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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

What You Need To Know Before Detox

Detox is often a person’s first step into their recovery journey. Cleansing the physical body of drugs and other toxins is a crucial step towards true healing. In fact, little progress can be made until the process of detox has done its work. Without first stabilizing things physically, we cannot truly be ready to do the work required of us in recovery.

Many recognize this as the turning point in their lives and know that things will not go back to the way they were before, and it’s true, the process of recovery does involve significant change. Unfortunately, many people allow their fear of change to lead them to hit “rock bottom” before they consider going to detox.

Others fear entering this first big step of their healing process due to being unsure of what it will entail, and what it means for them to begin this “recovery journey”. However, armed with accurate information, they may be more able and likely to take the needed steps towards recovery. 

Who Needs Detox?

Not everyone who uses substances in a problematic way will need a detox. More than anything, the necessity of detox is determined by the body’s physical reliance on alcohol or other substances, marked by tolerance and dependence.

Tolerance refers to the need to take more of a substance in order to achieve the same effect. While this demonstrates that the body has grown accustomed to the presence of the substance in the system, it is not always enough to warrant detoxification.

Dependence in this case means that the body has adapted to having a persistently elevated level of the substance present. When we ingest substances, they release particular neurotransmitters that mimic the processes of the brain’s reward center. Over time, the body adjusts its own production to account for the increase in externally-fueled neurotransmitters.

This results in a need to take the drug to feel as if we are functioning normally. When we stop taking the drug, we will face instant withdrawal symptoms, both mental and physical, that are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

This is the benefit of a medically-supervised detox, where we are able to cleanse our bodies and reset from the effects of the drugs on our system. 

Drug Detox Must Be Completed Before Rehab

Many treatment and rehab centers require guests to complete the detox process before being admitted to their program. To truly benefit from treatment, to gain insight, and be able to focus on the emotional and psychological parts of overcoming addiction, we must not continue to be under the influence of the substance.

Both for your own sake and the others in the program, it is helpful when you are able to think clearly and have goals that are aligned with the goals of recovery rather than continuing in any drug-seeking behaviors and mindset. This can also be very triggering for other individuals if someone has not completely detoxed before entering the treatment facility. 

Should be Under the Care of Medical Professionals

Although it is possible to detox on your own, it is not recommended. The process can be very uncomfortable and painful even, but when you’re medically supervised, the health professionals responsible for your care will do their best to keep you comfortable.

During withdrawal, several complications can arise depending on the substance and the severity of physical addiction. This fact alone should have you convinced of the importance of seeking medical attention, along with your specific physical and mental health considerations.

Intense cravings and discomfort from the withdrawal process may weaken your resolve to quit and put you at risk of relapse, just as your recovery journey is starting out. But, detoxing with medical professionals can help you manage and treat symptoms. 

The Process Can be Uncomfortable

The process of withdrawal is often accompanied by several symptoms:
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea, stomach upset, and gastrointestinal distress
  • Appetite changes
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Depression and hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Disorientation
  • Strong cravings
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Duration of Detox Can Vary

There is no set time frame for detox, and it is highly dependent upon a number of individual factors. For some, it may take weeks to clear the body completely from the drug. While it may be frustrating to not have a clear idea going in how long you will be detoxing, you can feel assured that they are very much taking your individual needs into account.

These factors include:
  • The drug of abuse
  • Potential poly-substance abuse
  • Typical rate, dose, and duration of use
  • Goals of the patient
  • Previous treatment attempts
  • Co-occurring health conditions

First Phase Of Recovery

Detox is just the first phase of treatment. Many people believe that detox is all they need, but in order to break the cycle of drug addiction, rehab and treatment should follow. It is important to try and move from detox right into a treatment facility to limit the chance of relapse.

One of the most beneficial things about detox at The Haven is the comprehensive treatment options that will allow you to move from detox at The Pines to phase one treatment, and on to phase two as you work through the program. 

At The Haven, there is no fear of not knowing what comes next, as our case managers will work with you to map out your journey through recovery at The Haven and beyond. Contact us today!