Many people who have developed a dependence to prescribed medications or are struggling with a substance use disorder require a medically supervised detoxification in order to safely stop using these substances. Some medications and substances, such as benzodiazepines and alcohol, are known to produce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures, if stopped abruptly. Other medications such as opioid painkillers and its derivative illicit counterpart, heroin, can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that, although not necessarily life threatening, may cause excruciating discomfort when stopped abruptly.
At Family Recovery Specialists we believe that a medically supervised detox is the best way to safely discontinue the use of these medication and illicit substances. Though some people may require an inpatient detoxification facility to properly manage severe withdrawal symptoms or to address co-occurring medical complications, others may benefit from an outpatient detox administered locally without much interruption to their daily life.
A great benefit to outpatient detox is that it is done at a much slower pace than in a traditional inpatient setting. While an inpatient detox usually last 7-10 days, an outpatient detox is done over a 4 – 6 week period. This allows the body and the brain’s neurochemistry to properly adapt to the changes being made while minimizing the discomfort and risk associated with physical dependence.
Outpatient detoxification also allows you to get the care that you need without putting your life completely on hold. All of our services are offered at our Miami facility under the care of our addiction certified physicians and psychiatrists, allowing you to continue your activities of daily living without compromising on quality of care.
There are different medications that can be used for the effective detoxification of alcohol and substances. Some can be used to mitigate the short-term withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting while others can help reduce the cravings to drink or use in the long-term.
Buprenorphine is a medication used to help opiate users manage the strong symptoms associated with the withdrawal process. It works by providing lower, sustained dosage of opioid medication to the brain allowing the brain to slowly titrate from the large amounts it has grown accustomed to. The slower absorption of the medication also minimizes its euphoric effects, minimizes withdrawal symptoms, blocks the effects of opiates and reduces cravings.
Suboxone ® is the most commonly recognized brand of Buprenorphine and is often used for short-term detoxification from opiates. The length of time it is used may vary from case to case depending on the severity of previous opiate use, time frame of use and other complicating factors. Recommendations will always be based on individuals needs determined upon assessment.
Medications such as Naltrexone and Acamprosate, are classified as anti-craving medications. They can be used, once a detoxification process has been completed, to minimize the desire to use alcohol or opiates in the long-term. They work by blocking the euphoric effects of these substances and therefore minimizing the appeal of consumption. Anti-craving medications have been found to minimize cravings by up to 90% in recovering individuals.
One of the most widely recommended anti-craving medications is Vivitrol ®. Vivitrol® is a slow-acting, injectable medication that is administered once a month. The active ingredient in Vivitrol® is called Naltrexone. Naltrexone can be found in pill form and can be taken on a daily basis. However, Vivitrol® tends to be the preferred option as it eliminates the risk of a missed dose and therefore improves the chance of long-term compliance and sustained effectiveness.
Medications like Acamprosate and Vivitrol® can be used to supplement our therapeutic services and increase a person’s chances of successful long-term recovery.
Our Medical Director Dr. Carlos Larocca and our addiction psychiatrist Dr. Rachel Rohaidy, manage our detoxification protocols within our convenient Miami outpatient setting.
Dr. Larocca is a specialist in the fields of addiction and family medicine with more than 25 years of experience. He is board certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and is also a member of the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Rachel Rohaidy, is an addiction psychiatrist who is licensed in the state of Florida to provide general psychiatry services and to administer buprenorphine treatment to opiate addicted individuals. Her areas of practice include general adult psychiatry, acute/emergency psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, consult liaison psychiatry, inpatient and outpatient detoxification, and administration of buprenorphine when indicated, as well as having specific training in the treatment of substance dependence in pregnant women. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.
We recognize that many people who develop a dependence to prescribed medications may, in fact, only be physically dependent and may not be struggling with an addiction or substance use disorder. That is why we offer our outpatient detox services separately from our therapeutic programs.
Other individuals may truly be struggling with a substance use disorder that may require a more comprehensive therapeutic approach. In such cases, we can create a program that incorporates our therapeutic treatment services together with our detoxification process. This will ultimately ensure that each person is equipped with the right tools for a successful, long-term recovery.
Prior to beginning the outpatient detoxification process, an evaluation will be made in order to determine medical appropriateness and to provide a recommendation as to whether engaging in therapy would be a beneficial addition to your detox process.
To learn more about our outpatient detox services or to setup an evaluation please call (305) 595-7378 or submit a confidential inquiry.