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things to know about detox
July 6, 2020

6 Things to Know About Detox

If you’re considering entering inpatient rehab for a drug or alcohol addiction, you might not realize you’ll need to undergo medical detoxification before starting your treatment program. What is detox, and what should you expect during and after this process?

1. Medically Managed Detox Makes the Process More Comfortable

Detox refers to the process of removing all alcohol and drugs from your brain and body. If you have ever tried to stop drinking or using drugs on your own, then started experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, you already know how challenging this period can be. Side effects such as nausea, insomnia, tremors, body aches or seizures may run the gamut from mild to severe, and can even be life-threatening, based on how long you used drugs and your level of dependency.

When you undergo detox in a clinically controlled environment, compassionate addiction professionals can monitor your condition around the clock and provide you with medications, as necessary, to ease your cravings and symptoms and ensure you are safe and comfortable throughout the process.  

2. Everyone Comes to Detox With Different Needs

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to detox. For instance, some drugs require a controlled tapering-off period to gradually step down until you have no more substances left in your system. Other people may come to detox with co-occurring mental health disorders that compound their withdrawal symptoms.

The length of time you spend in detox depends on a variety of factors, including your age, how long you used drugs or alcohol and what substances you developed an addiction to – such as opioids, alcohol and benzodiazepines.

3. Therapy Should Immediately Follow Detox

Depending on the severity of withdrawal, history of addiction and other issues, you may need to stay in medically managed detox for up to seven days. Meanwhile, we will encourage you to start attending 12-step and other group therapies as soon as possible.

As beneficial as detox is, completing this stage of treatment does not cure you of your addiction. The goal of detox is to ensure you are stable enough to progress to the next steps of rehabilitation, where you will work to address the root cause of your illness. If we determine you have a co-occurring mental health disorder such as PTSD or depression, addressing the two conditions simultaneously is the best way to ensure long-term recovery.

4. You May Experience Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome  

After their initial withdrawal and detox period, many people undergo an extended period of symptoms known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS. PAWS can represent a significant roadblock in the early stages of recovery, and people who experience this condition outside a clinical, substance-free environment are more likely to relapse to substance use. The likelihood of PAWS is one reason we recommend remaining in inpatient treatment for at least 35 days.

5. If You Relapse After Detox, Your Risk of Overdose Will Be Higher

Completing a detox program will cause you to lose most of the drug or alcohol tolerance your body built up through years of substance abuse. If you return to drug or alcohol abuse after undergoing detox, you will be at greater risk of an overdose. A dosage that once seemed “normal” to you could now be fatal. Opioid overdoses are especially dangerous after detox, as too much of the drug can quickly cause respiratory failure.

6. Your Addiction Treatment Program Should Include Aftercare

Most people enter detox with the goal of getting sober and remaining that way for the rest of their lives. However, to achieve long-term results in sobriety, you should have an aftercare plan that addresses where you’ll go and what you’ll do after you complete detox and inpatient care. Not only will seeking additional care keep you safer from relapse and overdose, but a qualified program is also much more likely to help you achieve success in long-term, lasting sobriety.

Providing New Beginnings Every Day

If you are seeking evidence-based addiction treatment providing a full continuum of care, contact Beach House to start your recovery journey. Our beautiful, secluded beachfront campus and resort-like atmosphere create an ideal environment for reclaiming your health and well-being.

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