What is The Difference Between
Subacute & Acute Detox?

Detoxification is the physiological removal of toxic substances from the body. Depending on the substance, this process may take hours, days, or even weeks. The amount of time it takes to fully detox depends on the severity of the patient’s addiction, and factors including dosage and length of time using opioids. Since suddenly stopping the use of drugs, such as opioids, can be fatal, it’s always best to detox under medical supervision.

Detoxification can cause withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of drug withdrawal may include nausea, vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, seizures, and many others. These symptoms can be severe, and extremely uncomfortable. When seeking help for opioid addiction, it is important to understand all options available, and how to address the problem effectively.

Different Levels of Care Needed

Detoxification is the physiological removal of toxic substances from the body. Depending on the substance, this process may take hours, days, or even weeks. The amount of time it takes to fully detox depends on the severity of the patient’s addiction, and factors including dosage and length of time using opioids. Since suddenly stopping the use of drugs, such as opioids, can be fatal, it’s always best to detox under medical supervision. Detoxification can cause withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of drug withdrawal may include nausea, vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, seizures, and many others. These symptoms can be severe, and extremely uncomfortable. When seeking help for opioid addiction, it is important to understand all options available, and how to address the problem effectively.

Acute Detox

In terms of addiction treatments, acute detox may be used for patients who may be prone to life-threatening or critical conditions during the withdrawal process. There is a much higher risk of side effects in these patients, and they must receive support throughout the entire process. An acute opioid detox includes around-the-clock monitoring of the patient and is a medically managed inpatient detoxification. This option provides the highest levels of care, aims to reduce severe opioid withdrawal symptoms, and prevents dangerous complications that may arise during the process. Acute detox may take place in a hospital setting and is a highly intensive level of detox. This form of treatment is ideal for patients with underlying medical conditions or those who are at high risk for potentially life-threatening complications.

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Subacute Detox

This option may be appropriate for patients who are in overall better health, use less harmful substances and in smaller doses. A subacute opioid detox is usually one in which symptoms are monitored by professionals, such as nurses or mental health professionals. Medications are often provided to help combat the withdrawal symptoms and may reduce the severity of the withdrawal process. Counseling and therapy sessions are often combined with this form of rehab. Subacute detoxification may be beneficial to those who need help coming off of opioids, but do not require as in-depth medical care, and are otherwise healthy. Typically, it takes place at a residential detox facility, or through an inpatient program.

Stages of Detox

The stages and timeline it takes a patient to fully detox depends on many factors. Some of the most common ones include the type of drugs and doses the patient is using, how long they have been addicted, the severity of the addiction, their age, and overall health condition. Depending on the exact opioid being taken, for example a long-acting opioid, the timeline typically lasts around 1 month. For a short acting opioid, the timeline may be as short as 1 week. In the early stages, usually within 24 hours, the onset of withdrawal symptoms will start to appear, and progressively get worse. Usually 2-5 days after drug discontinuance, the withdrawal symptoms peak. Finally, around the one week mark, the physical symptoms are starting to gradually lessen, and the body has released many of the harmful toxins consumed.

Choosing the Right Level of Care

In conclusion, a person who is ready to stop using opioids must consider all available options when looking for opioid addiction treatment and choose one that best suits their circumstances. For those addicted to opioids, there is a very high risk of developing serious medical complications during withdrawal, detox and rapid detox, so choosing proper treatment is key to recovery. The possibility of complications during detox depend on many factors, including the patient’s overall health, and the exact drugs they were using, as well as the dosage and length of use. Acute detox may be the more appropriate solution for patients needing intense care, especially those with severe withdrawals or underlying medical conditions. For others, a subacute detox may be more suitable, especially those in better physical shape, with minimal health issues. Regardless of which method of detox is chosen, patients must keep in mind the need to address the critical endorphin imbalance that is caused by prolonged opioid use.

Treatments such as ANR not only offer patients a safe and effective way to overcome opioid withdrawal, but more importantly address the underlying root causes of addiction. The goal of the treatment is to bring the patients endorphin system back to an equilibrium, in order for them to finally be free of opioids and cravings.

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