Alcohol & Drug Detox

Medically managed withdrawal – more commonly called “detox” – is the first stage of residential rehab treatment. Most drug and all alcohol addictions require a programme of detoxification or ‘detox’ to remove all traces of drugs and alcohol from the body and to treat the symptoms of withdrawal.

One of our team of Consultant Psychiatrists will prescribe an individual’s detoxification plan, tailored to the patient’s needs, and agreed with the patient.

Safe, Sensitive & Effective Detox Programme

We have over 30 years’ experience in detoxification from drugs and alcohol and we ensure that detox is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Our experienced nursing staff are sensitive to the needs of patients during this difficult time and we provide 24/7 round-the-clock care, support and encouragement. Our detox service is sometimes referred to as ‘Tier 4’, meaning that all medical care takes place as an inpatient at Castle Craig.

We closely monitor all patients throughout detox until they are stable; easing withdrawal symptoms and reviewing a patient’s care several times a day. A specialist doctor is available exclusively to Castle Craig, onsite, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in case of emergency.

Detoxification is more supportive when there is a shared room environment and in general patients share a bedroom during detoxification although there is provision for single and single en-suite accommodation.  After detox patients move to a bedroom which is either single or shared.

Detox is the First Step on the Road to Recovery

Detoxification alone is not enough and will not curb compulsion to drink or use drugs. A combination of individual psychotherapy, group therapy, specialist therapies, educational lectures and complementary therapies (all monitored and supported by our experienced and dedicated staff) will see a patient through to a full recovery.


Detox From Alcohol (Transcription)

Dr. Margaret McCann:

Detox is the first stage of treatment. And essentially, detoxification means removing toxins from the body, but in this context of treatment, detoxification refers to the treatment of any withdrawal syndrome associated with the abrupt or gradual cessation of the drug or drugs that the person has been taking – the point of coming into treatment.

So detoxification does have to be managed safely. We want to also ensure that detox is as rapid as possible, so that the person is not on any medication for a any prolonged period of time.

Prof. Jonathan Chick:

Some patients are quite anxious about the detox. They’ve read frightening stories of what happens if you go cold turkey, or even if the doctor is helping you, you haven’t had enough of the medication to make it safe and comfortable.

Getting a balance between having a safe detox, but not giving so much medication that the individual feels over-sedated or confused, is quite specialised. Our staff have special methods which they use very well to keep a good balance.

This is an important first step, but for us, that’s not an isolated block. That’s a period when a person is going to meet his therapist, the individual will have his or her buddy from the community group. We’ll be getting to know them, they’ll be getting involved in the life of the community. Even though they won’t, at that point, be starting on anything more demanding in terms of their psychotherapy.

Dr. Margaret McCann:

We do provide our various complementary therapies to assist people, such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, stress-management techniques. And these are invaluable in assisting the withdrawal process.

Prof. Jonathan Chick:

Detox can be dangerous for alcohol withdrawal and usually for benzodiazepine drugs such as xanax, valium, librium. Both alcohol and those benzodiazepine detoxes can result in seizures, epileptic seizures. And that’s why we monitor people very carefully and use a sliding, gradually diminishing dose, so the brain re-adapts, gets used to having a lesser and lesser amount of the substance present while not putting the brain through anything risky that could provoke a seizure.

A detox from opiates, such as heroin or methadone, oxycodone, tramadol, codeine, actually isn’t medically dangerous. It’s not life-threatening, but it can be pretty unpleasant unless it’s done gradually and/or with some substitute or protective mechanisms, medications we use.

The atmosphere is also very helpful. Talking to other people who have been through detox, and of course, there are going to be a lot of other patients that you’ll meet in the community who’ve gone through detox. They can reassure you and give you that little bit of extra confidence. Keeping your own level of fear and anxiety under control actually helps the detox to go through more smoothly.