What Is Detox?
Drug and alcohol detox is the process by which a body rids itself of drugs and alcohol when a person stops taking substances they’ve become dependent on. When addictive substances are withheld, the body experiences withdrawal symptoms and brain function begins to recover and normalize.
In a professional detox setting, this process also includes the management of withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, aches, insomnia, nausea, chills, sweating, fever and seizures, and these effects can be highly uncomfortable.
People who attempt the process alone often return to using drugs or alcohol to relieve the discomfort, which is why going through drug and alcohol detox in a facility is helpful. Detox experts can help relieve your discomfort and support you in continuing the process.
Detox isn’t a substitute for addiction treatment; it’s just the first step. Therapy is necessary to learn healthy ways of thinking and behaving and to acquire skills to handle cravings and prevent relapse.
What is Medically Assisted Drug and Alcohol Detox?
Withdrawal is often unpleasant, but quitting certain substances such as alcohol or benzodiazepines can be dangerous or even deadly. For people addicted to these substances, their best—and safest—course of action is to go through a medically assisted detox.
In medically assisted detox, medical personnel supervise patients around the clock. Depending on the nature of the person’s addiction, detox staff may administer medications that ease withdrawal symptoms and control cravings. Some of these medications mimic the effects of the substance on the body in order to prevent withdrawal and are administered in gradually decreasing doses.
What Happens at Detox?
Detox is not a one-size-fits-all program. At a high-quality detox center, the process begins with a conversation between you and detox experts who help you understand what to expect during detox.
After you check in and complete paperwork, you’ll be assigned to a room. During your stay, you’ll frequently meet with your treatment counselors and medical staff, and you’ll be given plenty of time to rest while your body adjusts to functioning without substances. The detox process can vary and is tailored to each person’s individual situation.
Do I need Detox?
Whether you would benefit from detox before beginning therapy depends on several factors, including the length and intensity of your addiction, the substances you use and your most recent usage. The only way to find out whether you need detox is to get a personalized assessment from an addiction specialist. If you’re unsure whether you need detox, contact us today. Our compassionate admissions advisors can help you determine how best to proceed in your journey to recovery.