Understanding Drug Detox and How It Impacts Your Body
If you’re addicted to drugs, your body now needs and craves this drug in order to function. Therefore, before you begin rehabilitation, you first need to rid your system of the toxins that have you trapped in this addictive spiral.
This process is known as detoxification. Also known as withdrawal, it is the first step in your addiction recovery. It’s also perhaps the most challenging as you reset your system for cleaning living. There are symptoms, some severe, that you will encounter as you retrain your body to no longer need or crave drugs. This is why it’s so vital that you allow a medical professional trained in detoxification to guide you through this experience.
Let’s go through what you might undergo as you rid your body of toxins and embark on a clean lifestyle.
What to Expect in the Early Stages of Drug Withdrawal
When you develop an addiction to a drug, your body becomes accustomed to the effects of that drug on your system. For example, some drugs interact with your brain’s dopamine or “pleasure center” and cause damage so that you now need the drug to feel happiness. Therefore, when you undergo withdrawal, your body will have to learn to adjust to no longer having that drug or craving that drug in order for you to function. This is why it’s important to work with a professional who understands and can help you ease the symptoms you will encounter.
There’s nothing easy about detoxification, even though you must undergo this process in order to become drug-free. One of the biggest challenges will be cravings for the substance you’re no longer using. This is a physiological and psychological response to removing toxins. After all, your body is now used to them. Your system believes it needs these drugs. Detox and rehabilitation are about retraining your mind and body to be drug-free.
Each drug has different withdrawal symptoms. For example, if you are ridding your body of opioids, you might have digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other drug detox symptoms might include headaches, body aches, chills, shakiness, extreme mood swings, irritability, depression, and more.
Yes, you will feel uncomfortable and quite possibly be miserable for a bit. However, the end result will be a healthier you.
Length of Detox Phase
There’s no set time frame for detoxification. Some people are able to go through withdrawal within a matter of hours while others might need a week or more to rid their bodies of residual drugs. It might take several weeks to completely feel free from the effects. This is normal.
Types of Detox Programs to Consider
There are many options available for drug detoxification. It all depends on the drugs you are using, how long you’ve been using them for, and the severity of your addiction. Some programs are in-patient, which means you’ll have a medical team monitoring you as you go through withdrawal. This is an option if there are other possible complications or a need for substantial monitoring. Other detox programs are outpatient. This means you’ll visit a treatment facility throughout your withdrawal to ensure that you’re undergoing the process safely and successfully.
Detox centers can vary. Some are stand-along facilities. Others are part of a hospital or medical facility. Some are part of a rehabilitation center.
Your addiction and recovery plan are individualized so that whatever path you choose, it’s the one that’s most likely to have a positive, lasting impact.
Methadone clinics are recognized detox centers that specialize in opioid (pain killer) and heroin addictions. These can be either inpatient or outpatient centers. These centers offer a treatment known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Essentially, they replace the drug that’s being misused with another opioid known as methadone (Dolphine or Methadose are common brand names used). The patient is treated with this drug under a controlled setting as they go through withdrawal. Another type of drug used to treat opioid addiction is Suboxone, which is a buprenorphine or a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Since both methadone and Suboxone can be highly addictive in their own right, they can only be administered under careful medical supervision.
It is not unusual for medical providers to prescribe other drugs to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine is a blood pressure medication given to help calm the physiological response known as “fight or flight” that drug users may experience as their bodies are being rid of drugs.
The Dangers of Home Detox Kits
The detoxification process can be complicated with many symptoms. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, which is why a medically guided approach is both the safest and most likely to succeed in the long term. You need to work with a medical professional who is experienced in detox, who knows how to help you over the worst of your withdrawal, and will help monitor for and respond proactively to any detrimental effects. In short, detox is not a do-it-yourself proposition. Do not try this at home.
Unfortunately, many people are falling for advertising that suggest they can rapidly (and inexpensively) detox at home. These kits are often found in drug stores or over the Internet, which falsely leads people to believe that they are safe and effective. As such, some people have even attempted to use them to rid their systems quickly of any drug residue prior to drug screenings for work or court orders. However, despite their availability, detox kits are not proven to be safe. They are NOT FDA tested or approved, which means the ingredients or compounds could be dangerous, especially when they interact with the toxins in your system and your body’s chemistry. Even worse, since they are not regulated, you might not even know what is included in some of these kits, putting you at serious risk for allergic reactions or other drug interactions. Your best bet is to stay far, far away from this option.
Detoxification Is the First Step in Your Journey to Drug-Free Living
Once your body is rid of the toxins that trapped you into a vicious cycle, you’ll need additional support to stay clear of using again. This requires additional treatment such as 12-step programs or other options such as faith-based or holistic approaches. Your recovery will likely involve a stay at an inpatient rehabilitation center, followed by meetings with other substance abuse recoverees. Again, your journey on the road to wellness will be unique to you.
We Work With You to Find the Option That’s Best for You
Your addiction and recovery plan are individualized so that whatever path you choose, it’s the one that’s most likely to have a positive, lasting impact. There are inpatient drug treatment programs that combine the detoxification process with rehabilitation under one roof. This is a solid option for people who would prefer not to travel to another location for their recovery.
At Rehab-Finder.Org, our experts will gather your information and work through our network of facilities to locate the one that will be the best fit for your recovery needs.
Don’t wait another minute to start your recovery. Call us now at 877-251-4813 and we’ll get you started.