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What Are the True Facts About Withdrawal and Detox?

Facts About Withdrawal and Detox

Is the fear of withdrawal preventing you from getting the addiction treatment you need?  Are you listening to people who have tried detoxing on their own and had a terrible experience?  If so, you need to know the straight-up, true facts about withdrawal and detox. With this information, you can put your fears aside and begin your path to a drug-free lifestyle.

Detoxification is not the solution or the magic cure for addiction.  It is only the first step in a comprehensive plan to help a person overcome drug abuse.  Without professional detox, relapse is inevitable. 

Here are the truths about detox and withdrawal you need to know.  

Why Do Most Rehab Centers Require Detox?

The process of detox helps the body rid itself of all traces of an addictive substance.  Withdrawals are medically-monitored to ensure the safety and success of each patient.  After completing detox, a person no longer feels the physical cravings that keep them in the cycle of addiction.  

A person who does not undergo detox is unable to focus on treatment for the emotional aspects of their addictions.  Continued cravings eventually lead them back to their drug use.  This is why most rehab facilities require detox before entering their program.  They want to help a person recover.  However, they know it is pointless to try to counsel someone who is dealing with strong cravings.  For this reason, many rehab facilities provide on-site detox programs.

Yes, Detox Can be Uncomfortable

Depending on the drug involved and the duration of your addiction, withdrawals can be uncomfortable.  Some of the most common physical and emotional symptoms can include the following:

Physical withdrawal symptoms

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills and sweats
  • Shakiness
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches/pains/cramps
  • Sleeplessness

Emotional withdrawal symptoms

  • Anxiety, agitation, aggressiveness
  • Depression, despair
  • Confusion
  • Apathy, lack of motivation
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

Generally, these symptoms vary in intensity and duration with each person depending on many factors.  However, medically-monitored detox programs help patients get through these symptoms as safely and comfortably as possible.  Generally, detox takes two to seven days.

More Facts About Withdrawal and Detox You Need to Know

Remember, the withdrawal symptoms are an indication that the chemicals are leaving your body.  Your brain and nervous system are returning to normal.  That’s a good sign.  Here are some more facts about withdrawal and detox you need to know.

What is Medically-Assisted Detox?

Medically-assisted detox refers to a withdrawal process that is supervised by clinicians and medical personnel.  In some cases, medications may be administered to help control or minimize symptoms.  The goal of medically-assisted detox is to ensure the safety and comfort of the patient during the tapering process.  This is one of the facts about withdrawal and detox that often goes overlooked.  

Generally, any drug of abuse can require detoxification.  However, some drugs carry a risk of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.  Those drugs include opioids, Benzodiazepines. Barbiturates, and alcohol.  Prolonged addiction to these substances can result in dangerous withdrawals such as fever, seizures, hallucinations, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, suicidal thoughts, or coma.  Medically-assisted detox can help minimize these symptoms and ensure a person’s safety during the transition.

Why is Self-Detox Dangerous?

As mentioned above, withdrawing from certain drugs can cause dangerous symptoms.  Also, the process can take months or years, depending on the drug involved.  A person who attempts self-detox will not be able to manage the more severe symptoms, and convulsions, coma, or death are possible.  

Also, self-detox does not address issues such as nutrition and vitamin deficiencies.  However, medical detox programs work to treat all aspects of the addiction for more success in achieving lasting sobriety.  Healthy meals, vitamin supplements, and nutritional guidance are often part of a comprehensive program.

What Happens After Successful Detox?

Completing detox is the first step in your journey to sober living.  Now that your body is cleansed of the toxins, and physical cravings are diminished, it’s time to address the psychological aspects of the addiction. 

Of course, professional rehabilitation programs are the best option for gaining the skills and education needed for preventing relapse.  The goal is to address the emotional factors that contributed to the addiction.  These programs are as follows:

  • Inpatient Addiction Programs

Patients remain within the facility for an extended period.  The goal is to provide a drug-free, secure environment where patients can focus on healing and learn to function as a sober individual.  

Overall, these programs vary in duration and options provided.  However, most facilities offer 30, 60, or 90-day programs or longer if needed.  They include counseling, life-skills training, music and art therapy, relaxation techniques, exercise and fitness routines, cognitive-behavioral therapy, anger management, and more.  

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

These treatment programs allow patients the flexibility to continue working, living at home, or attending school while in therapy.  Regularly scheduled meetings and counseling sessions are required.  This approach to treatment is ideal for individuals with mild addictions who cannot commit to a long-term inpatient program.

  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Similar to PHPs, intensive outpatient programs also allow patients to work, attend school, and live at home while receiving treatment.  They provide scheduled counseling, group therapy, and other activities to help a person transition to sober living. 

IOPs are also beneficial for individuals who have recently completed a rehabilitation program.  As a form of aftercare, IOPs can help people transition into society gradually with added support and guidance.

Detox and Addiction Treatment at Awakenings Rehabilitation

Knowing the true facts about withdrawal and detox is a step in the right direction toward overcoming addiction.  Now that you are ready to take back your life, call us at Awakenings Rehabilitation.  We can answer your questions about our program and help you get started on a lifetime of healthy, drug-free living.

Sources:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Withdrawal Management

verywellmind.com – What is Withdrawal?

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