Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Suboxone Withdrawal

Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Suboxone Withdrawal

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is essentially a branded version of buprenorphine, the medication proven effective in eliminating opiate withdrawal symptoms and mitigating cravings in individuals suffering from opiate addiction and wanting to stop use. Suboxone is a little different from pure buprenorphine in that, in addition to buprenorphine, it contains naloxone, the drug used to reverse overdose from opiates. Suboxone, is therefore a safer form of buprenorphine in that it can prevent overdose in individuals who are utilizing Suboxone to stay off of opiates, but suffer a relapse.

Buprenorphine, the primary ingredient in Suboxone, has several desirable clinical properties: lower abuse potential, lower level of physical dependence (which means lower withdrawal discomfort), a ceiling effect at higher doses, and greater safety in overdose compared with opioid full agonists such as methadone.

Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, as opposed to methadone, which is a full agonist. Buprenorphine, the main ingredient in suboxone, eliminates withdrawal symptoms and relieves drug cravings by acting on the same opioid receptors in the brain as other opioids: heroin, fentanyl, morphine, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, and other opioid pain medications. Although buprenorphine occupies and activates the same opioid receptors, it does so much more mildly than full agonists such as methadone. Consequently, it doses do not usually produce euphoria when consumed orally as per physician orders. When injected (abused), however, it does produce euphoria.

Research has found that buprenorphine to be as effective as methadone in treating Opioid Use Disorder. Users have reported that they feel much less sedated and tired relative to methadone.


Suboxone is an effective medication that can help with addiction to opiate, but it can cause psychological dependence. It is a partial opiate agonist, so Suboxone does not produce a high like opiates, but it can produce some similar withdrawal effects.

Suboxone withdrawal or buprenorphine can last for as long as a month, and symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, sweating, irritability, digestive distress, insomnia, lethargy, headaches, depression, muscle aches, anxiety, cravings, difficulty concentrating and shivering. However, withdrawal from Suboxone or buprenorphine is much milder than that from opiates. The danger is the anxiety associated with not taking the medication to minimize cravings – now anxiety kicks in, as the individuals starts to wonder if they will relapse on opiates since they are not taking suboxone or buprenorphine any longer to suppress cravings.

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline

Normally, the withdrawal symptoms are more prominent in the first week, and then they start to reduce gradually.

Treatment Facilities for Suboxone Withdrawal

While many addiction treatment centers are claim to provide detox from suboxone, few really address the issues surrounding stopping medicinal use of suboxone or buprenorphine. Detox from Suboxone or buprenorphine involves more than physical treatment. The anxiety associated with coming off of a medication that has helped them stay sober has to be effectively addressed. Sometimes it may involve medication, but it also needs to be addressed through therapy.

Most facilities that provide detoxification from suboxone or buprenorphine do so in an inpatient setting. While inpatient detox may be necessary for some due to a dysfunctional home environment, outpatient suboxone detox delivers better outcomes. Besides, many inpatient treatment facilities ask the patient to sign a contract which states that the patient will not be given back their personal belongings, such as their phone, car keys or wallet, for 3 days if they choose to discontinue treatment at any point. Consequently, patients have to stay in the inpatient program until the facility decides that their treatment has been completed.

Outpatient suboxone detox of buprenorphine detox delivers better outcomes as it integrates the patients’ real-life environment into treatment. Also, the patients get to home at the end of each day and face their real environment for some time before coming back to treatment the next day. This not only helps them to put skills learnt in therapy to test, it also assures them that it is possible to live sober in their home environment without the help of suboxone or buprenorphine.

Therapeutic Support and Suboxone Detox

The key to maintaining sobriety for a long-term is therapy and self-help groups such as AA or NA. Support is needed to increase probability of staying abstinent, longer-term. The therapeutic choices involved in a personalized treatment plan may vary from person to person. A treatment plan to address the addiction to Suboxone should include:

  • Evaluation and assessment: A directed and effective treatment plan is formulated for the affected person. Behavioral changes and mental disorders, such as trauma or depression are assessed.
  • Unique treatment plan: Depending on the patient’s living conditions and comorbid conditions, a customized suboxone or buprenorphine protocol is initiated and a personalized plan formulated.
  • Therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT and Motivational Interviewing, or MI are utilized to provide therapeutic support to the patient.
  • Psychiatric Care: As related earlier, psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety surface when patients come off of suboxone or buprenorphine. While therapy can address some of it, medication may be needed and a psychiatrist should be available to prescribe appropriate medications.
  • AA/NA: Self-help, 12-step groups such as AA or NA are an important support system in recovery. They last a life time while the treatment cannot.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms


Methadone is a pain-relieving drug that is used to alleviate acute bone and muscle pain. It is also very effective in mitigating opiate withdrawal symptoms in individuals recovering from abuse of heroin, opioid pain pills, morphine, or fentanyl. It is administered orally or as an injection.

Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that effectively mitigates withdrawal symptoms and relieves drug cravings by acting on opioid receptors in the brain, in a similar fashion as that other opioids such as heroin, morphine, and opioid pain medications. However, it does so more slowly than the above-mentioned opioids. Consequently, an individual addicted to opioids, methadone treatment doses not produce euphoria. It has been used successfully for nearly six decades to treat opioid use disorder. It is available through specialized opioid treatment programs.

While methadone maintenance treatment should continue for at least 12 months, people on Methadone maintenance should be aware of the longer-term consequences of staying on methadone and explore pathways to come off of the medication when they feel that their recovery has been firmly established. The primary risk with prolonged use of methadone is becoming dependent on the medication and being unable to quit taking it, or increasing use as tolerance builds.

Long-Term Methadone Use May Result In:

  1. Trouble concentrating
  2. Negative impact on the liver, nerves and brain
  3. Cardiovascular problems
  4. Sexual/Menstrual dysfunction

Methadone is a full opioid agonist and it metabolized slowly. Methadone poses a greater risk of overdose than buprenorphine. Methadone is abused by consuming or injecting higher than prescribed quantities, snorting it or smoking it. In 2010, abuse of methadone caused 65,945 Emergency Room visits. However, due to established controls, the methadone dispensed for substance use disorders was not the source of this diversion. It came from methadone that was dispensed for use as a pain reliever.

