What is Detox and How does Detox Work?

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What Is Detox and is it necessary? Detox is the first phase of recovery from substance abuse recovery.

Detox involves a period of time after your last drink/drug that you dedicate to cleanse your system from the chemical toxins that have collected in your system from your drug and alcohol use, so that you can begin treatment with a clean slate.

Detox is available in outpatient and inpatient and through medical and nonmedical detox, and the primary goal of detox is to safely and comfortably embark upon a period of abstinence at the start of the recovery process. While detoxification is the goal it is also important to treat the psychological/behavioral factors that often accompany severe alcohol dependence.

Once you are clean and detoxed, recovery can begin.

What happens during detox: know the truth

Being realistically prepared for anything in life makes it easier to handle. Inpatient medically-assisted detoxification involves a healthcare professional monitoring the detox phase to ensure your safety throughout the risky alcohol/drug withdrawal effects.

  • Hospital and medical/clinic-based programs offer both alcohol detox and alcohol rehab on an inpatient basis in specialized units.
  • Luxury treatment also provides quality substance abuse treatment, placing focus on privacy and comfort. In a luxury or executive program, you’ll find many amenities — private rooms, Internet access, recreational entertainment, and more one-on-one care.
  • Residential rehab programs can last from a month to more than a year and take place in a residential environment. Often, the treatment is divided into a series of stages that the person goes through.

What is Detox, Precisely?

  • Are there medications for detoxing? The medication you might receive will depend on what you have been using. People who have been abusing alcohol might be treated with benzodiazepines, or anti-anxiety medications, such as Xanax.
  • Does detox hurt? There is some physical pain from withdrawals, mostly discomfort and restlessness. Opiate withdrawal can cause muscle pain and cramps. Medical staff at the detox facility have medications available to help ease those symptoms.
  • What are withdrawal symptoms during detox? Everyone experiences detox differently. However, most people will experience at least some of the following:
    • A racing heart beat
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Fevers
    • Sweating
    • Headache
    • Mood swings
    • Anxiety
    • Confusion
    • Agitation
    • Seizures

Does Detox Work?

Detox works by removing a damaging, life-threatening substance from your body. You will likely start to feel better within a week. It can take up to 13 months for your brain cells to return to some form of normal. It’s important for people recovering from addiction to have access to treatment after detox. This will better ensure they will be able to remain sober.

There are treatment centers and aftercare for you when you are finished with detox, which are strongly advised. They can help you rebuild your life after drug and alcohol use. You will learn to develop behaviors and habits that are positive and enhancing to your life. You’ll be amazed to discover that you have the strength to have a life that is permanently free from drug and alcohol use and detox might be the first step.

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Last modified: May 31, 2017