Addiction is a disorder that affects millions of Americans and their families every day. Despite more awareness about the consequences of drug and alcohol use, more people succumb to addiction in ever-increasing amounts. In fact, the CDC’s most recent report on overdose deaths has found the largest month-over-month increase ever seen. This report highlights the importance of addiction treatment programs. At Sunrise, we offer drug and alcohol detox for veterans, so our nation’s heroes can get the help they urgently need.
What is Detox?
Detox is often the first step on the recovery journey. It is the process of removing drugs and alcohol from the body, to return it to a neutral, drug-free state. Consequently, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using substances. Symptoms of withdrawal will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- What substance a person was abusing
- How long they were abusing it
- Method of use
- Their unique body chemistry
- Underlying mental health disorders
Entering an addiction treatment facility to undergo supervised detox is often necessary for many reasons. Getting supervised detox in a treatment facility ensures someone gets the emotional support they need to stay comfortable. In addition to emotional support, they are also supervised for health and safety reasons by caring staff,
How PTSD Can Complicate Drug and Alcohol Detox for Veterans
Veterans experience PTSD at higher rates than any other single group in the United States. In fact, PTSD has an enormous impact on someone’s quality of life. For veterans, it can make it more complicated for them to transition to civilian life after service. Many veterans find it difficult to cope with job placement or finding a new home post-service. As a result, these challenges often make their PTSD symptoms more difficult to manage. Thus, this leads many veterans to turn to drugs or alcohol in order to cope with symptoms of PTSD.
Unfortunately, attempting to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol can lead many veterans to addiction. Over time, substance abuse only makes PTSD symptoms worse. Therefore, when someone with PTSD tries to stop using, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. This can make their mental health symptoms worse, and very often relapse is the result.
What Does Drug and Alcohol Detox for Veterans Look Like?
Drug and alcohol detox begins with a comprehensive assessment. This occurs so the provider can have a full picture of the symptoms and possible complications like PTSD. From there, the provider will explain what to expect from the individual treatment plan. For most people with addiction and PTSD, the best option is going to be in an inpatient detox program. This allows them to focus solely on their recovery plan.
The biggest advantage to an inpatient drug and alcohol detox program is patients have 24/7 support. The members of our team are all experts in the care and treatment of addiction. They can be on hand at all times to provide extra support or help with a medical emergency. This means they can administer medications that help manage withdrawal symptoms. For example, alcohol or opioid detox may include specialized medicines that help reduce symptoms and intense drug cravings.
Detox Withdrawal Timelines
The drug or alcohol detox timeframe depends on a number of factors and will vary from person to person. There are some general guidelines to be aware of for what to expect during detox.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can appear in as little as 8 hours after the last drink but may take as long as 1 to 2 days. For most people, symptoms peak in 2 to 3 days, but may linger for weeks. The most common symptoms are:
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Shakiness and tremors
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
For the most severe alcohol addictions, there is a risk of a more serious type of withdrawal called delirium tremens, or DTs. The symptoms for DTs can be more severe, and also include hallucinations, delusions, and even seizures, which can be life-threatening.
Most people begin to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms in 6 to 24 hours after their last use. Symptoms can include:
- Runny Nose
- High Blood Pressure
The symptoms are usually the most serious for 2 to 4 days after last use, and can also include diarrhea, dehydration, nausea, and vomiting. Withdrawal usually begins to taper off in 5 to 8 days. Mental health side effects like anxiety and depression can linger for longer periods of time, and cravings can be intense and difficult to manage without treatment.
Withdrawal symptoms for those addicted to cocaine or crack cocaine often begin within just a few hours of their last use. The most common symptoms are:
- Irregular Heartbeat
These symptoms usually last for 1 to 3 days. The next several days may see an increase in symptoms, including dehydration, insomnia, nightmares, and extreme drug cravings. Symptoms can last anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks.
Benzodiazepines can cause withdrawal symptoms within just a few hours of the last dose. Most people will notice symptoms that can include anxiety and problems sleeping. Within the first few days other symptoms may include:
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Sweat Excessively
Days 5 to 14 will often include an increase in mental health symptoms, such as worsening depression or anxiety, and insomnia. Many will find their symptoms taper off after 2 weeks. However, people with prolonged benzo addiction may find that the symptoms come back periodically for months after their last use.
For the first day, those going through marijuana withdrawal may experience:
- Drug Cravings
- Problems Sleeping
- Decreased Appetite
During days 2 to 7, symptoms may also include anxiety, depression, or a lack of motivation. After a week, most people’s symptoms will disappear, though cravings may still be an occasional issue.
What Happens After Detox?
Detox is only the first step in someone’s continuum of care. Following the successful completion of our detox program, veteran patients will be moved to our residential rehab facility. Living at our top-notch rehab for veterans will allow them to achieve sobriety in a secure and nurturing environment—away from any outside triggers or potential risk factors. While in our program, our experienced team of professionals will ensure comfort and stability as they lay the foundation for a healthy, sober life.
Sunrise offers a variety of treatment services, each designed specifically to meet the needs of veterans. These include:
- Individual Therapy
- 12-Step Immersion
- EMDR Therapy
- Holistic Treatment Options
- Medication-Assisted Treatment
- Group and Family Counseling
- Aftercare Planning
Does the VA Pay For Detox?
The Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare program offers several benefits for veterans struggling with substance use disorder. The coverage they provide depends on their specific needs and the severity of their condition, so it is important that you first speak with your VA primary healthcare provider. If deemed necessary the VA will cover medically-supervised detox.
Additionally, they also offer rehab and mental health benefits. Such benefits can extend to residential treatment, counseling sessions, and continuing care among other related services. Before making a decision, it is always advised to directly speak with a VA representative as well as one of Sunrise’s qualified admissions specialists.
Drug and Alcohol Detox for Veterans
At Sunrise Veterans, our programs don’t include just the run-of-the-mill detox treatment. We specialize in the treatment and detox for veterans. We also take into account life experiences that can further complicate addiction and recovery.
If you or a loved one needs help, don’t try to get sober on your own. Without proper help for addiction and PTSD symptoms, it can be difficult to maintain sobriety and overcome roadblocks that have kept you from living your fullest life. Give Sunrise Veterans a call or visit our admissions page today. Uncover how we can help veterans just like you to get sober and get the treatment that they need for addiction and underlying mental health issues like PTSD.