Physical Symptoms of Methadone Abuse

  1. Poor reflexes
  2. Unusual sluggishness
  3. Weakness
  4. Trouble concentrating
  5. Vision problems
  6. Clammy skin
  7. Dry mouth
  8. Sweating
  9. Depressed breathing.
  10. Constipation
  11. Sexual dysfunction or irregular menstruation
  12. Increasing tolerance for the drug
  13. Withdrawal symptoms
  14. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during the night

Behavioral Symptoms of Methadone Abuse

  1. Stockpiling of methadone
  2. Aggressive behaviour when confronted about abuse
  3. Frequent doctor visits to get increased supply
  4. Lying about or hiding methadone use
  5. Avoiding attending self-help or support groups

Overuse or Abuse of Methadone

Like other opiates, methadone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Overuse or unprescribed use of methadone hydrochloride tablets (the form most preferred for pain control) can lead to life-threatening respiratory depression, especially when co-abused with other opiates such as heroin or opiate pain pills, benzos or alcohol. Misuse of methadone could lead to severe addiction, overdose, and even death. Methadone should never be combined with other medications that could lead to slowed breathing.

This medicine should also not be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding. New-borns who are under the effect of this medication may need medical treatment for several weeks after birth. This medicine transferred from a mother to the baby through breastmilk can cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone withdrawal symptoms can be excruciatingly painful. Methadone withdrawal can set is anywhere between 24 and 48 hours after last use depending on the quantity ingested. Withdrawal symptoms include: flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea, vomiting, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, sensitivity to sound and light, shivering, chills, and goose bumps. It is advisable not to try to quit methadone use cold turkey without medical supervision. It should always be undertaken at a licensed detox facility under medical supervision, because some of the withdrawal symptoms can be effectively addressed through medication at a detox facility. The danger with trying to come off of methadone at home is the risk of relapse on opiates when the withdrawal becomes unbearable. Not only would it be a psychological setback, it is also dangerous as the risk of overdose increases when an individual relapses on the his/her substance of choice after a break.

Help for Methadone Withdrawal

There is no dearth of methadone clinics in New Jersey. However, these clinics usually are not equipped to detox a person off of methadone, although they can help by tapering methadone doses to lower levels in consultation with the patient. Licensed methadone detox facilities like the Center for Network Therapy are fully equipped for methadone detox. They have the requisite detox- related medications, including buprenorphine, suboxone or Subutex, on hand to alleviate methadone withdrawal symptoms and ensure that the individual seeking to quit methadone is successful in doing so by decreasing discomfort during the detox process.

Drug Treatment for Methadone Withdrawal

Buprenorphine, naloxone, and clonidine are drugs that can be used to mitigate the withdrawal process and relieve some of the medical issues and methadone withdrawal symptoms.

Therapy to Address Psychological Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

The importance of receiving therapy, group and individual, during the methadone detox process cannot be overestimated. Anxiety is a major issue
when methadone use is stopped and so is depression. While medication to address these issues can be prescribed, therapy plays an important role in
building longer-term coping skills to deal with these issues.

Emotional Support During Methadone Detox

Methadone Detox is now available on an outpatient basis at facilities that are licensed by the State of New Jersey. Ambulatory, or Outpatient Methadone Detox is safe and more effective than inpatient treatment. The beauty of outpatient methadone detox is that the therapy received at the facility can tested in the home environment every day and adjustments made while in treatment.

Consequently, Outpatient Methadone Detox delivers better outcomes than inpatient treatment.

The Negative Consequences of Addiction

The Negative Consequences of Addiction

As per the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million Americans aged 12 years and over were battling a substance use disorder. Addiction is a complex disease that changes brain functioning in a way that compels the use of alcohol or drugs just to feel normal, despite the negative. Drug addiction, substance abuse and alcohol abuse negatively impacts lives by distorting lifestyles to an extent where all other priorities in life are de-emphasized. Besides health, addiction also affects the social network of relationships, family and friends, of the person addicted person.

How Drug Addiction Affects Health

  1. Loss of appetite which often leads to a drastic loss of weight
  2. Drug addiction could lead to malfunction of organs – lungs, liver, heart and sometimes, the brain.
  3. Drug addiction could affect kidney functioning and could possibly lead to kidney failure
  4. Alcohol and tobacco addiction increases the probability of developing cancer
  5. Drug addiction and alcohol dependence increases the chances of risky behaviour – sharing of needles of impaired driving – could lead to acquiring communicable diseases or increase chances of inury or death
  6. Addiction to multiple drugs increases chances of blood toxicity and sepsis, which could lead to organ damage or death.
  7. Drug addiction leads to increased mental health issues and a person could suffer from anxiety or depression and experience psychotic episodes
  8. The immune system is compromised, which increases the chances of contracting communicable diseases, such as COVID-19
  9. Drug addiction can lead to hormonal imbalance – men could suffer from decreased testosterone and it could cause infertility in women
  10. Unstable body functioning could lead to physical injuries

How Addiction Affects Brain Functions And Social Relations?

  1. Higher risk tolerance and impaired decision-making skills could lead to participation in criminal or illegal activities
  2. Obsessive addiction to drugs can lead to withdrawal from social relationships – getting more distant from family and friends. Profesional relationships may also be affected.
  3. Drug addiction leads to reduced empathy and sensitivity and could lead to apathy toward others and, sometimes, lead to  mental or physical abuse of others.
  4. Destructive behaviour could lead to the isolation
  5. Impulsive behavior and lack of self-control
  6. Drug addiction can lead to engagement with the law – reasons could be driving under the influence (DUI), domestic violence, criminal activities, theft, etc.
  7. Drug addiction can make people paranoid and lead to them experience out-of-body episodes. It could also lead to onset of schizophrenia due to the hallucinogenic effects of certain drugs
  8. Drug addiction can reduce pain perception in human beings, which can be detrimental as it is one of our defense mechanisms to health, internal and external

How Can Addiction Affect New Born Babies

Pregnant women, addicted to drugs or alcohol can cause severe harm to the unborn child leading to birth defects or giving birth to an infant who is born suffering with withdrawal symptoms. Lack of proper nutrition of the mother can cause neo-natal defects, premature births, and even miscarriages. Even in cases of normal births, children can develop certain physical and mental disorders later in life.

What Are Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms are prevalent in regular drug users who do not have access to their drug or alcohol of choice or try to quit using voluntarily. Withdrawal symptoms could include, fever, chills, insomnia, aches, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, tremors, shakes, acute cravings, etc. It is hard for an individual suffering from addiction to deal with these symptoms on their own and they should seek treatment. Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous – withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines can lead to seizures, stroke or even death. It is important for people experiencing withdrawal symptoms to access to proper medical help and treatment.

