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    Conducted under medical supervision, a medication-assisted treatment (MAT), also known as a drug detox program, is the first step toward successful addiction recovery. However, while detoxification helps rid the body of harmful substances, it is not a quick fix. Instead, it is the beginning of a long journey.

    Substance addiction is a chronic condition that affects people both physically and psychologically. These persons will benefit from detox programs that target their substance use disorders (SUD) and address the major health changes and complications in their brain chemistry that resorts to using drugs.

    New Directions for Women is a drug rehab center in California that provides a safe environment for women to recover. We understand that each patient’s addiction and medical background are unique. Our holistic treatment and patient-specific programs help us meet all patient needs for the best outcome.

    Our goal is to ensure our patients go through detox safely and effectively.

    What is a Detox?

    The body undergoes withdrawal when an addict stops using a drug, whether slowly or abruptly. The body needs a detox period to completely get it out of the system. Long-term dependence on a drug or alcohol changes the patient’s brain chemistry, making it dependent on that substance to get a high, euphoric, or relaxed state. Once a person starts using a drug, it creates a dependency on it, especially with continued use.

    Medical detox is the process of safely ridding the body of abused substances. Depending on the patient’s dependency level, mental state, and other co-occurring medical conditions, it can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

    Professional medical detox gives recovering addicts a safe space to rid their system of their preferred substance. They can start healing under the constant supervision of a qualified and compassionate medical team. Therefore, doctors can always diagnose and treat any complications that may arise during the detox program, such as severe withdrawal symptoms.

    At New Directions for Women, we use evidence-based addiction treatments and therapies for detoxification from substance use. We understand how difficult it is for addicts to stop substance abuse independently. We offer the support and safety needed to ensure a safe medically-assisted detox program.

    Drugs Needing a Medical Detox

    Medical detoxification can be a challenging time, even for well-supported patients. But it is the most effective treatment method that provides structure and accountability to help doctors and patients navigate complex situations.

    While some drugs may require slow, controlled weaning to reduce and stop their dependency, others require patients to use medications during detox to manage their withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

    1. Alcohol

    Alcohol is a mind-altering, mood-changing “drug.” If consumed excessively over time, it can cause severe withdrawal symptoms when the addict suddenly ceases its use. This is because the addict’s central nervous system (CNS) gets used to releasing endorphins (feel-good hormones) in the brain.

    Drinking heavily for years and then stopping consuming alcohol suddenly may cause severe withdrawal symptoms, such as:

    • Headaches
    • Bodily shaking
    • Intense restlessness, irritability
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
    • High fever or excess sweating
    • Severe fatigue

    In some cases, patients undergoing alcohol withdrawal can have even more intense, life-threatening symptoms, such as:

    • Delirium
    • Hallucinations
    • Seizures

    Abrupt cessation of high alcohol consumption can be dangerous, possibly life-threatening, and must only be done under medical supervision.

    2. Prescription Opioids & Heroin

    Opioids and opiates are highly addictive drugs like Fentanyl, OxyContin, and heroin. These drugs bind to specific receptors in the addict’s brain, blocking pain while producing a sense of euphoric calm.

    Addicts that quit these drugs after using them for long periods may experience severe withdrawal symptoms that include:

    • Severe sweating and/or chills
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Severe muscle aches and spasms
    • Rapid heart rate and possible seizures
    • Stomach cramps and diarrhea
    • Extreme restlessness and irritability
    • Intense anxiety
    • Depressive episodes

    Most withdrawal symptoms from opioids are not often life-threatening. However, they can be challenging to manage, especially self-detoxing at home, without proper medical assistance. Withdrawal from prescription drug abuse can be so uncomfortable that many recovering addicts revert to the drug.

    3. Benzodiazepines

    Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that help patients calm their anxiety and panic. Some common drugs in this category include Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin. These drugs increase the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA produces feelings of relaxation and calmness.

    However, as with alcohol and opioids, the body quickly develops a tolerance and dependency to these drugs from continued use. Addicts may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using benzodiazepines.

    These symptoms may include:

    • Severe headaches
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Muscle spasms and tremors
    • Sweating and/or chills
    • Intense restlessness and irritability
    • Anxiety
    • Seizures

    We highly recommend seeking medically-assisted detox support when detoxing from benzo addiction. Our detox and rehabilitation center in Orange County provides much-needed professional supervision and detox support.

    We aim to help patients face their addictions and build a foundation of recovery. We help patients safely and smoothly navigate their withdrawal symptoms. We provide treatment to help them start a new life in recovery, free from addiction.

    How Women Differ in Inpatient Detox

    Women differ from men in many ways, even dealing with SUD. Addiction in women exposes them to completely different difficulties and experiences, prompting the need to accord them an appropriate detox and treatment plan tailor-fitted to their recovery needs.

    These include:

    • Physical and medical issues: women addicts are often exposed to more severe medical and health complications from their addictions. Some common issues may include memory problems, cancer, and organ or system failure.
    • Mental health disorders: women are also more likely to suffer from co-occurring mental disorders than men, as their addictions are often linked with mental illnesses like anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Family issues and social stigma: women who suffer from substance abuse disorder are often viewed more negatively than men with the same addiction problem (whether society admits it or not)
    • Pregnancy and fertility issues: female detox specialists must carefully handle the detoxification of pregnant women by providing round-the-clock monitoring, supervision, and excellent medical care. Medical personnel must take all necessary precautions to protect the mother and unborn child.
    Detox for Women in Costa Mesa, California

    Screening and Assessment

    New Directions for Women takes extra attention and care when screening and assessing women patients with substance addiction. Our capable and compassionate team performs detailed interviews, observations, and medical testing to accurately diagnose each patient’s (woman’s) substance abuse disorder.


    Women have different roles, responsibilities, and relationships in society, their immediate and extended family, and friends. Our medical detoxing staff considers these roles, responsibilities, and relationships when creating a unique detoxification plan for women.

    Women’s Detox Center in Orange County


    New Directions for Women uses a holistic, patient-focused addiction treatment program for all women. The staff at our treatment center are experienced and caring healthcare professionals. Women ready to detox from drugs and alcohol should seek medical assistance based on medical evidence.

    Other patient-specific addiction treatment programs and therapies we offer include:

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
    • Experiential Therapies
    • Family Therapy
    • Group Therapy
    • Individual Therapy
    • Trauma-Informed Care
    • And many more.


    Our specialized addiction treatment team aims to help all patients know the gift of recovery from substance addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance addiction, reach out to New Directions for Women today. 

    Clinically Reviewed By:

    Heather Black-Coyne, LMFT, CADC II, Chief Clinical Officer

    Heather Black-Coyne, LMFT, CADC II, Chief Clinical Officer

    Heather most recently served as the Clinical Director of a gender-specific treatment center in Huntington Beach. She is trained in both Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which serve the needs of our patients, many of whom have experienced both complex trauma and substance use disorder.

    Medically Reviewed By:

    Dr. Alejandro Alva, M.D., Consulting Medical Director

    Dr. Alejandro Alva, M.D., Consulting Medical Director

    Alejandro Alva, MD, has a focus on substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment and general psychiatric disorders. Dr. Alva earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton, and completed medical school at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Mexico. He then returned to California, where he completed his psychiatric residency at the University of California, Irvine.

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