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What to Know About the Drug Detoxification Process

If you're addicted to alcohol or drugs and trying to recover from your addiction, going through a detoxification (detox) process is an essential first step. But if you've never been through the detox before, it's best to know what to expect throughout the process. 

What is Detox?

If you’re unclear about what happens during the detox process, you’re not alone. What we see portrayed in media isn’t always an accurate representation of what your experience may be like. Yes, the detox process is not an easy one, but you won’t be going through it alone. Going through detox is usually the first step before entering rehab. And if you’re not going into a rehabilitation program, detox is the safest way to overcome addiction.

The first step in any drug detoxification process is going through an evaluation. This should be done by a doctor, who will examine you and determine whether or not you require detoxification. The doctor will also assess how long your detox should last and which kind of treatment program would be best for you.

If a substance becomes an addiction, it does mean that the body has become used to that substance in your system. Detox is the act of gradually removing or reducing those substances from the body, allowing the brain to adjust to this change in chemicals.

Medically Assisted Detox

There are several different types of detox programs available today: residential treatment centers, outpatient treatment centers, intensive outpatient programs, and transitional living facilities. All these programs offer different levels of care depending on your needs and how far along your recovery process. 

Residential treatment centers provide 24-hour care so that individuals can focus completely on getting clean without having to worry about anything else like finding their next meal or taking care of other responsibilities such as work or school obligations that may otherwise keep them distracted from their recovery efforts at home where it's less safe than being supervised by trained professionals who know how best to handle

Understanding Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can be tricky to navigate on your own. The process of detox aims to minimize the symptoms you might experience. Instead of quitting a substance cold turkey, a program will help you stay as safe and comfortable as possible. When under the care of a detox facility or other healthcare professionals, it’s less likely to become un-motivated, heightening the success rate.

Are You Medicated During Detox?

There’s a common misconception that during withdrawal, the patient is effectively “on their own”, however, unless you’re going through detox on your own, that’s simply not the case. We highly recommend seeking out a medical facility or rehabilitation facility for your detox, as this allows for you to be given controlled medication during the process. These medications can help ease the depression, anxiety, and insomnia that can affect you during withdrawal. 

How Long Does Detox Last?

The answer to this question depends. However, the detox process typically lasts anywhere between seven to ten days. Remember, this can vary. It could take less than a week, but typically doesn’t take two weeks. Why does it vary?

  • How much alcohol has the individual consumed
  • How much and what type of drugs has the individual consumed
  • Physical and mental functioning

It’s important to realize that each person will experience detox differently. This includes individuals who have undergone the detox process in the past. 

Life After Detox

It’s important to note that a detox program is only the first step to addiction recovery. Although it’s an essential step, it’s important to have a plan for the future. This might include a 28-day program, additional therapy rooted in addiction recovery, and even supplements to promote brain function and anxiety relief

There’s no specific approach to recovery that is absolutely perfect, and it’s often the combination of tools that will help you relearn how to experience your daily life without a need for a particular substance. Keep in mind that healthy recovery means finding a balance between the mind and the body. One can’t fully heal without the cooperation of the other. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of local resources to take your first step to recovery. It could be the step that gives you the chance for a better future.