What to Expect When Entering a Drug Detox

Alcohol and drug addiction are an indiscriminate disease that can develop in virtually anyone. Despite knowing the potential for addiction, a number of individuals begin experimenting with substance abuse, which puts them on the path of certain danger. After having become enticed by recreational intoxication, individuals begin to escalate their alcohol or drug usage, resulting in their needing more and more of their substances of choice more frequently in order to achieve the desired level of intoxication. Unfortunately, the body must adapt to the continuous presence of alcohol or drugs in the system, causing the physical dependency to develop as the body begins relying on an individual’s substance abuse for even natural processes.

Fortunately, while addiction is not a curable disease, it can be treated and its effects can be overcome so that individuals can live healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives. For some individuals, beating an addiction means joining a twelve-step support group and finding a sponsor. However, many have achieved long-lasting sobriety and abstinence after completing an addiction treatment program at a drug rehab. These programs are based on the physical and psychological effects of addiction and treat addicts using psychotherapy, counseling, and group sessions to address those effects. With many individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms after ceasing alcohol or drug consumption, most addicts entering a drug addiction treatment program must first receive detox treatment. Therefore, the following will define drug detoxification, explaining what one might expect from a drug detox program.

Understanding the Purpose of Detoxification Treatment

When an individual abuses a mind-altering substance, the brain experiences a spike in feel-good neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which causes the euphoric and pleasurable feelings as well as reinforcing the behavior via the brain’s reward pathway. As times goes on and an individual continues habitually abusing drugs, the body begins to actually rely on the substance abuse for natural processes. In particular, the brain begins to need drugs as the source for dopamine and serotonin. Unfortunately, this means that when an individual is without his or her drug of choice for only a few hours, the brain’s neurochemical levels become depleted, resulting in the feeling of withdrawal. In addition to the effects in the brain, drug withdrawal also includes such symptoms as sweating, aches, and pains throughout the body, sneezing, watery eyes, agitation, moodiness, anxiety, and so on.

While experiencing withdrawal symptoms, an individual is unable to focus on recovery. In fact, withdrawal symptoms will often cause intense cravings as an individual desires a way to effectively alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal. As such, individuals who are chemically dependent on drugs must overcome their physical, chemical dependency as well as withdrawal symptoms prior to beginning actual addiction treatments. Detox treatment is intended to help individuals rid themselves of the physical components of addiction by affording them an initial period of time during which they can work their way to the point of no longer being physically dependent.

What is the Drug Detox Process?

girl going to detox for drugs and alcohol

After finally deciding to receive treatment at a drug rehab, an individual will complete the intake and evaluation process. During this consultation, the individual will create a treatment plan with an intake coordinator, which will involve choosing whether or not the individual needs detoxification. If the individual does, in fact, require detoxification treatment, he or she will begin that treatment first. During this time, he or she lives in a designated residential detox facility and receives continuous, 24-hour monitoring and care. The reason that the individual is monitored during detoxification is so his or her withdrawal symptoms can be observed in order to ensure that they do not become so severe as to be life-threatening. In effect, the continuous monitoring is, in part, to ensure an individual’s safety.

While in detox treatment, an individual is encouraged to rest. For the majority of drug rehabs, especially the luxury facilities, the objective is to make individuals as comfortable and relaxed during the detoxification process as possible. In some instances, individuals might be offered services like massage therapy or acupuncture as part of the detoxification process. Additionally, many treatment facilities will offer a variety of mild “comfort medications” such as muscle relaxants or benzodiazepines in order to alleviate some of the severity of one’s withdrawal symptoms. Overall, the goal is to minimize the pain and discomfort of withdrawal during the detoxification process. When the individual reaches the point at which his or her withdrawal symptoms has passed or become very minimal — this typically occurs within seven to ten days — he or she will be eligible to transition into the actual addiction treatment program and begin receiving therapeutic interventions for drug addiction.

Let Recovery Hub Help You Embark on the Journey of Recovery

There’s not one type of treatment that yields optimal results for everyone. Therefore, it’s important for each addict embarking on the journey of recovery to identify his or her specific recovery needs and choose the program that best addresses those needs. If you or someone you love would benefit from learning more about the available forms of treatment, call Recovery Hub at 1-888-220-4325. Our recovery specialists are available for free consultations and assessments. One phone call can result in a regaining your health and independence; call us today.

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