Do You Need A Referral From A Doctor To Enter a Drug Detox Program?

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If you’re considering entering a drug detox program, you may be wondering if you need a referral from a doctor. Your primary care physician can help you choose the right detox treatment option and navigate continuing care.

Do You Need A Referral From A Doctor To Enter a Drug Detox Program?

You don’t need a treatment referral from a doctor to enter a detox or rehabilitation treatment program.

To enter a detox program, all you need to do is contact your chosen treatment facility and begin the intake process. This process typically starts with a pre-intake screening call.

Although a referral isn’t necessary, it’s often a good idea to stay in contact with your primary care physician while seeking treatment. After treatment, your doctor can continue to help you on your journey to recovery.

How Your Doctor Can Help With Addiction Treatment

There are many detox options available, which can make choosing one feel overwhelming. Your primary care provider can recommend treatment services based on your specific care needs.

After undergoing detox, you can also follow up with your doctor to learn about other recommended addiction treatment and aftercare services.

If you receive detox services at an inpatient or outpatient treatment center, healthcare providers there will come up with an individualized treatment plan for moving forward.

What Happens If You Don’t Have A Doctor?

Sometimes, people with substance use disorders neglect their physical and mental health. They may only go to the doctor in the event of an emergency — and sometimes, not even then.

If you or a family member is experiencing addiction and doesn’t have a primary care physician, don’t worry. Entering a detox program will ensure that the right services and level of care are provided.

Drug Detox Options

Detoxification, also known as detox, occurs when the body removes toxins related to drug or alcohol use. Detox also refers to services provided by treatment professionals to help with this process.

There are two main types of detox treatment options: medical detox and social detox.

Medical Detox

With medical detox, healthcare professionals such as nurses are available 24/7 to provide monitoring, support, and medical care during withdrawal from drug use.

Addiction medicine, such as methadone or buprenorphine for opioid addiction, may be used to lessen the physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal, including cravings.

If you’re withdrawing from alcohol or benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin, medical detox is often recommended. Withdrawing from these substances without medical assistance can be life-threatening.

In rare cases, opioid withdrawal can be life-threatening, due to complications such as dehydration that can arise from withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.

People with existing health conditions also benefit from the medical supervision and care provided with medical detox.

Social Detox

Social, or non-medical, detox still provides monitoring, but medications typically used to manage or treat more severe physical and mental health symptoms are not available.

This form of detoxification can be particularly dangerous if common withdrawal symptoms like depression or anxiety appear and progress without being treated.

Why An Inpatient Drug Detox Program Might Be Right For You

If you have an alcohol or drug addiction, you may be familiar with the uncomfortable process of withdrawal.

If you’ve tried unsuccessfully detoxing on your own, many doctors will recommend that you enter an inpatient detox program.

An inpatient detox program creates a barrier between you and the drug you use. In difficult moments, such as when strong cravings arise, you won’t be able to acquire the drug.

With medical detox, medical professionals can help you detox safely and successfully, sometimes prescribing medication that can help with cravings and other symptoms.

Inpatient treatment centers can also provide medication-assisted treatment and behavioral health services such as group therapy to help uncover the roots of addiction, develop coping skills, and prevent relapse.

How Long Does Detox Take?

In general, the detox process takes between three and 14 days.

However, the detoxification process differs depending on the substance used, the length of use, any health problems that arise, and more.

Effective treatment not only helps clients safely and successfully withdraw but also sets them up with an inpatient or outpatient program to fully recover from addiction and avoid relapse.

Help For Addiction Is Available

If you or a loved one is experiencing a substance use disorder, contact today and learn more about the types of treatment available.


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