Some of the most common questions about detoxing are, “What will happen to me?” and “Why is detox necessary?” Unfortunately, there is not a singular answer to those questions. Detox varies depending on the intensity, duration, and amount of substances in your system. Ultimately, detoxification serves as the first step in recovery—taking back control over our bodies and minds via eliminating substances. Continue reading to learn more about detoxes, especially medically-assisted detox, so that you’re prepared for your next big step forward!
How Long Does It Take?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report, the length of time it takes to go through a detox period varies depending on substance abuse history, the severity of symptoms, comorbid issues, and each person’s unique makeup. The length of time will depend on these additional factors:
- Type of drug or alcohol used.
- The amount of the drug or alcohol consumed.
- The duration of their substance use.
- The kind of detox protocol chosen.
- The level of medical care provided during detoxification.
- One’s current medical conditions can complicate detoxification.
In the case of more severe addiction, detox may take several weeks or even months. Ultimately, typical cases take from 3 days to 10 days.
Prep Your Mind With Your ‘Why’
As a person decides to start a detox, they may find the whole process overwhelming. Pinpointing your reasons for entering a detox can help so much. In addition, a person’s reason for seeking help can help ground them throughout this process.
To help you understand you’re ‘why,’ reflect on the following questions:
- Do you want to feel better?
- Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?
- Do you want to get clean and sober so that you can be a good role model for your kids or grandkids?
- Do you want to stop lying and cheating on people who love you?
- Do you want to stop having the shame and embarrassment of being a drug addict?
- Have you gotten tired of losing jobs, relationships, money, and status in life because of drugs?
- Have you had trouble with the law because of drugs?
- Have you had enough of the drama, pain, heartache, and struggle that comes with SUD?
- Is your SUD affecting your physical or mental health detrimentally?
If any of these questions resonate with you, it is time to make a change. But ultimately, understanding your why will help guide the selection process in finding an appropriate facility that meets your recovery goals.
What Medical Problems Might Complicate Detox?
Any number of health problems can complicate drug detoxification. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from substance abuse disorders also suffer from medical issues, often due to prolonged substance use and lifestyle choices. Some of the most common problems that complicate a drug detox include:
- Mental health disorders
- Infectious diseases such as HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Certain cancers
Generally speaking, people who choose a medically-supervised detox will experience tremendous success in managing any medical complications than someone trying to do so without professional help. For example, a good detox program will thoroughly screen participants’ health. This helps them provide a higher level of care during the detox process. Consequently, please take precautions if you decide to detox at home without medical supervision.
Be Prepared for Withdrawal Symptoms
Drug detox comes with various withdrawal symptoms depending on the drug(s) used. Detoxification can be categorized into three phases: early withdrawal, acute withdrawal, and post-acute withdrawal. Early withdrawal begins within the first 24-72 hours and usually lasts for one week or so; acute withdrawal usually begins within 72 hours and may last two weeks or more; post-acute withdrawal may last months to years. The type and severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on your drug of choice, how long you have been using, and your tolerance level. Common withdrawal symptoms fall into physical or mental symptoms.
Physical Symptoms: Flu-like symptoms (fever, muscle aches), severe headaches, rapid heart rate or elevated blood pressure, sweating, chills, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Mental Symptoms: Anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, disturbed sleep patterns, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Finding the Right Level of Care
When people detox from substances, many find the withdrawal symptoms unbearable. Thankfully, in a controlled detox program, you receive continuous attention from medical professionals to keep you safe and as comfortable as possible. Detox programs fall into medical, residential, and outpatient categories. As you choose your facility, consider the level of care:
Inpatient vs. Outpatient: Drug addiction treatment programs vary from short-term detox lasting a few days to long-term inpatient care that lasts for months. Some people should complete a more extended program, such as three to six months, and others would benefit most from an outpatient program, where they get care at a clinic or hospital for part of the day but live at home at night.
Therapy and holistic services: Therapy and counseling often play essential roles in recovery programs; consider looking for centers that offer individual and group therapy and family therapy. Therapy helps you unravel the underlying issues of SUD.
Facility’s team: Choosing a detox center requires special attention. Friendly, supportive staff can make a significant difference during the withdrawal phase. Thus, review the facility’s team of clinicians and medical professionals’ experience, training, and specialties especially regarding SUD treatment.
Location: If you live in a rural area or small town without adequate resources, consider traveling to another state or city for drug detox. The space can alleviate some triggers, giving you the best chance to focus on healing and recovery.
Detox is an essential piece of an effective recovery program. Not all methods work equally well for everyone, so consider a plan that works with your personality and goals. Do some research and talk to a doctor or therapist for proper guidance. Understanding the options available will help you find the right place to begin taking the long road towards recovery and sobriety. At the best centers, participants receive counseling and support, making them more equipped to succeed in their long-term recovery. In addition, participants can rely on the care they received during their detoxification to help them through their road to recovery. At Restoration Recovery Center, we provided medically-assisted detoxes as part of our comprehensive treatment program and medication-assisted treatment. Our qualified professionals will provide you with around-the-clock monitoring, holistic services, and evidence-based therapies. Call us today at (888) 290-0925 to learn more about our treatment. There is hope for your recovery.