The list of negative consequences of becoming addicted to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is extensive and affects all aspects of a person’s life. It is important to realize that withdrawal symptoms and addiction can be treated and a full recovery is possible. Drug rehabs, addiction therapy and addiction treatment are established by licensed facilities to help people recover from addiction and start living a productive life.

Drug addiction and alcohol dependence can be treated. However, the individual afflicted by the disease of addiction needs to recognize that they have a problem and be willing to enter treatment. With the stigma around the disease of addiction still high, people suffering from addiction are generally more resistant to seek treatment in an inpatient setting. Luckily, addiction treatment has evolved over the past several years and now all addiction treatment, including detoxification for alcohol, benzos and opiates, is available in an outpatient setting. Please go to to learn more about treatment options.

Coping with Stress and Addiction During the Pandemic

Coping with Stress and Addiction During the Pandemic

During these challenging times, every third person is dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and stress, which are triggers for relapse for people in recovery. Changing precautionary measure and constant news feeds about the Covid-19 pandemic, isolation and inner turmoil during seem impossible to master. In addition to individuals suffering from mental health or addiction issues, even people who were functioning normally during regular times are feeling the pressure. People are using social media and even turning to pornography to deal with stress, anxiety and loneliness.

The COVID-19 crisis appears to be be spiralling out of control with every passing day. But it is important to realize that getting stressed and anxious will not make the situation any better. One has to incorporate a few lifestyle changes to add structure to dismantled routines that have become the new normal. It will also help to cope with mental health issues that crop up and avoid relapse triggers.

  • Develop an everyday routine

Routine delivers normalcy and adds a sense of purpose and meaning to everyday living. While it is tempting to let schedules remain scattered and chaotic during this pandemic, it does make you feel disoriented and lost. Creating a well-defined daily routine can help you take control of your actions and make sure you meet your goals on time without falling prey to the infinite triggers that come uninvited throughout the day.

  • Keep yourself engaged

Staying secluded within four walls surely stimulates negative memories and causes you to relive and regret negative things that happened in your life. When you find yourself falling into a web of endless contemplation, you need to distract yourself before it consumes your entire day. Maybe you could read the book that has been gathering dust on your book shelf, or maybe you could also learn a new language or try your hand at painting. Overcoming stress sometimes requires you to indulge in activities that require focus and creativity. And a little bit of fun too!

  • Stay connected

While people have to stay apart in the current scenario, technology can be extremely handy to stay connected with loved ones. Depriving yourself of the warmth of relationships during this pandemic is only going to accelerate the feelings of loneliness in unexpected ways. When isolation hurts, reach out to a friend or loved one.

  • Ditch the screen

All of us have been conditioned to check the phone the minute the screen lights up with a new notification! It is hard to ignore the phone and putting it away is a difficult task. During the current pandemic, news feeds constantly deliver bad news about the spread of the epidemic. Although it is not easy, staying “technology free” for a certain period of time every day will help in overcoming stress and focusing on what is important.

While it is a good thing to keep yourself on the loop with all the current happenings, hitting the stop button for a fixed period of time will serve to reduce anxiety and stress.

  • Seek help

Anecdotal evidence suggests alcohol use has surged and relapse rates have spiked during the pandemic, as a way of coping with stress.

When you find yourself coping with loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression by abusing alcohol or drugs, it is time to seek professional help from a reputed addiction treatment facility in New Jersey. Addiction treatment professionals can help you to recognize the underlying issues causing you to abuse substances or alcohol. But it is up to you to reach out to the right programs and avail of Addiction Treatment in New Jersey. Many programs are effective and provide medically monitored detoxification services.

  • Love yourself everyday

You are the most important person in the world to yourself! Always remember that. You need to stay nourished, physically, mentally and emotionally. Overcoming stress will become easier if you focus on loving yourself.

Stock up your kitchen with nourishing fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks. It will help build immunity and fill your mind and soul with positive energy.

Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. It is indeed hard to stay in touch with anyone during the pandemic. But make an effort to have a core set up of positive people who you touch base with often. One of them could be your AA/NA sponsor. If you have one.

Have an exercise routine you can follow inside your home. Maybe partner with like-minded people and all of you can exercise together over a Zoom call!

  • Reach out for help

The loneliness the pandemic has brought has felled many a strong person. Recognize that you are not super human and do not expect perfection from yourself. The loneliness and isolation caused by the pandemic can trigger a relapse even in the strongest of people.

If you have a slip-up, do not beat yourself up. Seek professional help at the earliest and do not let the issue fester and intensify. Many people feel stigmatized by addiction and are generally more resistant to seek treatment in an inpatient setting. Luckily, addiction treatment has evolved over the past several years and now all addiction treatment, including detoxification for alcohol, benzos and opiates, is available in an outpatient setting. Please go to to learn more about treatment options.

Understanding Alcohol Dependence

Understanding Alcohol Dependence


Alcohol withdrawal is a big deal! Hundreds of thousands of men and women suffer from Alcohol dependence all over the world. They have been dependent on alcohol for so long that alcohol withdrawal, when consumption is stopped, is acute and dangerous, as it can result in seizures! In high-quality, trusted Alcohol Rehabs in New Jersey, patients go through time-tested treatment protocols to help them mitigate withdrawal symptoms, address cravings and enter recovery. Entering treatment for alcohol dependence is the surest way to enter recovery.

  • Dependence on alcohol is physical as well as psychological. Alcohol can change brain functioning by altering dopamine reward systems in ways that leave the person chemically dependent on alcohol. Also, alcohol is used as a coping mechanism and people become psychologically dependent on alcohol to deal with stressors.
  • As with all addiction, cravings for alcohol is progressive in nature. As with other substances, tolerance develops over time – a higher quantity of alcohol is needed to achieve the same high.
  • While anyone can get addicted to alcohol, genetics is a pre-disposing factor.
  • Over 14 million adults in America suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder, or alcohol dependence.
  • One in 14 adults suffering from alcohol use disorder received treatment for alcohol withdrawal and alcohol dependence.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

After a period of heavy alcohol abuse, the body becomes chemically dependent on alcohol. Stopping alcohol use abruptly can lead to severe acute withdrawal symptoms, including seizures and stroke. Consequently, an individual afflicted by an addiction to alcohol must seek medically monitored detoxification when they stop consuming alcohol.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be treated effectively at many Alcohol Rehabs in New Jersey. Some milder alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety

More acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Extreme fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Delirium Tremens, or DTs
  • Inconsistent heartbeat and/or heart-related issues
  • Confusion and/or disorientation
  • Seizures

Alcohol Dependence and Genetics

An addiction to alcohol and alcohol dependence have a genetic component. As per WebMD, a person’s risk of becoming dependent on alcohol is 3-4 times greater if a parent has an issue with alcohol. Other factors, such as peer pressure, mental illness, etc., also play a role.

