Detoxing from drug addiction is often the first step toward getting sober.
Although withdrawal symptoms can be scary, uncomfortable, and even dangerous, a detox program can help ensure your safety and success during the withdrawal process.
Knowing what to expect by learning about drug detox is just one of the things you can do to support yourself as you prepare for and begin detox.
Preparing For A Successful Detox Experience
No one ever said that detoxing from drugs or alcohol is easy — and that’s because it isn’t. Drug cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming at times.
With the help of medical intervention, you can safely and successfully move through the detoxification process.
Here are five ways to better support yourself through detox.
1. Understand The Drug Detox Process
Detox is different for everyone. The effects of drug addiction on the body and withdrawal symptoms differ according to the drug being used, the person’s drug use history, and more.
People with more severe addictions will often experience more severe withdrawal when they stop using the drug.
Withdrawal refers to physical symptoms, such as body aches, sweating, and nausea. These symptoms will typically cease, or dramatically decrease, once the person uses the drug again.
The higher a person’s tolerance is, the more drugs they’ll need to experience the same effects and ward off withdrawal. People who are not physically addicted will not experience withdrawal.
Keep in mind that every drug has associated withdrawal symptoms. You may experience all of these symptoms, very few of them, or different symptoms depending on your body.
Your care team will ensure your safety during the process and help make you as comfortable as possible.
2. Research Where To Get An Assessment
A drug detox center or an addiction treatment facility offering detox services can provide you with a drug abuse assessment to determine your detox needs. Some hospitals also provide this service.
Depending on the substance you are using, your substance use history, and your general health, you may be advised to detox in a treatment facility or you may be able to detox at home.
If you are addicted to alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines, or if you have an underlying health condition, medical detox is typically required to avoid serious, even life-threatening symptoms and complications.
Even people with mild addictions who detox at home often do so through an outpatient program, in which they still receive some level of monitoring and supervision for their safety and success.
3. Learn About The Detox Timeline
The detoxification process will differ based on four main factors.
The factors that determine the length of detox include:
- the drug you are taking
- your daily dose
- the length of time you’ve been using
- the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms
Typically, detox takes between three and 14 days. The majority of people will begin to feel better after a week. It may be possible to move to inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation at this time.
4. Ask For Support
Whether you are just getting started in educating yourself about detox or in the middle of withdrawal at a detox center, don’t be afraid to ask for support.
People who can be relied on for support may include anyone in your social circle who is in support of your recovery, such as trusted family members, friends, or other loved ones.
Not everyone has this type of support. Reaching out to nurses on your care team, a therapist, your doctor, a support group, or addiction specialists can prove very valuable.
Remember that, even though your situation is unique, these professionals have helped many other people through the detox and recovery process and can help you as well.
5. Give Yourself Grace
Detox can be demanding on the mind and body, particularly in the beginning. But remember to be kind and patient with yourself, and remain open to the experience.
By choosing to detox from drugs, you are making the best choice for yourself, your health and well-being, the quality of your relationships, and your livelihood.
You deserve to live a satisfying life that’s free of substances, and you will get there in time, one day at a time. This is the first step in your recovery journey, and you can be proud of it.
Being gentle with yourself and practicing self-compassion can make difficult moments during detox more bearable.
Key Points About Drug Detox
Detox focuses on the physical aspect of addiction. Even in the care of a medical facility, the mental, emotional, or spiritual components of addiction will not be treated during detox.
The goal of detox is to remove drugs and/or alcohol from the body. Following detox, the best course of action is to enter into a substance abuse treatment program.
Get tips for supporting yourself throughout detox, including educating yourself and practicing self-compassion.
Whether you detox at home or in a healthcare facility, you will experience a range of symptoms as your body works to stabilize itself.
Symptoms may range from mild to severe depending on your use of the substance and the length of time you used it for. Everyone has a different experience with detox.
Some of the side effects of detoxing from drugs and/or alcohol may include:
- changes in appetite
- nausea and/or vomiting
- stomach cramps
- overwhelming fatigue
- night sweats
- sweating or full-body chills
- high or low blood pressure
- pain in the muscles, joints, or bones
- shakiness or tremors
- mood swings
- mental health symptoms, such as aggression, anxiety, depression, fear, irritability, paranoia, etc.
If You Have A Substance Use Disorder, Help Is Available
If you or a loved one is dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction, reach out to DetoxRehabs.net and get connected with a treatment center today.Article Sources
- Alcohol Health And Research World – Complications Of Alcohol Withdrawal
- McLean Hospital – Everything You Need To Know About Substance Use Detox
- World Health Organization (WHO) – Clinical Guidelines For Withdrawal Management And Treatment Of Drug Dependence In Closed Settings