Early Abstinence and Detox

The early stages of abstinence from drugs and alcohol can be very stressful, to say the least. There are a lot of unknowns that may lead to fear, anxiety and angst around the process of getting clean and sober. However, when a person begins the journey of quitting—and physically detoxing from the substance their mind and body has become physically dependent on—in a formalized treatment setting, designed to make early recovery as painless as possible, he or she is making the best choice for their long-term goals and health.

Detox is often an essential part of quitting drugs and alcohol. While not everyone requires an acute detox prior to beginning treatment, a number of people do. They have likely abused alcohol or their drug of choice for such a significant time period, in increasing amounts, that it’s absolutely necessary. Medically supervised detox in a residential setting is recommended so that a person can manage the symptoms of early cessation as safely as possible. A lot of times, the fear of how their body will react once they remove the drug is one of the reasons why they might put off going to treatment. So one might argue that undergoing detox under the care of a doctor with expertise in addiction medicine is a life-saving first step.

Sleep Issues During Detox

One of the biggest concerns for individuals going through detox for drug and alcohol dependence is getting sleep. Insomnia is a common side effect of early withdrawal so worries around acquiring a good night’s rest are valid. Oftentimes during detox, the physician supervising the process prescribes certain medications to alleviate aggravations such as sleeplessness, palpable anxiety, sore muscles or extreme nausea. Of course doctors want their patients to be able to sleep soundly during detox but they are usually very cautious about how they approach this issue, especially in terms of what medicine they prescribe to aid with sleep.

When one thinks of sleep medication, Ambien is more than likely one of the first names that comes to mind. Ambien is considered a sedative-hypnotic and is often deemed “safe” because it’s thought to be as effective as benzodiazepines (benzos) but not as addictive. This assumption is somewhat misleading, however, because Ambien can very addictive—so much so that most rehabs do not prescribe it for helping with sleep during detox.

The primary ingredient in Ambien is zolpidem, a substance that can be easily abused, especially by someone prone to Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). According to a 2014 issue of The Dawn Report published via SAMHSA, “An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, which can affect performance on daily tasks and lead to negative health consequences. Zolpidem is a widely prescribed medication approved by the FDA for the short-term treatment of insomnia, but doses in excess of prescribed amounts led to an increasing number of ED visits since 2005.” In other words, regardless of whether someone is in detox, he or she needs to be very careful and in regular communication with their physician, when and if they decide to start taking Ambien.

The Advantage of Luxury Detox

The goal of detox and treatment is to remove all drugs from someone’s system. It’s therefore in the best interest of the client and the staff to ensure the client is not going to have another drug he or she will need to be weaned from, after they address the drug(s) that brought him or her to treatment in the first place. Most high-end residential facilities, like Recovery Malibu, for example, go above and beyond to make sure the client gets the right medicine during detox. As is probably the case with many other luxury rehabs, the team at Recovery Malibu does not administer Ambien. It does guarantee that the client is comfortable, well nourished and properly attended to throughout the course of treatment.

Individualized treatment and dual diagnosis support are some of the major advantages of choosing to address addiction in a fully staffed, medically oriented residential facility. These resources set the client up for success in early recovery and beyond. Sleeping peacefully during early recovery and detox is vital. Choosing to go through these days in the environment of a luxury rehab with attentive staff, plenty of amenities and delicious meals will set the foundation for sustainable sobriety and long-term peace of mind.