Drug Detox: The First Step into Recovery From Drug & Alcohol Addiction
Drug and alcohol detox is always the first step to a successful, lasting recovery. Also known as detoxification, drug detox is the process in which harmful substances are allowed to safely leave the body in a controlled fashion. Although it's not the easiest process, detox must be done in order to make addiction treatment work. Provided by professionals, our detox program will help you or a loved one overcome drug abuse and addiction safely, comfortably, and effectively. So, what is the detox process?
What is Drug Detox?
Drug detox is the process of removing harmful substances from the body, allowing it to return to a balanced and healthy state slowly. When people engage in substance use over a period of time, their bodies get used to having those drugs in their system. When those substances are removed, the body's sense of balance is thrown off. This results in a person feeling physical and psychological symptoms during detoxification. These symptoms are known as withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the type of substance being used, as well as how long they’ve engaged in substance use. The symptoms can be very unpleasant (and occasionally dangerous) and are a massive obstacle to recovery. Fortunately, medical detox makes withdrawal symptoms much easier to tolerate.
Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Heavy sweating
- Anxiety and depression
- Body aches, pains, and cramps
- Agitation and irritability
Some substances have more difficult detox periods than others. Here are a few of the substances which require a more challenging detox:
Better known by their brand names Ativan, Xanax, and Valium, these prescription tranquilizers have withdrawal effects which include seizures and blackouts, making medical detox a must when recovering from them.
Opioids are a wide family of drugs including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers. Opioid withdrawal is justifiably infamous for its severe flu-like effects. a medical detox program makes opioid withdrawal much easier to endure.
This legal drug can be very risky to detox from due to seizures. Alcohol withdrawal must always be done in a professional, medically monitored detox program. A medically monitored setting can make the lengthy withdrawal period safer and more comfortable.
Other drugs, including cocaine, prescription stimulants, and meth also have challenging withdrawal symptoms
How long does detox last?
This is a good question without an easy answer. The length of time a person spends in drug detox depends on several variables.
- The time spent addicted to drugs
- An individual's physiology and age
- The substances they were abusing
- Whether or not they're ready to enter recovery
Ultimately, detoxification lasts as long as it needs to. The process is over when addictive substances leave the body, and a person is no longer under the influence of them. It’s why taking a critical eye toward rapid detox is necessary.
Rapid detox also carries health risks, too. Rapid detox involves using medication along with anesthesia to keep a person sedated as they withdraw from drugs. In practice, it sounds easy, but studies have found several negative effects associated with rapid detox. Heart attacks, mental health symptoms, relapse, and more have all been linked to rapid detox.
What Happens During Drug Detox?
The reason detox is the first step in recovery is simple. A person is simply unable to address their addiction while under the influence of addictive substances. Drugs and alcohol cloud our thinking; it's impossible to tackle the underlying mental and emotional issues which often drive substance use and addiction. Our medical detox program helps treat the physical aspect of drug and alcohol addiction so the mental health side of recovery can be worked on. So, what is the detox process? When a person begins the drug detox process, they're monitored by healthcare professionals to make sure the process is safe and effective. The medical staff may administer certain medications in order to make withdrawal symptoms more manageable. This makes for a detoxification experience far easier than going cold turkey on one’s own.
Treatment generally follows several steps:
When a person enters detox, the medical staff will assess the person's physical and mental health. This helps us determine the most effective way to meet our client's needs and develop a personalized treatment plan.
During this stage, the medical team monitors vital signs and provides medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms. The information we learn during the medical assessment allows us to anticipate the severity of withdrawal. It also ensures our clients are kept as comfortable and safe as possible during the drug detox process. Everyone experiences drug detox in a different way.
This phase focuses on education and therapy sessions which help provide guidance and insight into substance use. It also helps a person have an easier transition into addiction treatment.
Can I detox from drugs at home?
Yes, but you shouldn't.
Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is difficult. Done without professional supervision, it's much more so. Going through withdrawal without medical assistance is very hard, and unlikely to be successful. Many people turn back to substance use when trying to detox alone (or taking the "cold turkey" approach) and often go back to substance use for relief.
Plus, drug detox can also be dangerous when it’s done. As we've said, some substances come with medically complex, even lethal withdrawal symptoms. It's always best to go through the detox process with the guidance of professionals in a medically monitored environment.
Home detox kits and so-called "rapid detox" should also be discouraged. Drug detox isn't a race, it's about meeting a person's needs at every stage of their journey.
Detox vs. Rehab: What's the Difference?
While drug detox is an important step into recovery, many people mistakenly believe it is the same as rehab. While they are both necessary when recovering from addiction, there are some key differences between them
The differences includes:
Involves removing toxins from the body through medically supervised care. Care includes minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
Involves building on the progress made during drug detox and providing therapeutic guidance to ensure a lasting recovery. Care includes psychotherapy, group therapy, and even outdoor activities.
At the end of the day, drug detox is an important first step in addiction treatment. It's an essential part of any successful recovery journey and should always be done under professional medical supervision. By taking this step, individuals can start building a foundation for long-term sobriety.
Drug detox gives people clarity and focus, so they can make informed decisions about their future, such as whether or not they're ready to enter recovery.
What happens after detox?
Once drug detoxification is complete, clients will enter our rehab program. During addiction rehab, they'll be able to work on the physical, mental, and emotional side of recovery in a safe, supportive environment.
What is the process of rehabilitation?
The rehab process includes learning about addiction, developing coping skills for cravings and triggers, and building an action plan for long-term sobriety.
Drug rehab also involves therapy sessions that help provide guidance and insight into drug & alcohol addiction. There are many different types of therapies available – from individual counseling to group support – all designed to meet the person's specific needs throughout their recovery journey. In general, rehab after detox is divided up into two stages of care.
- Inpatient rehab:
Inpatient drug rehab is a level of care that provides 24/7 support and oversight in a residential setting. Clients stay onsite, allowing them to focus solely on their recovery.
- Outpatient rehab:
Outpatient drug rehab involves attending group or individual therapy sessions at regular intervals while also living at home. Outpatient rehab is ideal for those who have obligations to family, work, or school they must maintain during treatment.
Detox is the first step to recovery, but it’s only the first step.
Drug Detox at The Edge Treatment Center
As a family-owned drug rehab center, The Edge Treatment Center knows how hard drug detox can be. Our deep insight into the process allows us to provide our clients with a carefully planned and effective detox experience.
With us, you won't go through drug detox alone. Instead, we'll be in your corner every step of the way. Want to learn more about drug detox and recovery from substance abuse? Contact The Edge Treatment Center today!