woman in rehab therapy

What’s Drug Detox and When is it Necessary?

If you're struggling with drug addiction, you may be wondering what drug detox is and whether it's right for you. Drug detox is the process of ridding the body of drugs and alcohol. There are many methods for detoxing from drugs and alcohol, and recovery after a drug detox can be different for everyone. Here, SOLbriety will explore what drug detox is, the different methods for detoxing from drugs and alcohol, and what recovery looks like after detox.

Why Do a Drug Detox?

Drug detox is the first step in overcoming addiction. It is a process whereby the body rids itself of drugs and alcohol. Drug detox can be done at home or in a professional setting, such as a hospital or rehab facility. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before committing to a detox to ensure you’re in an environment that can support your recovery.

Methods for Detoxing

There are many methods for detoxing from drugs and alcohol. Some people choose to do a cold turkey detox, which means stopping the use of all drugs and alcohol suddenly. This method can be dangerous, as it can lead to potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. It is important to consult with a medical professional before attempting a cold turkey detox. 

Other methods for detoxing from drugs and alcohol include tapering off the use of the substance gradually or using replacement therapies such as methadone or buprenorphine. These replacement therapies can help to minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings during detox. According to the American Addiction Centers, rehabilitation facilities do not employ the cold turkey method, and instead opt for this assisted detoxification process.

What Happens During Drug Detox?

During drug detox, your body will go through physical and psychological changes as it adjusts to being without drugs or alcohol. The entire process can take up to a week. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Shaking 

Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the substance you are addicted to and how long you have been using it. That is why it is important to consult with a medical professional before attempting to detox on your own. 

If you’re doing an in-patient detox, the observing medical experts can help to make sure you are comfortable during detox and that any withdrawal symptoms you experience are managed safely. They may also recommend medication to help with specific symptoms or refer you to a rehabilitation facility for further treatment after you have completed detox. 

What Happens After Drug Detox?

Recovery after a drug detox can look different for everyone. Some people may choose to stay in a rehabilitation facility after completing drug detox so that they can receive further treatment for their addiction. Others may choose to go to therapy or support groups on an outpatient basis while living at home. It’s important to get to the root of the issue after a detox; simply treating the symptoms of addiction isn’t enough.

Recovery is an ongoing process that requires commitment and effort. If you relapse after completing drug detox, do not give up hope—it is possible to achieve sobriety again with the right help and support system in place. 

How to Support Someone Going Through Detox

  1. Be there for them emotionally. Addiction can be an extremely isolating experience, so it is important that your loved one knows they are not alone. Be sure to check in with them frequently and let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
  1. Help them stick to their detox plan. This may mean helping them to avoid triggers, such as places or people associated with their addiction, or providing moral support when they are feeling tempted to relapse. It is also important that you encourage them to eat well and exercise regularly, as these activities will help to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  1. Seek professional help. If your loved one is going through a medically supervised detox program, make sure to follow all of the instructions provided by the medical staff. If they are not in a formal program, consider finding a therapist or counselor who specializes in addiction recovery, as they can provide valuable guidance and support.

Drug detox can serve as the first of many steps on the recovery journey. There are many methods for detoxing from drugs and alcohol, each with its own benefits and risks. Recovery after a drug detox can look different for everyone, but it is possible to achieve sobriety with the right help and support system in place.