What You Need to Know

Understanding the
process of detox is a
necessary step.

Understanding the process of detox is a necessary step.

For patients suffering from severe chemical dependency, detox may be a necessary step before beginning treatment. During detox, patients are medically supervised as the body flushes out substances to restore physiological balance and achieve sobriety.

The process is uncomfortable, but crucial in achieving improved health and wellness during a patient’s stay. At Praxis, medical staff are available around the clock to monitor patient withdrawal and are qualified to administer medications and supplements as necessary. We strive to minimize the most negative side effects associated with withdrawal.

Is Detox Dangerous?

Is Detox Dangerous?

For heavy drinkers and substance dependent individuals, detox should not be undertaken alone. Detox can be a dangerous and potentially life-threatening process. Withdrawal from alcohol can produce complications such as convulsions, epileptic seizures, and cardiac arrhythmia where the heart goes into spasms, possibly fatal outcomes for heavy drinkers who attempt to stop drinking on their own.

At Praxis, patient withdrawal is medically managed in a residential setting and 24/7 care providers monitor for possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and DT’s (Delirium Tremens).

Detox can also be dangerous and even life threatening in the case of withdrawal from several other substances such as amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and opiates/opioids.

Individuals who attempt to go cold turkey alone
may face serious side effects, including:

Individuals who attempt to go cold turkey alone may face serious side effects, including:

(Heroin, Morphine, OxyContin)

Muscle Aches
Abdominal Cramping
Flu Like Symptoms

(Valium, Ativan, Xanax)

Hand Tremors
Panic Attacks

Synthetic Drugs
(K2, Spice)

Disturbing Thoughts

(Cocaine, Amphetamines)

Muscle Pain
Low Mood
Suicidal Ideation
Cardiovascular Issues

(LSD, GHB, MDMA, Ketamine, PCP)

Emotional Turmoil
Mental Health Complications

What is Detox Like?

What is Detox Like?

Detox is not an easy process, but the staff at Praxis are fully trained and equipped to make this process as safe and comfortable as possible. Upon admission, Praxis staff will perform a comprehensive physical and psychiatric exam on the patient. Fully licensed medical doctors are available on rotation 24/7 to ensure that all patients are able to safely initiate the treatment process. An initial treatment plan will also be crafted to ensure that the appropriate programs are assigned while in residential treatment.

During the patient’s stay in detox, temporary dosages of several medications may be used to ease the process of withdrawal. Medications include Suboxone, a combination of two different drugs: buprenorphine (an opioid activator) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). This combination of opposing forces provides a way for patients to gradually taper from heavy opioid dependency while minimizing the effects that full-on withdrawal would otherwise trigger.

Withdrawal from some substances can induce serious physical side effects including seizures, nausea, and diarrhea. Medical staff will administer appropriate levels of anticonvulsant and anti-nausea medications to ease the patient’s transition during one of the most difficult parts of recovery. These include Suboxone, Gabapentin, Vivitrol, Motrin, and Ativan.

Suboxone is a prescription medication used to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms from opioid dependence. Suboxone was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 and is made of a combination of buprenorphine (an opioid activator) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). Praxis clinicians may administer a limited amount of Suboxone during the initial detox process to help reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant, prescription medication used to help prevent and control seizures during alcohol and tranquilizer withdrawal. It is also used to relieve nerve pain following shingles (a painful rash due to herpes zoster infection) in adults.

Vivitrol is the brand name for naltrexone, an opioid antagonist medication that attaches to opioid receptors in the body and prevents patients from receiving any high from using opioids. By blocking the effects of opioids from taking place, Vivitrol can help patients to prevent relapse into opioid dependence following detox. This allows them to focus on the counseling and therapy aspects of treatment. Vivitrol is non-addictive and does not lead to physical dependence.

Motrin is a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication that contains ibuprofen. Motrin is useful for mitigating some of the painful side effects of withdrawal.

Ativan, or Lorazepam, is a benzodiazepine useful for treating seizure disorders, such as epilepsy. It can also be used before surgery and medical procedures to relieve anxiety. It is classified as an “intermediate-duration drug” and is rarely prescribed for long durations. At Praxis, Ativan is prescribed solely for the 4-7 day duration period of detox.


Looking to get more information on Praxis programs?
Call our admissions line at 833-772-9471.