DetoxificationA Program of Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center
The medical detoxification process at Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center begins with a thorough medical and psychological assessment by licensed doctors, nurses and counselors. Our utmost priority is the safety and comfort of the individual with the availability of private rooms.
We are proud to offer a high-quality, full service detoxification process utilizing the safest and most effective medical practices. The personalized treatment plan is designed to meet the unique characteristics of each client.
Alcohol Detox Program West of Dallas, Texas
At Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center, we do everything possible to ensure the safety and comfort of the client during their time in detox. Our medical team includes: Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Certified Medical Techs and support staff. We monitor client progress and then track mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being during detoxification. Since alcohol is a depressant, we do not address the possible presence of a co-occurring disorder until after the body is free from the influence of alcohol.
Typical detox symptoms from alcohol use may include the following:
- severe confusion
- heart failure
- delirium tremens, also called the DT’s
The extent of the severity of symptoms will vary depending on the individual’s history of alcohol use and individual physical condition. The risk of detoxing from alcohol can be serious and should not be attempted alone.
Drug Detox Program
Our drug detoxification program is ideal for men and women who may be addicted to narcotics that carry with them physical dependence—such as opiates and benzodiazepines. It is imperative that the withdrawal symptoms for these categories of drugs as well as their street drug derivatives are medically managed.
Opioid pain medication addiction has become an epidemic. Accessibility of commonly used opiates has increased through availability on the internet and pain management specialists. Often, pain medications which are very, very addictive are prescribed for legitimate medical use and then continued unintentionally. The prescribed medications are often found in the hands of recreational users rather than the person who was prescribed the medication. We are seeing many young adults truly struggling to overcome heroin addiction. Many times an individual will come to Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center abusing heroin and also abusing “Buprenorphine” (common brand name Suboxone, Subutex). These medications are often used to help an opiate addict taper down from an opioid medication comfortably. Unfortunately, many individuals are finding themselves addicted to this drug that was designed to help an opiate addict become chemical-free. The health of the client will be monitored and maintained during this delicate time. Opioid and benzodiazepine addiction is serious and can be fatal if attempted without medical care.
It is common for clients to have high liver values and in some cases liver damage as a result of the opioid pain medications. Some of these medications have high levels of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) which is damaging to the liver. Our Doctors will evaluate the general health, including the liver upon admission and make every effort to get your body to a healthy state.
Our team also discusses the impact that addiction has had on the patient’s mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their lives. By following the American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria, our medical staff takes the utmost care in the treatment of each patient.
At Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center, we provide a calm, quiet environment to begin the journey of recovery. Recovering from drug addiction takes a different amount of time for each person, and depends greatly on their length of use as well as the degree to which they were addicted. We offer a 90 day program for the greatest chance of long-term, permanent recovery with a 30 or 60 day option. We also offer a state licensed, Supportive Residential, step down program when appropriate for the individual.
Stimulants such as amphetamines, cocaine or psychotropics like marijuana, do not meet the medical criteria for physical addiction. But that does not mean that individuals do not have severe cravings, which cause an obsession with these substances. This obsession fuels an uncontrollable compulsion to use the drug. Clients fitting this category will also benefit from being in the safe, drug-free space that detox provides. Our medical team will manage symptoms and provide medication as needed, if needed.
Sometimes drug and alcohol dependency takes a heavy toll on the body. For example, a person who has been abusing stimulants like cocaine or crystal meth inevitably enters treatment severely sleep-deprived and malnourished. In detox, a patient can get the rest and nutrition their body requires for healing.
Detoxification from Prescription Drugs
Prescription drug abuse has dramatically increased over the past couple decades in the United States. Prescription opioid painkillers that are widely abused are:
- OxyCodone, Oxycontin
- Hydrocodone, Vicodin
Other types of prescription drugs also represent a significant portion of prescription drug abuse. These can be both depressants as well as stimulants, which includes:
Some clients who end up requiring detox for prescription drugs were first prescribed the drug by a doctor for pain or another legitimate ailment. The body can become physically dependent on these medications. When this happens, the client may experience phantom pains that feel very real but are actually cravings for more of the drug, which often leads to taking the painkillers in dosages not recommended by a doctor. Clients may then begin going to multiple doctors or attempt to get multiple prescriptions in order to feed their growing addiction. These prescription drugs, although controlled substances, still carry with them a significant risk of abuse, and can be are abused in conjunction with other mind-altering chemicals, such as alcohol. Detoxification can clear out the chemicals from the body and allow the medical team to address any health problems.
