For most people with substance use disorders, the first step to addiction recovery is detoxification or “detox” – the medical process of removing toxic substances from the bloodstream through abstaining from alcohol or drugs until it is completely free of toxins. It sounds simple, but the concept is especially daunting for somebody in the throes of addiction. To understand this process a bit better, this blog provides an inside look at Spectrum’s inpatient detoxification program.

When you decide you’re ready to receive help and free yourself from a substance use disorder, you can visit one of our detox locations in Westborough or Weymouth, MA anytime – day or night. We’ll verify your insurance, or expedite a new policy through MassHealth, and begin your intake assessment. Beds are available through the Department of Public Health with verification of Massachusetts residence. Clinical staff will ask for your medical and addiction history, and assess your physical symptoms of withdrawal. This will differ depending on the substances you’ve been using.

For alcoholism, those symptoms may include hallucinations or seizures. For this, a medication called Librium may be prescribed and administered throughout your stay. For opioid addiction, withdrawal symptoms often include anxiety, muscle aches, sweating and nausea. For that, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), through methadone, may be recommended.

A typical length of stay is between four and six days. Throughout that time, you’ll rest and receive around-the-clock medical care, as well as three meals a day, participate in two clinical groups, and take part in nightly commitments – group sessions where guest speakers share stories of recovery. In addition to these mandatory sessions, two optional group sessions are available per week, and include activities like recovery bingo, art or music therapy and anger management education.

You will also have daily meetings with your own personal case manager, who works with you to identify your goals and long-term treatment plan following detox. Recovery Specialists conduct room checks every half hour to ensure that everybody is safe and medically stable.

Some of the most commonly asked questions involve clothing, smoking and roommates. You will be allowed to keep three to four outfits, depending on your length of stay. Four smoke breaks per day are allowed, following each meal and the nightly commitment. You will have roommates. This increases the safety of our clients, and provides you with more emotional support and companionship.

Narcan training is offered weekly, so you are equipped to administer the overdose-reversing drug and take some with you upon discharge. Following the completion of detoxification, your case manager will help you move to the next phase of your recovery journey – which often involves inpatient treatment.

Detox may be difficult, but there is no reason to be afraid or hesitant to check in. It may be the first step of the rest of your life. Our professional staff are here to help and provide the support you need.

To learn more, visit our website at www.spectrumhealthsystems.org. For questions, please call us at 1.800.366.7732.