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Why Detox Is Necessary for Recovery

Detox is a physically and emotionally strenuous, but ultimately necessary, part of overcoming substance addiction. This is the process of excising the body of harmful substances, which can result in symptoms known as “withdrawal.” Only once this process is complete can a person begin their recovery journey with a clear mind and healthier body.

Let’s explore more specifics of what this process can look like, who needs it, and how it works at Enlightened Recovery – a holistic facility that focuses on sobriety and overall wellness in mind, body, and spirit. Our staff is uniquely equipped to help guide clients during what can be a scary, anxiety-ridden experience, minimizing pain and discomfort as much as possible.

Detox for Addiction: What to Expect

During the detox process, it is extremely important to keep a person safe and as comfortable as possible, even though some discomfort is to be expected. This happens because the body has been used to functioning on a certain dose of alcohol or drugs for so long and needs to “relearn” how to operate without them. A person must reach some level of physical stability before additional treatment can begin.

The body begins to undergo detox when not supplied with the usual amount of drugs or alcohol it’s become accustomed to. One critical reason people choose to detox under medical supervision is so they don’t relapse – if only to make the symptoms stop. This is arguably the hardest part of getting sober, yet it’s the most necessary. In assisted detox, you can rest assured that your physical needs will be met by professional and compassionate staff.

Understanding Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxification is one of many steps to living substance-free. It is highly recommended to undergo this process under the guidance of a medical professional since it is difficult to know ahead of time how the body will respond to withdrawal symptoms, which can include:

  • Stomach cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle spasms and aches
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Shaking or body tremors
  • Intense sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea

Detoxing under medical supervision can help reduce these effects of withdrawal symptoms while receiving round-the-clock patient care.

When Detox Becomes Necessary

The type of substance being abused is a factor in determining whether medical detox is necessary. Other factors include comprehensive medical history and overall physical health. The duration is also important, as well as other mental health conditions that are present, which is referred to as co-occurring disorder.

Below are some of the most commonly abused substances that require medical detox.


Chronic binge drinking is one of the most common forms of substance abuse. The intensity of effects that alcohol can have on a person depends on their body type, medical history, and whether it has been combined with other medications or drugs. Prolonged addiction to alcohol can cause damage to nerve pathways and brain chemicals, which affect emotions, bodily functions, breathing, and heart rate. Detox helps a person come off the influence of alcohol without going into cardiac arrest or other potentially life-threatening side effects.


Opioids include painkillers that are commonly prescribed to patients recovering from surgery. They are effective at masking severe pain but are also very addictive. They can also be overly prescribed to patients, which makes them easy to abuse when not monitored carefully. Coming off of these drugs can result in withdrawal symptoms, as they affect the brain’s natural ability to regulate pain. Medical detox is necessary in order to regulate the neurological response as the drugs leave the system.


Also called amphetamines, this drug is often taken in the form of cocaine but can also be found in caffeine and nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms can last several days to a full week, with side effects of hallucinations and paranoia. Health issues such as high blood pressure or liver disease can affect the severity of these symptoms, especially if the individual has a history of brain injuries or seizures.

The Detox Process at Enlightened Recovery

Enlightened Recovery is a treatment facility that takes both a medical and holistic approach to recovery from substance addiction. We oversee this journey from the point of detox and beyond, cleansing both body and mind of harmful substances.

Our treatment is personalized to each person according to their unique medical and emotional needs. Not everyone experiences substance addiction to the same extent, so the treatments we recommend will take that unique history into account. We believe that medical detox is best for those who have experienced substance addiction for several months or years, as it is the most effective treatment to address the long-term consequences of drugs and alcohol on the body.

Many people come to Enlightened Recovery with co-occurring conditions, such as addiction and depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health diagnoses. For these people, an approach that treats both conditions together rather than separately is most effective. Treating substance abuse separately from mental health can actually have the effect of worsening one or the other. Our staff understands the complexity of co-occurring disorders and is able to provide care accordingly.

In addition to detox, we also tailor treatment plans to include various holistic treatments, therapies, and other tools for recovery. These treatments and therapies include individual and group therapy, mental health care, experiential therapies, nutritional support, and more. We are careful to consider a client’s unique goals, preferences, and substance abuse history when recommending additional care.

Detox is difficult, both emotionally and physically. It’s one of those moments in life where things have to get worse before they get better. But when things start to get better, they really do get better! At Enlightened Recovery, we have had the honor of helping many people overcome the damaging effects of prolonged substance abuse and go on to live full, sober lives. Our holistic approach focuses on the whole person, including mental and emotional health, in addition to physical health. Our treatment recommendations are tailored to the unique needs of the people in our care. To learn more, call us today at (833) 801-LIVE and speak to a member of our staff.

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