Making a decision to seek treatment for addiction to drug or alcohol, and then sticking to it is very difficult. A great deal of courage and grit is required to accept the fact that one needs treatment for attaining sobriety. Detoxification, which helps remove the toxins from the body accumulated for years due to continuous drug and alcohol abuse, is the first step toward the recovery process.
However, many people have preconceived notions about detox that might be deceiving. One needs to understand that a successful recovery is a grim affair without detox. Listed below are some of the facts that an individual needs to know about the detoxification process:
- Drug and alcohol detox is the first part of the treatment process: Just by opting for a drug or alcohol detox does not make you sober. A comprehensive treatment follows detoxification that includes therapies, medications, counselling, and alternative treatments, etc. Detox helps to free the body of all the harmful toxins accumulated due to the prolonged abuse of a drug or alcohol and also helps manage difficult withdrawal symptoms.
- Detox must be completed before starting the next part of treatment: The body should be free of all the toxins before a comprehensive process of therapies and medications can be administered to a patient.
- Detox should be done under a medically controlled setting: Quitting the substance of abuse without any medical supervision can have adverse consequences. Detox must be carried out in a clinically controlled setting, under the supervision of medical professionals who are able to handle the painful withdrawal symptoms.
- Undergoing detox is not easy: The process of detox is not easy. The body will crave for the substance during the process and there will be withdrawal symptoms. However, doctors are well equipped to handle such situations and a focused mind can help a patient come out of the agony of drug abstinence.
- Detox length is not same for all: The detox length is not the same for all. It will depend on the severity of the condition, the type of drug or alcohol consumed, his/her ability to overcome the withdrawal symptoms or any other mental health condition, etc.
- Relapse after detox can increase dependence: One should try to avoid drugs after detox because relapse will only increase dependence on the drug. In fact, seeking detox treatment from clinically supervised treatment centres helps in relapse prevention and prepares the body for a holistic treatment.
Benefits of detox
Detox is the first and an indispensable part of the recovery process because it frees the mind and body of drug and alcohol dependence. As the body gets rid of the toxins, an individual regains control over his behaviour and the body slowly starts to heal from the acute exploitation by the drugs or alcohol. Patients regain their brain chemistries with their health getting back on track. The risks associated with drug or alcohol addiction start minimising once the body is cleansed.
It is, however, true that detox is not the first and last step of a recovery process. It needs to be followed by proper therapies, medications and other alternative treatments, like yoga, meditation or exercise, which can help an individual thwart the ill effects of long-time drug or alcohol indulgence.