When you have been abusing drugs and alcohol for a long time, those abusive substances are still in your system. Not ridding your body of these substances can do internal damage and you might feel like you cannot handle the withdrawal symptoms. It is important that you let the first stage of your drug treatment be to go to a detox center so that you can give your body a fresh start.
Drug dependency is very serious as you may want to quit but because your dopamine levels and brain chemistry has changed, your mind will be telling you that you need to take more drugs in order to function. Not only is this mental but you can experience physical symptoms as well called withdrawal symptoms. Because you do not want to feel these symptoms, you will do what you feel you have to do to get rid of these symptoms which can involve relapsing. To avoid a relapse, that is where detoxification comes in to give your body a good cleansing of existing substances.
Detox is the process of removing toxins from the body. It can help you manage symptoms of withdrawal and encourage you to seek treatment. There are different kinds of detox programs like medically-assisted detox under the care of medical and health professionals. Because abstaining from drugs and alcohol can mean undergoing painful and uncomfortable symptoms, these medical professionals can make sure to increase your safety comfort levels. They can also give you medications to help ease the process and reduce cravings. There is also social detox which is short-term and non-medical where either a room can be provided for your detox or where it is more hands-on like receiving peer encouragement and professional support.
The first stage of detox follows evaluation the drugs and alcohol in your system through urine, blood, and breath tests as well as your current mental health status, existing medical issues, and the appropriate strategies that work best for your recovery. The second stage is going through the detox process as well as medical and psychological services to treat symptoms. The third stage is promoting further treatment to increase your chances of recovery after detox. While it may be possible to detox alone, it is best that if your symptoms are severe, you should be supervised to make sure your detox is successful. Not everyone is able to handle the mental, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms that can arise. Complications can occur based on your physical and mental health as well as your intense cravings. Symptoms of withdrawal can include insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, pain, seizure, disorientation, and coma.
The detoxification process can take days, hours, and weeks depending on the drug you took, rate, dose, duration of use, previous attempts to detox, your health condition, and the detox program you choose. Medications can also help improve comfort and stability like benzodiazepines for detoxing from alcohol to prevent seizures. Methadone can help ease opioid withdrawal from heroin or opioid prescriptions but must be taken with caution as, depending on the one recovering, this drug also has addictive qualities. Clonidine can relieve unpleasant withdrawal symptoms without getting high. Barbiturates help relieve anxiety, irritability, and discomfort as well as the risk of seizures. There are other medications for relapse prevention such as Naltrexone, Buprenorphine, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram. There are ways to quicken the withdrawal process to shorten the total time. Rapid detox is given medication to manage withdrawal symptoms to minimize patient discomfort. Ultra-rapid detox is being put under anesthesia when withdrawal symptoms occur. When you wake up from the anesthesia, the uncomfortable symptoms have already passed.
Different levels of detox depend on how severe your withdrawal symptoms are. The first level of detox is doctor’s office visits or having a home health agency check on you during scheduled intervals. Level two is part of a day program with opportunities for treatment interventions and observations. Level three is non-medical or social detox with the need of peer and social support. Level four is a detox center with 24/7 medical services and supervision. Level five is a inpatient medical or psychiatric center that offers twenty four hour acute care for risky situations. The cost of detox depends on the kind of detox you are doing, inpatient or outpatient, private or publicly funded, and if you need to take medication. Payment options can include insurance, out of pocket, sliding scale fees, government assistance, or financing through loans, credit cards, or borrowing from friends and family.
When your detox process ends, you will be recommended and referred to treatment options based on your detox success, commitment to recovery, co-occurring mental or medical conditions, level of home support, and being able to attend and afford treatment programs. Detox alone will not be enough to treat your drug addiction as you need to help yourself figure out what brought on this addiction and different methods of exercises you can do so that you will not want to touch harmful substances again. They might recommend you to residential rehab, sober living/halfway house, outpatient rehab, and support groups. Going through all of the steps of recovery will help you better control your cravings. By ridding your body of toxins, your body will be able to start all over again and you will be able to go through with your journey to treatment without letting withdrawal symptoms stop you.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.