Typically, a hospital will categorize their detoxification process as either "inpatient" or "outpatient" detox. Inpatient detoxification allows the patient to be closely monitored, while outpatient detox, typically undertaken at medical centers or private clinics, has the advantage of being less disruptive to the patient's life, explains The Addiction Recovery Guide.
Detoxification is normally the administering of gradually decreasing doses of the agent that is related to the original substance of abuse and is most often used to help patients detox from alcohol, cocaine and opiate addictions, according to The Addiction Recovery Guide..
With alcohol detox, many patients can undergo the process without the help of medications. However, clonidine can be administered to reduce symptoms such as tremors and mild depression. Outpatient detoxification is usually performed by administering a tranquilizer such as chlordiazepoxide every six hours for the first 24 hours.
Cocaine detoxification, however, involves the use of antidepressant drugs such as desipramine, or tranquilizers such as diazepam. Amantadine, a drug known for its treatment of Parkinson's disease, may also be an effective treatment for patients to reduce their severe cocaine cravings.
With opiate detox, there are two main courses of action: rapid detox, in which a variety of medications called opiate blockers are administered while the patient sleeps under general anaesthesia, and methadone detox, a slower process of administering methadone to taper the patient from a usual dose down to nothing.