What is Medical Detox?

Medical detoxification is the beginning step in one’s addiction recovery journey. In order to succeed in addiction recovery, you must first detox and break the physical dependency of illicit substances. Many addiction treatment facilities offer medical detox to help patients overcome their drug and alcohol abuse. The substances that individuals seek medical detox from are inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, heroin, prescription pain medication, and benzodiazepines. Through these facilities, medical professionals will be able to guide you through detox and help to prevent withdrawal symptoms and possible relapse.

The time frame of detox depends on your individual needs and history. While the process varies from person to person, on average medical detox takes 7 to 10 days. In certain circumstances, the detox process may take longer due to factors such as term of substance abuse, specific substances that are involved, age, and medical needs among others. It’s easy to try to rush the process or get frustrated with the length of your treatment. Please remember that this is an important first step in your transformation. Be patient with yourself and your journey and don’t allow someone else’s progress to inhibit your own path to recovery.

What to Expect During Medical Detox

The fear of the unknown is the leading cause of hesitance when it comes to entering medical detox. Fear of withdrawal symptoms one may face causes many to choose active addiction over recovery. When left untreated, some withdrawal symptoms include:

-Mood swings
-Muscle pain/spasms
-Irregular heartbeat

Although your fear is understandable, it is important to understand that options are available that allow you to sever the bonds of addiction without suffering through unnecessary withdrawal. You can educate yourself on the process of recovery to help ease your fear.

Before detox begins, an assessment must be given to determine the extent and impact of substances on your physical health. During this process, doctors will be able to assess your history with drug or alcohol use, as well as any adverse effects it may have had on your health. These results will be taken into consideration and used to design your personal detox regimen. When your detox begins, you can be given non-addictive medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and to suppress the urges which may cause relapse. Along with medical detox, a patient can be provided with services such as group therapy and individual counseling sessions to help begin the process of properly coping with the underlying causes of addiction. Going through this process at a medical detox facility can help you to successfully achieve long-term sobriety. You don’t have to struggle through withdrawal on your own. Under the carefully monitored guidance of trained medical professionals, you can overcome physical dependency and begin to focus on conquering the mental and emotional aspects of addiction recovery.

What to Do After Medical Detox

Although undergoing medical detox is a great first step in the right direction, it’s not enough to fully overcome a substance abuse disorder. To ensure a full recovery, one must follow through with full addiction recovery treatment at a certified rehabilitation center. The programs provided at such a facility include inpatient and outpatient treatment options, group and individual therapy, life skills training, optional holistic treatments, and other services and amenities. In the end, remember that addiction recovery is for your self-improvement. You must remain fully focused on your recovery to ensure that you will be able to achieve long-term sobriety.

Do you have suggestions that can help someone who is going through medical detox? Let us know in the comment section!

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