3. How long does it take?
  4. What substances is it necessary for?
  5. How does it help with substance abuse rehabilitation?
  6. Is medical supervision necessary?
  7. Is treatment available near me in Denver, Colorado?
  8. Contact Denver Recovery Center today.


Historically, substance misuse was considered a social problem that people tried to manage within the family unit or social infrastructure. Many places of worship and schools developed substance abuse programs, but medical supervision, comprehensive individualized programs, and regulated national guidelines were not in place until recently.


It wasn’t until the 1970s that the healthcare system began to provide training to medical personnel and offer treatment options for those struggling with addiction. Today, help for substance abuse is available through easily-accessed programs that can help you or your loved one with addiction in a comprehensive manner that can produce long-term results.


What is drug and alcohol detox?

Detoxification programs, also known as withdrawal management programs, were initially designed to manage the physical and emotional symptoms that manifest when the use of an addictive substance is discontinued. Today, drug and alcohol detox is often a critical first step in addressing substance abuse. In cases where there is no assistance during this stage, these symptoms can be severe or uncomfortable enough that people quit before any real progress has been made and return to their drug of choice to ease the withdrawal effects.


Modern detoxification programs are highly effective in preventing serious medical consequences that are associated with discontinuing a substance. In fact, the Surgeon General has found that withdrawal management programs are highly effective at helping people achieve a substance-free state that prepares them for ongoing behavioral treatment and long-term recovery.


For many people, medical stabilization is the first step toward managing an underlying issue and is the most effective way to start combating substance abuse.


What can I expect during the detox process?

Effective treatment starts with an understanding that addiction is a complex but treatable condition that alters brain function and behavior. No single treatment works for each person, which is why everyone who enters our doors at Denver Recovery Center receives a customized treatment plan created for their specific needs. We do not stop the rehab process when the physical body has been cleansed; Denver Recovery Center uses a holistic approach that treats the mind, body, and spirit of each person, allowing for a more full and lasting recovery. The Surgeon General has highlighted the need for holistic treatments that attend to all aspects of an individual, not just substance use.


An effective treatment plan should be modified as you make progress. A program that works initially to help you overcome your immediate physical addiction is no longer going to help you as you begin to integrate behavioral therapies to protect yourself against the temptation to use drugs or alcohol. That is why medical-only programs are touted as a first step; treatment must be continued with therapies that will help you manage stress and handle any underlying issues that may have contributed to substance use in the first place. Modern facilities integrate all of this into one single treatment plan, making it easier and more convenient to continue from one step to the next.


When you enter into a medical facility and begin to reduce your substance consumption, you will probably face withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms vary in intensity and duration based on how long the substance was used, how much was used, what type of substance was used, and the overall health of the user.  Alcohol, tranquilizers, opioids, and sedatives all produce physical symptoms; substances such as stimulants and marijuana will produce cognitive and emotional symptoms.


When you start rehabilitation, you may experience withdrawal symptoms as the amount of alcohol or other substances in your body begins to decline. Having professional assistance while you go through the first step of recovery can be extremely helpful and reassuring because doctors and nurses know what to expect during each step of your withdrawal and can guide you through the process.


Withdrawal symptoms are most common for those who used cocaine, opiates, or alcohol. However, they can manifest for most drugs. The National Institute of Health (NIH) identifies the following as the most common withdrawal symptoms for almost any drug:

  • Decreased activity levels
  • Depression
  • Disturbing or vivid dreams
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Restlessness


For alcohol treatment you might experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shakiness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Low activity levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures

Opiate withdrawal manifests with flu-like symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle cramps
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Heavy sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


In each of these cases, it is easy to see how unpleasant those first few days can be. The withdrawal process is tantamount to being very sick. Being in a medical facility with medical personnel to tend to you will make it much easier.


How long does detox take?

Most withdrawal symptoms are relatively short-lived and last between three and five days, especially when they are properly managed with medication, vitamins, adequate sleep, and exercise. In cases where sedatives or tranquilizers were used in combination with alcohol, the withdrawal process is generally lengthened to prevent health complications. In these situations, the medical professionals slowly taper the drugs to cleanse the system of the substances while keeping you or your loved one physiologically safe.


Using a medical facility for any type of withdrawal management can make you feel more comfortable while experiencing the side-effects from drug or alcohol withdrawal. It can also expedite the process and set you up for a successful recovery.


What substances need to be detoxed from?

There are many substances which need to be removed from the body with the help of medical professionals, especially when facing an addiction. You should always consult with a professional before attempting to quit any substance, even when you aren’t sure if a formal program is necessary. Occasional alcohol consumption generally does not warrant the need for a medical program. However, someone who is struggling with addiction and cannot function on a daily basis without alcohol should consider a medically-assisted program. The same can be said for many other drugs; occasional usage may not require a medically-assisted program, but regular substantial usage or even light usage for very dangerous drugs should be withdrawn from with professional help to minimize the risks of weaning off such substances.


For example, being prescribed a benzodiazepine for medical reasons, taking it as prescribed, and then discontinuing its use is generally safe to do alone under your doctor’s guidance. However, continuing to use benzodiazepines when they are no longer necessary, after a doctor has stopped prescribing them, or when daily function is impeded without them may be signs of addiction that could warrant an assisted detox program. Most drugs have the potential for addiction, including alcohol, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, and many others.


