Medical Alcohol and Drug Detox in Erie

Drug and alcohol addiction are serious diseases that may lead to other devastating health problems like organ damage and impaired cognitive function. It can also lead to financial troubles, legal problems, and deteriorating social, family, and work relationships.

Seeking professional treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction is, in the vast majority of cases, is essential for successful recovery. Drug and alcohol treatment begins with detoxing the body of harmful chemicals. In many cases, medical detox is necessary.

Medical detox is performed under the supervision of medical health professionals, and may involve the administration of various medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce the intensity of cravings. Medical detox can take place at a residential treatment center, and is typically the first step in the rehabilitation process. Drug rehab centers in Erie, provide patients with the care and support they will need to get through the medical detox process.

Find the best facility and treatment programs for your particular needs. Call today at 814-651-9437.

Why Quitting "Cold Turkey" is Never Recommended

Without adequate medical supervision, the withdrawal process can be dangerous or even fatal, particularly when it comes to quitting alcohol and sedatives. Additionally, for some patients, detoxing without other medications administered while under the care of a physician can lead to near-immediate relapse due to the often-excruciating symptoms, which always include intense cravings.


Inpatient detoxification is generally the most successful method. Performed at a treatment center, the patient is removed from the triggers that often result in relapse, and ongoing medical supervision ensures safety and the highest possible level of comfort. Outpatient detox can be successful too, as long as the patient is personally committed to recovery, has the capacity to refrain from using, and has a strong system of support at home.


Withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous, and in some cases, fatal. Symptoms include tremors, hallucinations, seizures, and dangerously high blood pressure and body temperature due to a condition called delirium tremens, also known as DTs. Between five and 15 percent of people who experience DTs while unsupervised, die.

Drugs that are administered during this process include benzodiazepines to alleviate depression, anxiety, and insomnia; beta-blockers to prevent dangerous heart problems, and anticonvulsants to treat or prevent seizures. In some cases, Antabuse will be used after the detox process is complete to block the effects of alcohol and cause unpleasant symptoms when taken with alcohol.


The process for medical drug detox varies, depending on the drug being abused. The most common drugs of abuse are opiates, stimulants, and sedatives.


Opiate prescription painkillers include Vicodin and OxyContin, while illegal opiates include heroin and opium. Symptoms of withdrawal associated with these drugs include:

  • Irritability, agitation, anxiety, and depression
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Muscle aches, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia and low energy

Drugs used during medical detox from opiates include:

  • Methadone to relive cravings
  • Cloniding to reduce anxiety, agitation, body aches, and sweats
  • Subutex to alleviate symptoms and shorten the length of the process
  • Antidepressants such as Paxil to alleviate depression, anxiety, and insomnia


Stimulants include prescription medications like Dexedrine and Adderall and illegal drugs like cocaine and crystal meth. Symptoms of withdrawal from stimulants include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Intense dreaming when sleep is achieved

Physicians typically prescribe bupropion, which include the brands Welbutrin and Zyban, to reduce the intensity of cravings and alleviate insomnia, depression, and anxiety.


Sedatives include prescription benzodiazepines like Valium and Klonopin and non-benzodiazepine sleep aids like Ambien and Lunesta. Withdrawal from these substances result in symptoms like sweating, shaking, restlessness and nausea, but it's the increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and body temperature that makes this process potentially dangerous.

The medical detox protocol for sedative withdrawal is to taper off the doses over the course of a few weeks to prevent these symptoms.


Once the detox process is complete, treatment will begin. Many of Erie's drug and alcohol treatment centers, offer comprehensive alcohol or drug treatment programs that include individual, group, and family counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and activities that take a holistic approach and address mind, body, and spirit.

An individualized aftercare program will be set in place after treatment is complete to help ensure the ongoing success of recovery. Aftercare will include ongoing therapy and may include residing in a sober living facility, attending AA or other self-help groups, vocational training, and regular meetings with a case worker to evaluate progress and help prevent relapse.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and needs help quitting, we can assist in getting you the best rehab facility and treatment program. Call today at 814-651-9437.

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