A thorough psycho-social evaluation, coupled with the quantification of withdrawal using withdrawal scales leads to determination of treatment. Oftentimes, withdrawal levels are serious enough to raise the risk of seizures or stroke.

That is why an individual suffering from alcohol dependence should seek treatment immediately. Sadly, most individuals addicted to alcohol go through a denial phase where they do not see their alcohol use as a problem.

Identifying Alcohol Use Disorder

Tolerance to alcohol increases over time and most individuals refuse to acknowledge that alcohol use is a problem. Use of alcohol has crossed over from casual social drinking to alcohol dependence when a person is unable to stop alcohol consumption despite negative consequences. Alcohol use is a problem is it:

  • Negatively impacts relationships
  • Is used to cope with stress
  • Leads to financial distress or job loss
  • Causes an increase in risky behaviour
  • Produces tremors when consumption is stopped abruptly

Talking About Alcohol Abuse in a Non-Judgemental Manner

If your loved one has issues with alcohol, it is important to broach the subject in a non-judgemental manner. Instead fof saying. “You are an alcoholic!” try, “You may have issues with alcohol.” Do not conclude that the individual has a problem with alcohol on your own. The individual affected by alcohol may also be more open to suggestions from an objective third party. The goal is to not make the person defensive but encourage him or her to engage with treatment professionals. Try to get a substance abuse treatment professional involved so that they can do a professional assessment.


Nobody plans to get addicted. Dependence on alcohol may develop due to many reasons. The recent Mental Health Day opened up dialogues about alcohol dependence, alcohol withdrawal and alcohol treatment in the context of individuals using alcohol to self-medicate for mental health issues.

Addiction is a chronic disease and there should be no stigma associated with the disease. Addiction is not a moral shortcoming or a behavioural problem. The functioning of the brain changes and keeps the cycle of addiction going. A non-judgemental approach and utilization of outpatient treatment modalities will help to vastly reduce the stigma around addiction and enable more people to access treatment in a timely manner. Most alcohol rehabs in New Jersey have professional staff that view addiction as a disease and facilitate access to treatment in a non-judgemental manner.

So, don’t wait! Reach out NOW!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Benzodiazepines: Benzo Abuse, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Detox, Benzodiazepine Treatment and Benzodiazepine Rehab

A Step-by-Step Guide to Benzodiazepines: Benzo Abuse, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Detox, Benzodiazepine Treatment and Benzodiazepine Rehab

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a class of drugs used to treat some mental illnesses such as anxiety and panic attacks and also medical conditions such as insomnia, epilepsy, tremors, acute seizures and muscle spasm. More than a dozen benzodiazepines are available as medications and are prescribed by doctors to treat legitimate conditions. Benzodiazepines include household names such as Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax and Valium. The chemical name for Ativan is lorazepam, for Xanax it is alprazolam, for Klonopin it is clonazepam and for Xanax it is diazepam. Xanax and Ativan are shorter acting benzodiazepines. Klonopin and Valium are long acting benzodiazepines. Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax and Valium are prescribed widely and are also the most abused types of benzodiazepines.

How Do Benzodiazepines Work?

Benzos work by increasing activity at receptors for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This transmitter inhibits the activity of neurons, slowing down the brain and nervous system – they act as central nervous system depressants. Benzos are relaxing and calming and promote sleep. The difference in benzodiazepines  is primarily in how quickly they are absorbed, how long their effects last, and how long they take to leave the body. Like opiates, benzos provide a dopamine surge that delivers euphoria and other pleasurable sensations.

What Medical Conditions are Benzos Used For?

Benzodiazepines are prescribed by physicians for legitimate medical conditions. They include, acute anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias (social, simple), insomnia, obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. They are also used for convulsive disorders.

How are Benzos Consumed?

Benzodiazepines are usually taken by mouth and are uniquely effective. Benzos are administered intravenously for rapid relief from acute anxiety or agitation. They can also be used to calm a person facing surgery or a person panicky about the prospect of an airplane ride.

In patients with panic disorder, they reduce anticipatory anxiety and the resulting tendency to avoid places and situations that might provoke a panic attack. They are also used to keep a patient calm before surgery or relax an anxious person before a plane ride.

Are Benzos Addictive?

All classes of benzodiazepines are addictive and physical dependence can develop after just a week of daily use. The short acting benzos are more addictive than long acting benzos and dependence to short-acting benzos, such as Klonopin and Xanax, can develop in as little as a week! However, developing physical dependence to long-acting benzodiazepines like Valium or Librium could take 2 months. Like all other drugs of abuse, an individual regularly abusing benzodiazepines can develop tolerance to the drug – tolerance means the usual dosage becomes less and less effective and larger doses are needed to achieve the same high. Not only do benzos provide a high they also cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly.

Do Benzos Provide a High?

Benzos deliver the same effects as opioids in that they deliver euphoria because they cause a dopamine surge. Benzodiazepines are abused alone and they are also abused along with opioids in order to spike the opioid high. Co-abuse of opioids and benzos is dangerous as both of them are CNS depressants. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, quoted a study where overdose death rates among people abusing opioids and benzos was 10 times higher than among those abusing only opioids.

Benzodiazepine Abuse Potential and Benzo Abuse Prevalence

As per the National Institute of Drug Abuse, or NIDA, 12.5% of the population, or over 30 million people in the US used benzodiazepines. Over 1 in 6 of benzodiazepine users, or over 5 million people, misused benzodiazepines but fewer than 2.5%, or less than 6 million were diagnosed with a benzodiazepine use disorder. This suggests that millions of people abusing benzodiazepines are not even diagnosed as having a benzodiazepine use disorder! It is important to note that benzo abuse through the illicit drug market is not counted in these statistics. Consequently, millions of people who are in dire need of benzo detox are not even accessing addiction treatment.

Benzodiazepines are rarely abused alone – that is, they hardly ever are the drug of choice. It is estimated that 80% of benzodiazepine abuse is part of polydrug (more than on=e drug) abuse. Benzodiazepines are most commonly abused along with opiates in order to spike the high derived from opiates. As per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, 15% of heroin users also abused benzodiazepines daily and 73 percent abused benzodiazepines more than once a week. Research also showed that many methadone users regularly abused benzodiazepines at high doses.

