Admission to The Beachcomber addiction treatment center is based on several key requirements. Primary among these is the necessity for new residents to attend groups and be alert to information under discussion. Consequently, there must be sufficient sober time to understand and participate in our program. Some who seek admission must first attend “detoxification” at a medical facility. Our experience over decades in South Florida has uniquely qualified our administrators in making referrals to such services. If it is determined that detox is necessary we are prepared to help make those arrangements.

Drug detox and alcohol detox are generally short term addiction treatment programs, usually lasting between three to ten days. The time spent in drug or alcohol detox is contingent upon the amount of drugs/alcohol being used, how long and any added medical or psychiatric symptoms.

Detox, short for detoxification, is only the first step in the addiction treatment process. Most people, due to the length and severity of use, develop a physical and psychological dependency on their drug of choice (including alcohol). When abruptly discontinued the individual may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. These initial withdrawal symptoms may include sweats, cramping and anxiety or can be as medically complex as seizures or convulsions. The risks associated with suddenly discontinuing use are too great to be done without medical supervision.

Drug or alcohol detox can be a challenging process and almost all treatment programs will ensure their program is designed to ensure safety and prepare their patients for further care. Substance abuse can cause profound changes in brain and body chemistry and one of the first priorities in recovery from addiction is to detoxify from toxic chemicals and their byproducts. While complete detoxification can take months or even years, licensed detox centers in Florida provide medical supervision during the first few hours or days of abstinence. Withdrawal can be physically overwhelming, or even dangerous.

Many patients experience mild to moderate symptoms during withdrawal and can undergo detoxification without medications if they receive supportive care and monitoring. Inpatient medical detoxification services are appropriate for alcoholics at risk for serious complications of withdrawal or those with co-existing medical conditions.

More recently, outpatient detoxification has been shown to be as effective as inpatient treatment and less costly for people with less severe alcoholism. To participate effectively in a treatment program it is agreed a detoxification process must have occurred. In many instances those being admitted have abstained from alcohol or drug abuse for a sufficient time to adjust to entry into the rehabilitation program. Consequently abstinence has served as detoxification to a “workable” degree and the resident who is admitted will be kept under close observation as he, or she enters the first stages in our program. However, in some situations detox may be necessary and this can be determined in the admission process by The Beachcomber personnel on duty.