Addiction is a unique, deadly disease that affects people in many diverse and profound ways. Often beginning as experimentation with recreational substance abuse, the situation becomes dire as individuals begin needing larger and larger amounts of their substance or substances of choice in order to achieve the same effects. The result is the unintentional development of a chemical dependency, which leaves individuals powerless to the addictive draw of alcohol and drugs. It causes them to do things and behave in ways that they never would otherwise, sometimes even leading good people to resort to criminal behavior—stealing, forgery, burglary, and so on—in order to sustain a substance abuse habit that has become so expensive that it’s led to financial destitution and perhaps even homelessness.
There are many treatment options available for those who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. From residential and inpatient to partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment programs, individuals can find the program that best addresses their individuals needs and allows them to regain their health, independence, and begin rebuilding their lives. While there are many paths that lead to a lasting recovery, the programs and treatments that yield the optimal results are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on such things as the length of time spent in active addiction, the substance or substances to which an individual has become dependent, prior history of substance abuse, and so on.
After years of research and study on the efficacy of addiction treatments, the treatment that has resulted in the highest rates of long-term sobriety is often cited as being residential and inpatient treatments. However, many facilities either strongly encourage or even require that incoming patients complete a detox program prior to being admitted into inpatient or residential treatment. The following will explain the importance of completing a detox program prior to beginning a rehabilitation program and why detoxing is essential to the recovery process.
The Many Effects of Addiction
When an individual develops an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, he or she is no longer in complete control of his or her thoughts and behaviors. According to the disease model of addiction, the addict’s brain structure and functioning are altered, which causes the obsessive and compulsive fixation on addictive substances or behaviors. In practice, this means that oftentimes the addict’s entire day and his or her every thought revolves around seeking and consuming the drug or drugs of choice. This is the cause for the harmful, self-destructive behaviors exhibited by addicts of alcohol and drugs, causing them to damage or destroy relationships, sacrifice jobs, and employment opportunities, fall into financial ruin, and so on.
Despite the relief from such pitfalls that recovery offers, many addicts try to postpone their rehabilitation or delay it indefinitely for one of a number of reasons. Sometimes they resist recovery because they aren’t ready to give up the lifestyle of a recreational drug abuser. Alternately, many addicts want to overcome dependency, but feel that they can’t because of the perception that treatment is too expensive or the fear of withdrawal symptoms. In fact, fear of withdrawal is one of the main reasons that prolongs active addiction.
What is a Detox Program for Alcohol and Drug Addiction?
Individuals often fear recovery due to the withdrawal symptoms that occur when they cease consumption of their substance or substance of choice. Common withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, agitation, cold sweats, hot and cold flashes, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, trembling and shaking, restlessness, lethargy, pain in the joints or muscles, and so on. Although withdrawal isn’t often severe enough to be life-threatening, in cases of severe addiction and alcoholism the individual’s health can be at risk if withdrawal isn’t monitored by professionals, which is the purpose of detoxification in a medically-supervised setting.
A detox program occurs prior to an individual begins treatment by entering rehab. During the detox, patients’ bodies cleanse themselves of harmful substances and toxins, returning to the natural state; however, as part of the detox process individuals experience withdrawal symptoms. By participating in a detox program, individuals can benefit from round-the-clock medical supervision, receiving individualized care in order to alleviate severe withdrawal symptoms and make the process of alcohol and drug detoxification less uncomfortable and painful. What’s more, this allows physicians and other addiction recovery professionals to monitor individuals’ state of health and wellness, ensuring that withdrawal doesn’t become risky or life-threatening.
Why Detoxing is Essential Before Beginning Addiction Treatment
There are several reasons why detox is an essential precursor to beginning addiction treatment at an alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility. Since fear of withdrawal is one of the main reasons that addicts prolong their active addictions, participating in a detox program offers a period of time during which withdrawal symptoms can be treated and overcome prior to treatment. What’s more, experiencing withdrawal symptoms during an actual treatment program can prevent individuals from focusing on their recovery due to being more preoccupied with the discomfort of withdrawal. By separating detox and the actual addiction treatment into two different programs, it ensures that individuals focus on the most pertinent phase of recovery and receive the most appropriate care at each stage of the process. Additionally, this increases rates of success and the longevity of sobriety by making the detoxification process more tolerable and helping those in recovery overcome the chemical dependency so they can participate in counseling, psychotherapy, and other supplemental treatments to prevent the chance of relapse in the future.
Explore Your Recovery Options Today
The journey toward sobriety is different for everyone, requiring individualized treatment plans and personalized care. If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol or drug addiction and would like to learn about detox and recovery programs, call Recovery Hub 888-220-4352 today. Let one of our caring, experiencing recovery specialists match you to the treatment program that can best address your specific needs and deliver you to a life of health and fulfillment.