Studies have indicated that individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder often abused benzodiazepines at some time in order to spike the high they felt or to mitigate alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It has been found that individuals under the age of 30 suffering from alcohol use disorder abuse multiple drugs – nearly 80% of them have been addicted to at least one other drug.

Chart: Number of Benzo and Narcotic Pain Reliever Combination Admissions

Source: SAMHSA – Treatment Episode Data Set

Can an Individual Develop Tolerance to Benzos?

The short answer is, Yes! After a period of daily benzo use/abuse the individual will need higher doses to provide the same sedative effect. This is the case with all substances of abuse.

Side Effects of Benzos

The most common side effects of benzodiazepines are grogginess or drowsiness. Some short-acting benzos may cause rebound insomnia the night after they are used. Other benzos can negatively impact the ability to learn and can impair memory. When consumed at higher doses, benzodiazepines may negatively impact physical coordination and balance. This raises the risk of falls and other accidents. Patients using benzodiazepines should avoid consuming alcohol as alcohol intensifies the side effects.

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

Benzodiazepines are addictive and an individual can build tolerance to the medication. When the use of benzos is stopped abruptly, it can cause benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, which can be serious.

One of the immediate and most noticeable benzo withdrawal symptoms after abrupt stoppage is anxiety. In addition, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, trembling or quivering, excessive sweating, insomnia and sensory hypersensitivity are not uncommon. The most dangerous acute withdrawal symptoms are seizures and delirium tremens, which have a high probability of occurring when elevated levels of benzodiazepine use is stopped abruptly. Delirium Tremens is the rapid onset of confusion caused by benzo withdrawal. It usually occurs 3 days after the onset of benzo withdrawal symptoms.

The above mentioned benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms occur between 24 and 96 hours after last consumption. Different benzodiazepines have different half-lives and the occurrence of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms depends upon which benzodiazepine was abused. The severity of benzo withdrawal symptoms depends on amount of benzo abused and the length of time benzos abuse.

Treatment for Benzo Withdrawal, Benzo Dependence and Benzo Abuse

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be serious and have dangerous medical consequences. Therefore it is highly recommended that individuals abusing benzodiazepines wanting to stop or individuals dependent on benzos and facing benzo withdrawal enter treatment at a medical detox facility. Benzo detox should never be attempted at home. The risk of seizures due to benzodiazepine withdrawal is too great.

Center for Network Therapy Provides the Safest Benzo Detox

The first and most acute phase of treatment for benzo dependence and benzo withdrawal is medically monitored detoxification. Benzo detoxification is a complex process whereby withdrawal symptoms have to be managed, cravings addressed and potential for seizures mitigated. It takes an experienced detox team of physicians and nurses to complete benzo detoxification successfully. So it is important to find a detox facility with deep experience. The Center for Network Therapy is America’s leading provider of ambulatory, or outpatient detoxification for benzodiazepines and has the world’s leading safety record – zero cases of seizures during benzo detox.

Benzodiazepine detoxification involves the utilization of multiple medications. While some medications mitigate withdrawal symptoms, others are used address anxiety and eliminate the risk of seizures. Usually a Librium or chlordiazepoxide protocol is primarily used to detox individuals from the abused benzo. It is important to understand that Librium is also a benzodiazepine, but it is long acting and does not provide a high like most other abused benzos. Due to dependence risks explained earlier, the goal is to use Librium to detox only for a short period of time.

Outpatient Benzo Detox Delivers Better Results

A complete and individualized benzo detox usually takes between 14-16 days to deliver the best results. Usually only outpatient detox facilities are authorized by health insurance payors to provide detox for this length of time, so that the individual undergoing benzo detox does not have to pay out-of-pocket for the treatment. Health insurance providers usually approve only 5-6 days of detox at inpatient facilities. Such short detoxes off of benzodiazepines, usually produce less than optimal results – significant withdrawal symptoms are likely to remain at the end of shorter detoxes of between 6 and 8 days. Benzo withdrawal symptoms are extremely uncomfortable and individuals suffering from withdrawal from benzos are highly likely to revert to benzo abuse in order to relieve the physical discomfort.

Importance of Medical Monitoring in Benzo Detox

The importance of medical monitoring cannot be over emphasized during benzo detox. Withdrawal symptoms are acute and medication titration has to be customized in order to make the individual undergoing detox to feel physically comfortable. Usually, “one-size-fit-all” protocols do not work well from the patient’s perspective. Also, vital signs have to be closely monitored in order to anticipate seizures so that appropriate medication can be introduced to head off seizures. To add to these variables, individuals withdrawing from benzodiazepines usually experience severe anxiety and/or depression. In order to achieve optimal results these also have to be addressed to make the patient physically comfortable. Achieving physical comfort is paramount so that these individuals can engage in therapy in order to effect the lifestyle changes they need to make in order to enter recovery and achieve long-term sobriety.

Benzo Detox is Only the Beginning

Detox is not the end of treatment, it is only the beginning! Detox allows an individual to become physically comfortable so that they can engage in therapy to effect the lifestyle changes they need to enter recovery and maintain sobriety. Therapy and engaging in self-help groups such as AA or NA is the key to longer-term sobriety.

Benzo Rehab After Benzo Detox May be Needed

Inpatient Rehab after detox may be needed in some situations. Rehab is needed only in situations where the individual who underwent benzo detox has a living situation that is detrimental to his recovery. Some people do not have a stable living environment – either their family is highly dysfunctional or someone else in the family is abusing drugs or alcohol. Other follow-through treatment such as Partial Care or IOP can be accessed on an outpatient basis for individuals with the above constraints.

Opiate Detox program

Opiate Detox program


SAMHSA Responds to Opiate Detoxification Need

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a federal agency that sits at the apex of alcohol and drug treatment, research, referral and other services. SAMHSA has the best response to opiate detox program and opioid treatment needs through a free national helpline that provides treatment referral and information.

The telephone number for the helpline is 1-800-662-4357 (HELP). The Center for Network Therapy is the nation’s leading addiction treatment provider – opiate detoxification, benzo detoxification, and alcohol detoxification – and is licensed by SAMHSA to provide addiction treatment.

SAMHSA’s national helpline operates 24/7, 365 days a year. The service is free of charge and can be accessed in English or Spanish. All information provided is kept confidential.