Drug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences. While the path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs, over time a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised, and seeking and consuming the drug becomes compulsive. This behavior results largely from the effects of prolonged drug exposure on brain functioning. Addiction is a brain disease that affects multiple brain circuits, including those involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and inhibitory control over behavior.
Because drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions and disrupt so many aspects of an individual’s life, treatment is not simple. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Addiction treatment must help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Because addiction is typically a chronic disease, people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives.
Principles of Effective Treatment
Scientific research since the mid–1970s shows that treatment can help patients addicted to drugs stop using, avoid relapse, and successfully recover their lives. Based on this research, key principles have emerged that should form the basis of any effective treatment programs:
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
- No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
- Treatment needs to be readily available.
- Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.
- Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
- Counseling—individual and/or group—and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
- Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
- An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.
- Many drug–addicted individuals also have other mental disorders.
- Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long–term drug abuse.
- Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
- Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur.
- Treatment programs should assess patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as provide targeted risk–reduction counseling to help patients modify or change behaviors that place them at risk of contracting or spreading infectious diseases.
Effective Treatment Approaches
Medication and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process that often begins with detoxification, followed by treatment and relapse prevention. Easing withdrawal symptoms can be important in the initiation of treatment; preventing relapse is necessary for maintaining its effects. And sometimes, as with other chronic conditions, episodes of relapse may require a return to prior treatment components. A continuum of care that includes a customized treatment regimen—addressing all aspects of an individual’s life, including medical and mental health services—and follow–up options (e.g., community–or family-based recovery support systems) can be crucial to a person’s success in achieving and maintaining a drug–free lifestyle.
Medications can be used to help with different aspects of the treatment process.
Withdrawal. Medications offer help in suppressing withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. However, medically assisted detoxification is not in itself “treatment”—it is only the first step in the treatment process. Patients who go through medically assisted withdrawal but do not receive any further treatment show drug abuse patterns similar to those who were never treated.
Treatment. Medications can be used to help reestablish normal brain function and to prevent relapse and diminish cravings. Currently, we have medications for opioids (heroin, morphine), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol addiction and are developing others for treating stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana) addiction. Most people with severe addiction problems, however, are polydrug users (users of more than one drug) and will require treatment for all of the substances that they abuse.
- Opioids: Methadone, buprenorphine and, for some individuals, naltrexone are effective medications for the treatment of opiate addiction. Acting on the same targets in the brain as heroin and morphine, methadone and buprenorphine suppress withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings. Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of heroin or other opioids at their receptor sites and should only be used in patients who have already been detoxified. Because of compliance issues, naltrexone is not as widely used as the other medications. All medications help patients disengage from drug seeking and related criminal behavior and become more receptive to behavioral treatments.
- Tobacco: A variety of formulations of nicotine replacement therapies now exist—including the patch, spray, gum, and lozenges—that are available over the counter. In addition, two prescription medications have been FDA–approved for tobacco addiction: bupropion and varenicline. They have different mechanisms of action in the brain, but both help prevent relapse in people trying to quit. Each of the above medications is recommended for use in combination with behavioral treatments, including group and individual therapies, as well as telephone quitlines.
- Alcohol: Three medications have been FDA–approved for treating alcohol dependence: naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. A fourth, topiramate, is showing encouraging results in clinical trials. Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors that are involved in the rewarding effects of drinking and in the craving for alcohol. It reduces relapse to heavy drinking and is highly effective in some but not all patients—this is likely related to genetic differences. Acamprosate is thought to reduce symptoms of protracted withdrawal, such as insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, and dysphoria (an unpleasant or uncomfortable emotional state, such as depression, anxiety, or irritability). It may be more effective in patients with severe dependence. Disulfiram interferes with the degradation of alcohol, resulting in the accumulation of acetaldehyde, which, in turn, produces a very unpleasant reaction that includes flushing, nausea, and palpitations if the patient drinks alcohol. Compliance can be a problem, but among patients who are highly motivated, disulfiram can be very effective.
Behavioral treatments help patients engage in the treatment process, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and increase healthy life skills. These treatments can also enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people stay in treatment longer. Treatment for drug abuse and addiction can be delivered in many different settings using a variety of behavioral approaches.
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