Addiction treatment consists of therapy and counseling sessions that teach you to cope with the various aspects of addiction, but none of that will be helpful if you’re not sober or clean. Even so, the caregivers who work in treatment facilities also understand that getting clean is a challenging prospect in itself. This is why detox plans are often a part of recovery.
Upon realizing that their substance abuse problem has gotten out of control, many addicts try to quit using on their own. Whether they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, addicts can be overwhelmed by cravings and other more serious withdrawal symptoms. Typically, the addict gives into his or her cravings, using larger doses than they ever used in their past. Often, this leads to a more intense cycle of addiction that will continue until the user either suffers an overdose or seeks out a medically supervised detox program.
What is a Medically Supervised Detox?
Many rehab facilities offer in-house detox programs, so addicts can move seamlessly from one phase of recovery to the next. Medical detox is a process of administering strictly regulated doses of a prescription drug that simulates the effects of the substance you were abusing. Gradually, the size of the doses is reduced until you can function without using the drug at all. This type of treatment isn’t necessary for all addictions, but, for many people, it’s the healthiest way to get clean.
The drugs used in a medical detox are administered as a means of controlling the withdrawal symptoms that can keep you from quitting on your own. Sometimes, those withdrawal symptoms are severe and may pose additional health risks to the addict. By using medication to keep those symptoms manageable, your caregivers can ensure you’ll get clean safely. If you do suffer a medical emergency as a result of withdrawal symptoms, the staff will be on hand to care for you. Depending on the severity and type of addiction, this can be the only safe way to get clean.
Can’t I Detox at Home?
While some people suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction must submit to an inpatient medical detox, others may be able to get clean at home. This often depends on the severity of the addiction and the length of time that the individual has been using, but it can also depend on the substance itself.Generally, you can detox at home, if your withdrawal symptoms are mild to moderate. In that case, you may be able to handle symptoms, such as nausea, headaches, and constipation, by employing the following self-care techniques:
- Taking cool baths
- Frequently changing bedding
- Taking over the counter pain relievers
- Eating foods with high nutritional value
How Long Does a Detox Take?
Determining your length in the medicated detox program is another matter that depends on the particular substance you were using. Each drug remains in the body for a specific period of time, so it can take longer for a drug like heroin to be flushed out of the system. You should expect detox to take anywhere from three to seven days, depending on the characteristics of your addiction. Even after the process has been completed, you may still experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This is natural and some recovering addicts say those feelings never completely go away. The symptoms will be dulled, so they won’t be as distressing to you. In time, you’ll learn how to cope with your cravings and the other withdrawal symptoms, so you won’t be as bothered by them.
As you complete your detox program, you’ll move forward with your treatment. This usually requires a physical move to the rehab treatment facility, where you will join other recovering addicts. Now that you’re clean, you’ll be able to focus on the counseling and therapy that will help you stay clean. Often, this involves therapy sessions with a psychologist, so any emotional problems can be addressed as a part of your recovery. You’ll also participate in peer support group meetings with the other recovering addicts in the facility. Your goal in rehab is to learn how to recognize and resist triggers, so you won’t relapse upon completing rehab. In addition to the time, you spend in detox, the addiction treatment program can take between 28 days up to 90 days.
When you’re ready to begin your addiction recovery process, contact our counselors at 844-639-8371 . We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions. We can discuss your detox and treatment needs, so you can begin living a healthier, cleaner lifestyle.