SAMHSA’s website also has a treatment locator provision to find facilities that provide opiate detoxification and the Center for Network Therapy can be located using SAMHSA’s treatment locator.

Opioid and Heroin Facts – Highlights Need for Opiate Detox:

    • About 808,000 people had used heroin in the past year.
    • 10.3 million people over the age of 12 misused opioids in the past year – most misused prescription pain relievers.
    • Roughly 2 million people over the age of 12 suffered from an opioid use disorder – all these people will need opiate detoxification.
    • Injection opioid use raises risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. People who injected drugs accounted for 9 percent of HIV infections in America.
    • About 130 people die from opioid overdose every day – access to opiate detoxification could save thousands of lives. Opiate detoxification utilizes methadone, buprenorphine, suboxone or Subutex.


Opiate program and Opiate Detoxification Guidelines

1. Addiction to opiates is a chronic, but treatable illness – opiate dependence often requires continuing care for effective treatment rather than episodic, acute-care treatment approach.

2. Treatment providers should approach Opiate Use Disorder as a chronic illness, so that they deliver care that will help patients stabilize, achieve remission of symptoms and establish and maintain recovery.

3. Medication alone is not enough – patients should be able to access mental health services, addiction counseling and recovery support services.

4. Patient treatment time with medication will vary depending on the individual – one size does not fit all.

5. Treatment with medication saved lives – methadone, extended release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) and buprenorphine were found more effective in reducing opiate use than no medication at all. Buprenorphine and methadone were associated with reduced risk of overdose.

Emerging Trends in Substance Abuse:

Methamphetamine—Use is rising in America with 1.9 million using methamphetamine in the past year. Roughly 1.1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, much higher than in 2016. Overdose death rates involving methamphetamine quadrupled between 2011 and 2017. Frequent meth use leads to mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.

Cocaine—About 5.5 million people over the age of 12 or were past users of cocaine, including about 775,000 users of crack. Overdose deaths involving cocaine increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. Short-term effects of cocaine include increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. Over the longer term, cocaine can cause heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.

Kratom—Kratom is a tea leaf like substance that comes from a tropical plant from Southeast Asia. The leaves, when brewed, provide psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. This product is not regulated despite a high risk of abuse and dependence. Kratom can cause nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations. Kratom acts like an opiate, and same protocols as that for opiate detoxification – i.e. methadone, buprenorphine, Suboxone or Subutex.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

The Benefits Of Outpatient Addiction Treatment

choose CNT

Drug addiction rehab or therapy can be safely carried out within a clinic, hospital, or medical center. Alternatively, based on an agreement or other conditions, an outpatient drug rehab program could be arranged. Both types of medical care have their merits, and the decision on which to go for depends on such factors as financial strength, the severity of the case, the patient’s disposition, etc. Many have wondered, what is outpatient addiction treatment about and what are the benefits? Without further ado, here are the answers.

What Is Outpatient Addiction Treatment?

Medical intervention is generally performed in a formal hospital or clinic setting. But, of course, medical intervention can happen just about anywhere, provided that the necessary equipment is arranged.

Outpatient treatment programs also called intensive outpatient treatment (OIP), is a form of rehabilitation for patients struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, dependence and abuse, and who are past the stage where they need detoxification or intensive monitoring/supervision. The unique feature of outpatient drug rehab is that the patient can try to live a normal life outside the hospital while trying to overcome the addiction problem. Usually, patients only visit the addiction clinic, hospital, or addiction treatment center or other designated professional regularly, on specific periods within the week. Outpatient treatment also incorporates the necessary support for patients to participate actively in the whole process.

The main difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab programs is that the living arrangement for patients is more flexible in the latter. This allows patients in that category to have a structured, inclusive, and strict but yet comfortable therapy whilst having the barest disruption in their day-to-day life.


Benefits of Outpatient Addiction Treatment

  1. More degree of freedom: Outpatient addiction programs afford patients greater freedom in living their lives while still getting treated. There is a vast difference between being stuck within a treatment center no matter how comfortable it is and the privilege of going and coming as you please while still receiving therapy. This freedom to live a healthy life as much as possible is quite important to many and may be vital in helping them succeed.
  2. Structured, adapted medical care: Outpatient treatment makes it possible for patients to have specially structured medical care to suit their needs and schedule. Patients can sit with the medical personnel and draw up the best plan that suits them. Such privilege of plan assures the patient that the care is specific for them. It is amazing how well patients respond when they are in a specially designed program to take in their needs, desires, and prioritize their comfort.
  3. Access to support from family and other community: Outpatient care makes it easier for patients to receive support from their family members and communities of people with similar situations, who have achieved success. This is another way of helping them gain independence from drugs and alcohol. The more patients interact with someone who beat the problem, the more likely it is for them to beat it too.
  4. Better chance at integration with the society: Inpatient treatment, especially for a protracted period, can alter how the patient relates to the community. For example, some extroverts could become less extroverted after some months or years in a hospital. This affects not just their temperament but also impacts the way they live.
  5. Saving costs: It could cost so much to be admitted to a hospital or to live in a rehab home for a long time. Opting for outpatient treatment is a safe way to cut costs while getting therapy because you do not have to pay for the extra bills that come with inpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment is never the first method for drug rehab, and there are factors to consider before opting for it. However, outpatient drug rehab offers patients the best chance to live a normal life during therapy and helps in easing the integration back to society.


Free of Substance Abuse


For any individual to enter recovery from alcohol or substance abuse, they must want to change, including their lifestyle. Changing one’s lifestyle is not easy. It will be one of their life’s biggest challenge. However commitment, discipline and courage to make the change and stick with it will result in a rewarding, rich and enjoyable life in the years to come.

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Understanding Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a physical condition that requires professional medical treatment to overcome it. For individuals afflicted with this condition, it is not just happening inside their heads, as some might assume. Drugs, even prescription ones for genuine medical conditions, have side effects that make the body dependent on them. This dependency tends to build as the body starts demanding more of the substance, and the withdrawal symptoms become increasingly harder to bear when the drug starts to wear off. This invariably leads to a vicious cycle of ingesting greater quantities of the drug to achieve the same “high.” This is important to understand because it is not advisable to deal with substance abuse by going cold turkey. Instead, a medical practitioner should be involved so they can help wean the individual off the medication by gradually tapering off the dosage. Such treatment is often coupled with other therapeutic measures based on the kind of withdrawal symptoms experienced by the individual and other factors.


