In the UK, there are a number of ways to detox from alcohol or drugs. How you detox depends on the severity of your addiction and the specific substances you are addicted to. In the most severe cases, detox is carried out in a private clinic or hospital.
When hospital detox is chosen, it is because the severity of the addiction requires medically supervised detox rather than attempting to perform addiction detox at home or on outpatient basis. Individuals who cannot afford care at a private clinic will opt for a hospital instead. Addiction Helper can assist you or your loved one locating and enrolling in a detox programme at either a hospital or private clinic.
Advantages of Hospital Detox
The main advantage of hospital detox over its home or outpatient counterparts is the constant medical supervision provided. That is one of the reasons why it is the best option for individuals whose addiction is both severe and long-term. The most severe addictions include potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms that are best handled by trained medical professionals providing 24-hour supervision.
From a financial standpoint, a hospital detox is preferable to a private clinic because there is little or no cost attached to it. The NHS is obliged to offer hospital detox to anyone who meets certain requirements. However, there is a very definite drawback in this regard: insufficient supply to meet heavy demand.
Unfortunately, the UK is known as the addiction capital of Europe. Increased rates of alcohol, heroin, and cocaine dependence have pushed NHS hospitals right to their limits. The results are usually seen in crowded facilities and long waiting times. Therefore, while hospital detox is free, you will have a wait for it.
If you can afford detox through a private clinic, Addiction Helper strongly recommends you let us assist you in finding an appropriate facility. If you cannot afford private care, we would still like to help you take advantage of a free programme at an NHS hospital. Nevertheless, be aware you will have to utilise other free services while you wait for your scheduled detox date to arrive.
What to Expect from Hospital Detox
Before you are admitted to a hospital for detox, you will have to be evaluated for the severity of your addiction. Admission to a hospital is confirmation your addiction is severe enough to require medical supervision. As a result, your detox will likely be what is known as ‘medicated detox’.
Medicated detox takes advantage of certain prescription drugs that will reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and protect the body from potentially serious injuries. If this sounds frightening to you, keep in mind that detox can be considered a medical emergency if an addiction is severe enough.
To help you understand a bit better, let us just consider one possible side effect you might experience when detoxing from alcohol or some types of drugs: grand mal seizures. These are general seizures that affect the brain in ways that can cause you to go into convulsions. If those convulsions are not managed properly, you could seriously injure yourself – or even die. Medication to relieve the seizures would be part of a medicated detox.
When entering a hospital detox programme you can expect an evaluation from a medical professional who will then determine the best way to go about your treatment. You will immediately begin detoxing with your first dose of prescription medication; expect the withdrawal symptoms to begin within 3 to 12 hours of the last time you consumed drugs or alcohol.
During the detox process, you will be continually monitored by medical staff whose primary concern is to ensure your safety. They will also track your progress to let you know how you are doing. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you can be clean in as little as seven days. More severe addictions may take longer to completely detox.
Following up after Detox
For some people whose addictions are not quite as severe, detox may be all that is necessary to completely overcome addiction. However, that is not likely to be the case when an addiction is severe enough to warrant hospital detox. The recovering addict will need follow-up care, including counselling and psychotherapeutic treatment.
The advantage of detoxing with a private clinic is that they generally include these additional services as part of their programme. A private clinic tends to offer a 4 to 12 week programme that includes both detox and rehab. The rehab portion of the programme involves multiple therapies designed to deal with the emotional and psychological aspects of addiction.
When an addict chooses hospital detox through the NHS, those additional services may or may not be included as part of the programme. If they are not, you would be wise to seek out those services on your own. We can help if necessary.
Follow-up services are vital in order to prevent relapse in the weeks and months following detox. Statistics show that recovering addicts who do not receive appropriate follow-up services are several times more likely to go right back to addictive behaviour. That’s certainly not something you really want to do after going through all the trouble of detoxing, is it?
Let Us Help
Addiction Helper can assist you in taking advantage of follow-up services by getting you in touch with those organisations offering them in your area. For example, Al-Anon and Narc-Anon are just two examples of support groups with local chapters all over the country.
We can also get you in touch with alcohol and drug charities, professional counsellors, and private clinics offering reduced-cost services.
If you or someone you love is suffering with an addiction of any type, we urge you to call our helpline right away. We will assess your situation in order to determine whether hospital detox or another programme is right for you. Our number one goal is to make sure you get the help you need to overcome addiction permanently. All of our services are absolutely free and completely confidential.