Starting Recovery With Detox [Guide]

Once a person has decided to get treatment for their addiction, they may be unsure what route to take to recovery. One of the routes that people are often unsure about is undergoing a detox procedure before entering an actual rehab program.

The best way for a person to know if detox is necessary is by understanding all aspects of it. This article will look at those aspects, including what detox is and who needs it, the three components of detox, reasons why people avoid detox, and alternative detox methods.  If you want to take the first step and begin detox, please call (888) 906-0952 to speak with our detox specialists.

Table of Contents

What Detox is and Who Needs It

Detox is often the first level of care in the recovery treatment process. During drug and alcohol detox, patients begin the process of abstinence from their substance choice. This period of abstinence gives the body a chance to remove the substance and its effects.

 A detox is a place where physical healing begins so that mental and emotional healing can continue. Physical detox is often done with a mix of time, medical supervision, and medication.

Detox medications exist because of the detox process and the cravings that can be hard to resist, along with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Some withdrawals can be harmful to the patient both mentally and physically.

Medications aren’t always used in detox, but some treatment centers do use them. A patient’s withdrawal can get to be too much for them. Some of the symptoms a person can expect when detoxing are anxiety, excessive sweating, nausea, and muscle aches. If these symptoms become overpowering, it is easy to see why patients would want to give up in the process.

Whatever kind of withdrawal you may suffer from, you should try not to worry because the detox procedure is fully supervised. Medical experts will be able to keep an eye on you and keep any discomfort to a minimum.

A medical detox before rehab is not always necessary for a person struggling with substance addiction. For instance, if you are recovering from marijuana or cocaine use, your withdrawal symptoms will be relatively mild, and you may be able to enter a recovery program right away.

 You can also go through what’s called a social detox. Social detox still purges the substance from the body but manages withdrawals through emotional support rather than medication.

A medical detox program is most necessary for addictions which are alcohol, heroin, and prescription drugs such as oxycontin, Vicodin, Xanax, hydrocodone, etc. All of these cause withdrawals that can be severe and sometimes even fatal.

 Those who suffer from these substance addictions and don’t seek detox treatment put themselves in danger and risk a speedy relapse. Any patient using drugs that cause physical dependence will need to go through the detox process.

There is no harm in wanting to undergo a detox procedure regardless of what substances you are struggling with, but it is best to consult a detox specialist.


The Three Components of Detox

Addiction specialists and medical staff use three components or stages in every detox program. The first component is evaluation, the second is stabilization, and the third is preparing the addiction sufferer for treatment.

Step One: Take Stock

First, let’s look at what the evaluation stage is. In this stage, an addict will undergo tests of the substances that have accumulated in their bloodstream and the concentration of those substances.

 They will then be screened for co-occurring mental and physical conditions. The main purpose of the evaluation is to make sure the patient’s treatment team knows all the proper steps to take during detox and the treatment program to follow.

Step Two: Reach Stability

The next step is stabilization. In this stage, medical professionals will assist the patient through acute withdrawals to ensure that they are stable enough to reach a substance-free state.

 Depending on the person, medication can be given to assist them. Medical professionals may also request confidential support from significant people in the client’s life, such as family, friends, and employers.

Step Three: Get Ready for Treatment

The final component is preparing the client to enter a treatment program. Practitioners will highly encourage the patient to enter into a program that provides long-term care.

 For those who have a history of completing the detoxification process but failing to stick it out in rehab, the treatment team may also ask them to sign a written treatment contract.

The contract is not legally binding but can serve as a motivational tool that will help the patient summon the resolve to get into treatment for the long haul. The patient will not need to sign until they are stable enough to start treatment right away.

These three components are what make detox a highly effective program. They make the client feel better and make sure the client is well aware that treatment extends beyond detox. For many people, a detox is a place to get into a better overall mindset about recovery.

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Reasons People Avoid Detox

It may be beneficial to you to understand why some people may not want to participate in a detox program. Prospective patients usually object to the medically supervised variety of detox procedures rather than the social variety.

One of the reasons why someone might avoid medical detox is because of the cost. Unfortunately, money is tight for some people, especially where the often-inflated costs of healthcare are concerned.

 Those suffering from addictions come from all walks of life and all social classes, and those who are in a lower income bracket might find medical detox simply too expensive.

Admittedly, because it is a form of inpatient treatment and requires a high degree of oversight, medical detox is the most costly option. Rehab facilities try their best to make sure all forms of treatment and accommodation are affordable. Each client is different, and it isn’t safe to assume everyone will have the financial means to detox this way.

Potential patients may have other objections to inpatient detox as well.  Some people find it uncomfortable staying in an unknown environment far away from home. They may have difficulty getting accustomed to living in that kind of environment and experiencing a new and different daily routine.

 However, rehabs also do their best to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for all. Inpatient care will provide private rooms, kitchens, clean bathrooms, and recreational facilities such as gyms.

Even though there are some downsides to supervised detox, the pros outweigh the cons. There is no better feeling than getting your life back on track and getting sober. If these downsides make you hesitant, a call to our treatment experts can get you more information and help alleviate these concerns.

Alternative Detox Methods

Many people will try to find alternative ways to detox their bodies. Some may think that they can detox in their homes all on their own. Companies selling detox kits on the internet have encouraged this idea for obvious reasons.

 Still, the reality is that the detox kits in question have not been evaluated by the FDA. What is particularly insidious about these products is that an average person has no idea what the substances are that come with the kit. They could potentially cause other health problems.

You have probably heard the phrase ‘going cold turkey before. If you haven’t, go ‘cold turkey trying to reach sobriety by quitting substances without any medications (home kits included), professional help, or weaning process. The name derives from the goosebumps often seen in heroin users who are amid withdrawal.

The cold turkey method is well known to those struggling with physical dependence due to addiction. It is not uncommon to think you have enough willpower to stop at any time, but this is rarely true. It is always advisable to seek help with harder substances in particular. Studies show that 61% of people who try to handle their withdrawals on their own are unsuccessful.

As mentioned previously, withdrawals can be extremely debilitating for a person, and managed detox can make the process much smoother. The likely outcome for those who go cold turkey is relapsing and going back to their addiction.

 By contrast, those treated in a proper detox facility won’t have to worry much about relapsing since they won’t have access to substances. So instead of trying to tackle your withdrawals on your own, it is best to get proper treatment and maximize your chance of success.

Let Us Help

Enrolling in a detox rehab treatment program is the safest and most certain way to start your recovery. Not only will it alleviate the pain of withdrawals, but there will be staff making sure you’re prepared for the next phase of treatment.

It is important to remember that you cannot be cured of your addiction by detoxing alone. You may feel great after a detox program and may think treatment is unnecessary, but as mentioned before, there is a high chance of relapse when a person doesn’t go through a recovery program.

Detox only treats the physical aspect of drug addiction. The psychological aspects are much harder to treat and will take longer: than a recovery program is for. The process may feel overwhelming since there are so many steps to take, but going from detox to rehab is.

You might be asking: do all rehabs have detox treatment? Not all rehabs have a detox program, but many do. It is best to call a rehab facility and discuss whether or not they have one and make sure they incorporate the three components we discussed above.

Don’t let your addiction keep you from living the life you’ve always wanted. No matter what sort of addiction you have, a recovery program can help you. If you are still undecided about whether detox is right for you, please call (888) 906-0952  and speak with our detox specialists today.







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Our writers are experienced in everything related to addiction, mental health, rehab and recovery.

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