Importance of a Support System During Recovery from Substance Abuse

When a family member is addicted to a substance, one has to become more educated about the disease as it has the ability to impact the lives of those around them. To say the least, it is tumultuous! The best way to deal with it is to enlist the support of seasoned professionals at a New Jersey drug rehab clinic, who can take their loved one through the recovery process. Once the individual addicted to a substance has chosen to seek help, the first step is to address the withdrawal they will likely go through such as tremors, chills, abdominal pain, body aches, irritability, nausea and vomiting to name a few. This is one of the reasons why individuals who want to genuinely quit abusing drugs or alcohol go back to using.

When this happens, time and again, friends and family will watch as their loved one’s life falls apart right in front of their eyes. This happens because the individual afflicted by the disease of addiction does not get the right kind of help that can lead them to sobriety. Family or friends of the individual addicted to drugs or alcohol are unable to understand what the person is going through physically or psychologically. This is the reason it is important for the family to get educated about the disease of addiction by reaching out to addiction treatment professionals. This will help them understand that addiction is a chronic disease, much like diabetes, and it affects the mental and physical health of the individual afflicted by this disease.

The learning process will also enable the family and friends of the individual suffering from addiction to elevate the level of support they can provide to that individual. Many drug treatment centers are known to have a very high success rate in enabling the family to become a strong support system for the individual affected by addiction.

A loved one’s research will reveal that some treatment centers have a very high success rate These facilities are successful because they work hard in helping the affected individual in coping with the problems he/she faces in their home environment, as opposed to isolating the client from it. These programs also customize treatment to the individual needs of the client, instead of forcing a standard treatment protocol down the client’s throat. The goal is to reduce the chances of relapse. This is why it is important that friends and family guide the individual to a treatment program that is designed with the client’s needs in mind.


Breaking the Stigma of Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction afflicts people of every color, race and creed – it has no favorites. It destroys the lives of people afflicted by the disease and their families. So, it is important to get the best possible treatment at the earliest. A life free from substance abuse is rich and fulfilling.

Addiction has a significant genetic component and it should not be viewed as a behavioral issue. So, if you or someone you know has fallen victim to the diease of addiction, please take the time to locate an effective drug treatment facility within the state of New Jersey.


If it is not possible to offer assistance in any manner, the least any person can do is to be kind and not judgmental. Substance abuse is traumatic for any individual going through it. They do know the consequences that come with addiction, and their dependency only pushes them to feel intense shame and guilt. Using drugs and alcohol isn’t always a choice for those battling addiction. Keep in mind that those who seek help are often at a stage where they battle with severe issues, both mentally and physically. Rather than criminalize or stigmatize people with an addiction problem, tilt the perspective and see it as a health problem.


Life after Breaking Free of Substance Abuse

To be free of substance abuse is just the beginning of a renewed chance at life. Even after recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, there is always a potential risk of relapsing. Staying sober is also difficult when there are a lot of stimulants around that are likely to act as triggers. Furthermore, the environment that may have pushed the individual towards drugs or alcohol may not have changed. Financial circumstances, unstable family dynamics and workplace conditions are some other factors that matter tremendously.


Sobriety should always be followed up with a post-treatment plan. Getting over the addiction doesn’t necessarily end the relationship with the healthcare provider. One should never hesitate to get help, though it is human nature to not always do so when circumstances are trying. It is important to build a support system that ensures the individual has at least a few reliable people to reach out to when the need arises. One should also adopt a lifestyle with a healthy diet and physical activities. Mental well-being can be nurtured by focusing on activities that reduce stress and anxiety.

Substance Abuse Treatment Centers

It is possible to overcome substance abuse, and every individual who is battling addiction should have access to professional help. Treatment centers, like the ones in New Jersey, are also available in other states as it is not just an individual problem but a collective need to ensure that the illness of addiction is treated with the best possible care

Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

At first, you start off with raising a toast at celebratory events or enjoying an occasional drink at office parties. Or you hang out with your buddies, besties, or colleagues after school or work, and drinking alcohol or taking the latest party or club drugs seem like the “in thing.” Before you know it, you are sucked into a vortex of substance abuse and your life tumbles down a dark hole. Now alcohol consumes you or drugs take precedence over everything that matters in your life.

You start panicking and realize you need help before it is too late but a nagging feeling at the back of your mind keeps telling you that staying away from substance abuse and turning over a new leaf is easier said than done. Worse still, you cannot take a break from study or work, and family commitments stand in the way of you seeking help. But what if you could explore treatment options without turning your personal/professional schedule upside down? Let us handhold you through the myriad doubts and questions arising in your mind and find doable and practical solutions so you can walk down the road to sobriety.


What Happens at a Detox Center?

You might have heard stories of family members, friends, colleagues, or neighbors who have successfully completed drug rehab and are now leading meaningful lives. You might even be wondering what happens at a detox center and how you can identify the right program for yourself.

The outpatient alcohol rehab process involves four stages — Assessment, Detox, Therapy, and Aftercare.

Assessment is done to design a treatment plan based on an individual’s type, duration of substance abuse, and severity of drug and/or alcohol abuse, as well as other challenges such as domestic violence or co-occurring mental health issues.

Detox is the second stage and targets managing withdrawal symptoms and eliminating or negating the body’s dependence on drugs and/or alcohol.

Therapy delves into the roots or underlying causes of the addiction and gives a patient the tools to combat it.

Aftercare ensures that a person continues to receive support and embarks on a lifelong journey of recovery.

You should take care to select the right detox program and look for evidence-based treatment approaches offered by a team of trained and certified professionals, including doctors, therapists, counselors, and support staff. Questions you should seek answers must include:

  • What will my treatment plan look like and who will design it?
  • How many hours will I need to commit each week to successfully finish it?
  • What does a typical session include and how will it be implemented?
  • Are there evidence-based therapies and treatment options?
  • Can I sign up right away or is there is a waiting list? If yes, how long do I need to wait before I can enroll?
  • What facilities or support are offered in terms of aftercare? Will I receive the usual follow-up telephone call or have access to programs involving my family members and friends?
  • Will I be offered help for co-occurring health concerns such as mental health disorders?

A detox center primarily offers inpatient and outpatient programs for those struggling with substance abuse. A substance abuse evaluation is conducted to recognize the intensity of the problem, analyze it, and customize a treatment plan best suited to your needs.

Understanding Substance Abuse Evaluation

People who are coping with addiction or substance abuse experience a range of feelings and emotions. They may feel scared or overwhelmed; at other times, they may feel hopeful and have a strong urge to change and go clean. Recognizing one’s addiction and the desire to seek help is the first and foremost step toward a successful recovery.

