Being afraid of detox – often the first step in addiction treatment – is common and understandable. You may have heard horror stories about withdrawal symptoms from others. However, detoxification is an essential part of treating addiction and the first step on the road to recovery. Like other fears, the thought of detox is much scarier than the reality of it.

You are at a crossroads. If your fear of detox stops you from finding treatment, take a moment to pause. The first step to addressing your fear is to learn about detoxification and the reality of the symptoms and experience of it. Doing your own research can be helpful, but speaking with a mental health care professional can also be beneficial. They can help you address your concerns and take the right next step.

The Reality of Detox

Drugs and alcohol produce pleasurable effects. They tap into your brain’s rewards system, which tells you to repeatedly seek out and use these substances. However, over time, the effects of these substances lessen significantly, resulting in a need to take more of a specific substance to continue to feel normal. Addiction impacts your chemical signals and changes what you prioritize in your life. As you continue to use drugs or alcohol, it becomes as normal to your body as breathing.

Due to this, when you stop using drugs or alcohol, your body reacts to the change. Detox is the process of eliminating harmful substances from your body and the start of reversing these changes. This process is vital to treatment as it ends the physical dependence on the substance or substances. The impact of drugs and alcohol on the body and brain makes detox crucial for long-term recovery. Eliminating the small amounts of these substances in your system allows for a full reset – a clean slate that you can then move forward from and into recovery.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxing from drugs or alcohol leads to withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them. Symptoms of withdrawal vary for each person and depend on several factors. The amount of time a person has used a specific substance plays a role in the number of changes that have occurred in the body and brain. Therefore, those who have used drugs longer will generally have more severe withdrawal symptoms. However, this is not always the case, as symptoms are impacted by other factors, too, such as age, physical and psychological characteristics, and what substances were being used.

Common Withdrawl Symptoms

Common symptoms of withdrawal included the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Temporary depression
  • Anxiety
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Cravings
  • Nausea
  • Tremoring
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Changes in body temperature
  • Runny nose
  • Goosebumps

Again, the symptoms and their severity will vary for each person. While some will experience the entire range, others may only have a few symptoms during withdrawal.

Length of Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can last for as little as a few days or may continue for weeks. Once the symptoms subside, it’s essential to continue treatment to address other aspects of addiction and develop tools to live a sober life.

Benefits of Detox

Detox serves as the first step to addressing your addiction. As a set of interventions that aim to manage acute intoxication and withdrawal symptoms, it is the first phase of treatment. The value of detoxing lies in the understanding that true dependence on drugs and alcohol is due to physical changes that have occurred in the body. When you detox, you eliminate all of these toxins. Once you get through the withdrawal symptoms, you are free to make different choices.

While it is only the first step in treatment, it is an important one. The Washington Circle Group, a body of addiction experts, states that while detoxing is not designed to resolve addiction completely, it is a vital step. These experts say that detoxification prepares a client for later success and initiates the physical stability needed for improved health.

Medically Supervised Detox

As a result of the withdrawal symptoms, medically supervised detox is the safest route. During medically supervised detox, individualized care is given to clients to help them manage their specific withdrawal symptoms. It is designed to keep clients safe and as comfortable as possible while their body processes the changes that result in detoxification.

In addiction treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. At Enlightened Solutions, we treat each client who walks through our door according to their specific needs. Our medically supervised detox program takes multiple factors into account, including the following:

  • Type of drugs or alcohol
  • Length of time
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Mental health concerns or disorders
  • Recovery goals

We believe in treating the entire person in all of our programs. Our medically supervised detox program can help to set you up for a successful recovery.

Being afraid of the detox process is common. However, it’s important to understand it as a vital step in addiction treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we ensure our clients are prepared for the symptoms of withdrawal. While these symptoms can be uncomfortable, medically supervised detox will keep you safe while you take the first step toward recovery. We find that detox provides a clean slate for you to build the next blocks of treatment on. If you are interested in learning more about our medically supervised detox program or other treatment options, we want to talk with you. Call us today at (833) 801-LIVE to speak with a staff member about how we can assist you in your recovery goals.