Detoxing from cocaine, heroin, crack, cannabis and prescription drug addiction
Some drugs (such as marijuana and cocaine) are primarily psychologically, not physically, addictive. So while their withdrawal symptoms may be uncomfortable, they’re not necessarily dangerous when overseen by professionals.
Other drugs (like alcohol and opioids) require medically supervised detox as these drugs can have severe physical and mental side effects.
Coming off drugs like heroin on your own is not recommended as it can be dangerous and will require specific medical care and attention, and emotional support.
Why you will need to be detoxed
The discomfort of withdrawals is a common cause of relapse, which is why it’s a good idea to detox in a setting that provides support for managing withdrawal symptoms.
When attending Castle Craig for drug addiction treatment, you will undergo a medically supervised detox at our separate unit in Kirkurd House.
Whilst some private rehabs have detox facilities, Castle Craig is the only facility in Scotland with a separate, private detox facility that is medically supervised 24/7.
Depending on your drug use and the severity of your addiction, medications and other interventions may be used to ease withdrawal symptoms.
At medical detox facilities, doctors and nurses supervise the detox process to ensure safety and respond to any complications that may arise.
The importance of medical detoxes:
- Detox can be very dangerous; going cold turkey can prove fatal
- Medical detox have access to medication to make drug withdrawal less unpleasant
- They can manage and negate difficult physical and mental symptoms
- Withdrawal is more likely to be successful when overseen by medical professionals
- Patients are regularly monitored by doctors and nurses who are available at the press of a button
This stage typically takes 4 to 10 days.
Detoxification at Home
Some people choose to detox on their own, which involves significant risks. The pain of withdrawals often results in more drug use. Your GP can advise you on a home detox.
As a result of relapsing after detox, the risk of overdose increases due to decreased drug tolerance.
Also, the risks of detox aren’t just physical. The distress of the withdrawal process can trigger mental health issues, which may result in acute symptoms like acute depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Whether your detox is supervised or not, it’s best to undergo this challenging process in a safe and supportive environment.
Detox is only the beginning
Detox only treatments only prepare you to begin drug addiction therapy; sustainable sobriety requires a long-term recovery practice.
You may come across various other treatment centres that offer 1-week detoxes with no addiction therapy included. This is something we would not feel comfortable recommending at Castle Craig.
Remember, detox works to clean your body of drugs; it does not work on the core reason you chose drugs in the first place.
Relapse is most common amongst those who do not incorporate any therapy into their drug treatment.
We know from experience and our success rates that long-term sobriety can be achieved through a combination of detox, therapy and peer support.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Sometimes, medication-assisted treatment is used to treat opioid addictions.
Medications may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings and step down drug use in a controlled way.
- Opioid agonists (such as methadone and buprenorphine), which produce similar effects to opioids but can be managed by a doctor via replacement therapy
- Opioid antagonists (such as naltrexone) that block the effects of opioids so users can no longer get high
The success of these treatments varies.
Some people can quit opioid use using MAT over some time.
But these medications carry their own addiction risk and misusing them only prolongs and complicates the struggle with drug addiction.
That’s why medical intervention is critical, as we can help you manage detox safely and correctly.
Unsure what the best next step is?
Talk to us, we’re here 24/7 to answer any questions you might have and educate you on the standard of care you should expect and what treatments will be best for your condition.
At Castle Craig, we look into your mental health to uncover the reasons why you turn to drugs to cope and outline treatment strategies of what we can do to install new, healthy coping mechanisms.
It’s these essential coping mechanisms that will continue to serve you throughout your life as you come up against obstacle after obstacle. Because that’s life, and bad things do happen.
But what you will learn with us at Castle Craig is how to safely and healthily navigate through the tough times and how to remain strong, resilient and most of all, sober.