A substance abuse evaluation is a clinical tool used by doctors and healthcare providers to identify and analyze the extent of a person’s alcohol or drug addiction, determine co-occurring concerns like a mental health disorder, evaluate the magnitude or impact of the addiction on the person’s life and everyday activities, and obtain and assess the medical and social history relating to general health concerns and drug use.

stop your additcion
Substance abuse evaluations are comprised of two parts — an initial screening and a more holistic assessment. Both these parts are used to determine a treatment plan, as screening helps to understand whether or not a person has a substance abuse disorder, and the subsequent assessment identifies the type of problem, determines possible options for diagnosis, and helps in recommending a tailored treatment strategy. Entry-level professionals can be engaged to carry out screenings, while assessments need to be conducted by certified and/or qualified doctors, nurses, therapists, or social workers.

Some of the more common tools used for screening include the CAGE Questionnaire, and Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI). For instance, the CAGE Questionnaire is an essential tool for assessing the drinking patterns of individuals considering outpatient alcohol rehab or inpatient treatment. The questions give shape to the acronym CAGE as they seek to find answers to four questions — Have you ever felt the need to Cut down on your drinking? Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking? Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

An assessment is done by recording discussions, asking diagnostic interview-style questions (structured and semi-structured), and collating written responses on the history or usage of drugs and alcohol, substance-related behavior, health concerns, and history of possible treatment so that a proactive strategy can be drawn up to arrest the progress of the substance abuse disorder. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (a fully structured tool) and the Addiction Severity Index (a semi-structured interview) are two of the most commonly used tools for assessment.

Ambulatory Outpatient or Outpatient Care

If staying away from your loved ones – particularly children – or taking a break from work or study is not a feasible option for both personal and practical reasons, outpatient detox programs or ambulatory outpatient care could be exactly what you need as your attendance is required only during treatment sessions. You can return home and go about your daily routine without disrupting your normal activities or incurring additional expenses. It is important to note that a majority of people enroll in outpatient alcohol rehab programs at some stage of their treatment plan as even those who initially opt for intensive inpatient or residential treatment programs also need to make the transition to outpatient care as a means of continuing and eventually completing their treatment programs.

You can avail yourself of services for ambulatory outpatient care at health centers, urgent care centers, hospital-based outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, offices of physicians, and a host of other places offering medical assistance. Outpatient alcohol rehab scores big in terms of affordability, and it offers greater flexibility as there is little or no need to readjust your daily schedule. It also provides enhanced confidentiality as you can seek treatment discreetly or anonymously; there is no need to explain your prolonged absence to your employer or family members and friends, and you can immediately apply or use the lessons imparted in everyday situations.

Types of Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Programs

Each outpatient alcohol rehab program is different in terms of schedule and structure as it is customized and based on a person’s needs and goals. Some programs require an individual to attend treatment sessions for several hours a day for 5 days a week, whereas people enrolled in other programs may be required to meet only once or twice each week. The deciding factors are the severity of the addiction and the need for concurrent psychiatric or medical care.

There are three primary types of outpatient programs for drug and alcohol addiction — standard outpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. The programs differ in structure, intensity, and types of services offered.

Standard Outpatient Programs: These programs are the least intense. People enrolled in these programs typically require little medical supervision and meet for 1-2 hours once or twice a week. Sessions may involve one-on-one counseling with a therapist or group therapy.

alcohol rehabilitation and treatment

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs): According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an IOP is defined as a program that requires a minimum of 9 hours of intensive treatment per week. People enrolled in these programs can avail themselves of a wide range of services, including individual and group counseling sessions, 12-step meetings, and medication. Participants are required to meet for 9-20 hours each week. Many IOPs require individuals to meet 3-6 hours, 3-5 days a week.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs): These are day treatment programs offered at free-standing clinics or hospitals. Treatment sessions are conducted for 3-8 hours a day for up to 7 days a week. The sessions include individual, family and group therapy, on-site medical care, and psychiatric care and help people in making a transition from an inpatient program to outpatient care.

Therapies Used in Outpatient Care

Therapies used in outpatient programs are based on a number of factors and vary depending on an individual’s history of substance abuse, the substance or substances abused, co-occurring mental health disorders, and other underlying health concerns. Some common therapies that are used include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the Matrix Model, Contingency Management, Motivational Enhancement Therapy or Motivational Interviewing, and Family Therapy.

When Not to Opt for Outpatient Detox

Before you enroll in an outpatient detox program, you need to weigh your options carefully. Scrutinize your history with drugs and/or alcohol with a fine-toothed comb to make a realistic assessment of your needs. Choosing a drug rehab program in an outpatient setting may not be the ideal choice if a person experiences a constant urge to use drugs and/or alcohol, or fails to regularly attend therapy or group sessions, or requires treatment or medical supervision for multiple disorders.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Psychological Association do not recommend outpatient alcohol rehab for patients if they have complicated withdrawal syndromes such as psychosis and potentially fatal seizures, severe or multiple addictions, co-occurring disorders like chronic medical issues or cardiovascular disease, a history of relapse or several failed or unsuccessful attempts at recovery, poor support systems and exposure to toxic environments such as stressful living conditions, the risk or a history of complicated withdrawal symptoms, or referral requests from therapists or doctors to put a patient in an inpatient treatment facility.


Alcohol Withdrawal and Outpatient Alcohol Rehab

If you’re still thinking about relapses and visions keep flashing before your eyes of people in your social circle who have successfully battled the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and yet have gone back to outpatient alcohol rehab, you need to understand that it is an uphill task and that only your commitment and dedication – coupled with the right circumstances – can help you achieve long-term sobriety. Rehab can have a substantial positive effect on your life as it is a progressive and ongoing journey.

You need to identify and avoid triggers and/or temptations, build a strong support network of family members and friends, and keep yourself busy and motivated so that your addiction does not end up being an on-again, off-again battle.

The determinants of successful rehab are based on research-based treatment and practice-based evidence. If you want to beat the odds, outpatient alcohol rehab can help you stay strong and offers a solid pillar of support on this lifelong journey of recovery.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is “no cure” for addiction as it is a relapsing and chronic condition. Although there is no magic potion that offers instant relief or cure, the condition can be managed with support from programs for drug rehab and alcohol rehab, proper guidance from doctors and healthcare professionals, and the love and support of family members, and friends. These factors, and most importantly, your belief in yourself, can help you achieve lifelong sobriety.


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