Detoxification is defined as relieving the withdrawal effects of a drug of dependency while the patient suddenly or gradually stops the drug. For some people, it may be safe to undergo withdrawal therapy on an outpatient basis; others may require admission to a hospital or a residential treatment center.
Outpatient drug detox centers provide various drug detoxification services and programs on an outpatient basis in which the patient comes in for necessary monitoring and treatment 1 to 3 times a week, but does not stay overnight. Outpatient drug detox is most often the choice of those who understand that they need the assistance or supervision of a doctor during the drug detox process but who cannot afford the time or money that is required to attend an inpatient detox center program.
When the physical strongholds of addiction result in serious withdrawal symptoms that are too painful for an individual to cope with on their own, outpatient drug detox can provide a unique level of support and care that is suitable for most patients choosing this path. Outpatient drug detox can help individuals safely detox from opioids and prepare for acceptance into long term recovery.
During this process of outpatient detox, various medications can be prescribed to help relieve the physical and psychological effects of withdrawal. Subxone or methadone can be used to help the patient stop the use of opioids. Once the patient has stopped the other opioids, the subxone or methadone can be tapered off over a period of 2-6 weeks. If the patient chooses not to use subxone or methadone, other non-opioid medications such as clonidine can be used to relieve the sysmptoms. These medications can be tapered off more rapidly than suboxone or methadone, thus making the process faster, though less effective.