It is important to understand that all drugs have some type of withdrawal that may range in severity from barely noticeable to life-threatening. Symptoms can be either physical, psychological, or both. In the short-term, these symptoms sometimes have the potential to be deadly. Drugs like heroin have very strong physical withdrawal symptoms that are incredibly uncomfortable and dangerous. Drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine can cause depression and emotional withdrawal in addition to potential suicidal thoughts, making a supervised detox program necessary for your own or your loved one’s safety.


Alcohol withdrawal causes disorientation, severe tremors, and inhibited motor skills, all of which can leave people in a dysfunctional state. Medical care can make the process safer and more comfortable by reducing symptoms like nausea or restless legs and providing coping mechanisms for anxiety or depression.


How does detox help with substance abuse rehabilitation?

Overcoming an addiction is an ongoing process that can include setbacks. It’s important to remember that this is normal. Detox programs are just the first step in your treatment and persistence is important. Only rarely do people with substance addictions simply quit after their first treatment and never touch drugs or alcohol again. That is why continued follow-up is such an integral component to treatment and why these programs are just the first step of your recovery.


Studies show that people who have been dependent on alcohol or drugs are two or three times more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression throughout the course of their life. When you are ready to address the things holding you back in life, make sure that you don’t stop with cleansing your physical body and that you get treatment for any accompanying issues with which you might struggle.


After completing a withdrawal management program, holistic therapies such as individual counseling, yoga, meditation, and group therapy from Denver Recovery Center can help you develop the skills you need to overcome triggers that have led you to drug or alcohol abuse in the past. Alumni care services will keep you in touch with people who will support you after the initial phase of your recovery. Long-term substance abuse rehabilitation generally requires a substance-free state; for many addictions, that starts with detox.


Is medically supervised detox necessary?

Medically supervised detox refers to the cleansing of drugs or alcohol while under the care of mental health and medical professionals. It is recommended in many cases. Realistically, it is best for most cases as the observation and expertise of professionals increases safety and comfort during the process. This is especially true for individuals who might experience painful symptoms or those who run the risk of medical complications. Medical professionals can also administer medications to reduce strong cravings or ease any painful symptoms, if necessary. For exceptionally addictive drugs like heroin, having this type of comfort and support nearby can often mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful treatment.


Due to the potentially dangerous effects, drug detox centers should almost always be used for dependence on benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or fentanyl. Consult with your doctor, a rehab facility, or another medical professional before attempting to discontinue the use of any of these substances.


Dependence on benzodiazepines like Valium, Klonopin, or Xanax can cause severe discomfort during the initial stages of withdrawal. In the worst cases, it could lead to grand mal seizures or coma. Seizures can cause permanent brain damage, which is one reason why it is so important to have a medical professional supervise the entire process.


Similarly, addiction to barbiturates can cause disorientation, seizures, or even comas. Tapering the substance, which refers to gradually reducing the amount of a drug in a person’s system, can prevent more serious medical complications from occurring. Having medical professionals at hand will not only reduce the risk of serious issues but can also make the entire process much more bearable.


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is significantly more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl dependence can, in the most serious of situations, cause seizures during withdrawal. While rare, this opioid can potentially cause seizures and as such, professionals should be on hand when going through drug detox.


Is drug and alcohol detox available near me in Denver, Colorado?

Yes! Denver Recovery Center is here to help you or your loved one with entering the right drug and alcohol medical detox programs. We are partnered with local facilities that will provide you or your loved one with the highest quality care available. If it is necessary in your case, you will start with the physical process of removing the substance from your system. When that step is complete, the next stage is participation in our wide range of holistic and evidence-based addiction treatments.


We know that you are not defined by your addiction and that there are many factors in life that contribute to substance abuse. To that end, we provide specialized holistic programs that address every aspect of a person: mind, body, and spirit. Every person’s journey and recovery experience are unique, and your treatment should be as well. We customize rehabilitation plans for each client to ensure that you are safe and comfortable during recovery.


We also understand that when you step out of the recovery center door after a rehab program, your troubles will not be completely over. Recovery is a lifelong battle, which is why we focus on providing sustainable life skills that support healthy daily decisions, emphasize fitness, and cultivate stress management skills. Managing life’s various issues in healthier ways means a reduced chance of returning to substance abuse down the road.


Contact Denver Recovery Center today to learn more.

Many people who choose a local program are able to reduce or quit their addictions entirely. Set yourself up for success by contacting Denver Recovery Center today to get started on your journey.


Our compassionate, experienced staff members are here to ensure that your rehab program is tailored specifically to your needs. It may include individual and group therapy, fitness programs like yoga and exercise, or adventures using outdoor therapy. We offer a wide range of rehabilitation options that are meant not just to start the sobriety process, but to provide you or your loved one with the tools needed for a lifetime of success.


You have many treatment options available to you, and withdrawal management centers are often the first step to a sober life. Let us help you take the first step along your path to a better life. Call us at 844-307-2955.