Making the decision to enter detox is a big one. This is a lifesaving decision, one that can help you reach from the darkness of addiction in which you now exist back into a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. Drug detox is where recovery begins. It is also a pivotal time in your recovery, setting the course for rehab and further progression into lifelong sobriety.
Why Drug Detox?
Drug detox is the start of recovery from addiction. It is the cleansing of drugs or alcohol from your body while you are kept comfortable and supervised for safety. During drug detox, patients are kept well-nourished and hydrated to enable their bodies to recover in a healthy manner.
A supervised detox center manages the process of withdrawal so symptoms are less dramatic. How the process is managed is dependent upon several factors, such as:
- Type of substance the patient abused
- History of addiction and substance abuse
- Co-occurring medical or mental health conditions
- Physical condition of the patient
- How much of the substance was abused per dose
- Family history of substance abuse
- Other factors or special needs
Withdrawal can be life threatening. This is especially true when certain substances have been long abused or when the patient suffers other conditions of poor health or mental illness. In these cases and for these people, entering a supervised detox environment is particularly important.
Detox centers are safe places where trained addiction specialists and healthcare professionals use their experience and medications to ease withdrawal symptoms. They monitor patients to ensure they are not at risk for relapse or health problems. These professionals know what to expect for patients going through symptoms of withdrawal. But they also know that withdrawal is different for everyone.
Detox is said to be the first step in starting recovery. This is because the process heals the body from addiction. But it does not heal the addiction, itself. Addiction is a behavioral health issue that requires the help of therapy, diagnosis of co-occurring disorders, support groups, education and development of coping skills.
Who Can Supervised Drug Detox Help?
Anyone who has abused alcohol or drugs for a long period of time should not go through detox alone. This is because the brain and the body’s systems have adapted to the presence of the drugs. The brain learns to function normally, despite the drugs being used.
While this is one example of our bodies’ miraculous capabilities, it makes stopping substance abuse “cold turkey” dangerous. Since the body requires the drug or alcohol for normal operation, not having what it needs makes the patient sick. This is why patients experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, fever and other ill effects of withdrawal. Cravings also become very intense in detox, when the body wants what it no longer has.
Patients who suffer addiction to these substances need supervised detox:
- Stimulants, like cocaine and methamphetamine
- Opioids, like oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin and morphine
- Prescription medications, like Adderall and Ritalin
- Benzodiazepines, like Valium, Ativan and Xanax
- Synthetic drugs, like K2, bath salts and Spice
- Marijuana and other drugs with THC
Getting through withdrawal and all of its ill effects alone can be extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible. Patients usually give up when the going gets very tough, relapsing on their substances to make them feel better. The sad truth is that doing this is often can be deadly after the body has already started going through withdrawal. Overdose is quite easy when the body does not need as much of the substances as it did only days before.
Medically supervised detox, also called medical detox, can help patients get through detox safely and without relapse. When they break through to sobriety, patients are then able to make better decisions for their future. They can find the right rehab to suit their individual needs and start working on lasting recovery.
Supervised detox provides safety and comfort when patients are most vulnerable and need to gain sober recovery. This environment ensures a better chance for achieving recovery, as the first steps into a better lifestyle. Without help, withdrawal can be both difficult and dangerous.
The Detox Process
Detox is not just a “once and done” kind of process. Instead, there are several steps to safely becoming clean after lengthy addiction. The three steps to detox include patient evaluation, stabilization and preparation for rehab.
Patient evaluation includes an addiction assessment by a healthcare professional before entry into detox. Patients are usually interviewed and fill out a questionnaire about their substance use and addiction. They will usually go through blood tests and a mental health screening, as well.
Patient evaluation is important, so detox can be individualized to suit each person’s unique needs. There is no easy approach to detox. Having key information from the evaluation process enables better treatment in detox for the patient. Using the information from the evaluation, a doctor or addiction specialist will develop a treatment plan.
The treatment plan will not just include medications, food, rest and hydration. In detox, patients do not just “lay around” in their rooms. Of course, getting through the most difficult symptoms is done while in a peaceful, quiet and private environment. But they may attend some group sessions, learn about addiction or go to therapy as they begin to feel better.
Stabilization is a misleading term in some ways. This is the stage of detox in which the patient stops using their drugs or alcohol. So symptoms of withdrawal quickly escalate, making the patient feel anything but “stable.”
But stabilization is actually named this because it is the time when patients are made to feel better, despite withdrawal symptoms. Health professionals help them gain medical stability. By the end of stabilization, physical dependence on drugs or alcohol no longer exists.
Preparation is the final step of detox. This is when patients make decisions and get ready for their next phase of treatment, rehab. Rehab may be inpatient, residential, outpatient, or intensive outpatient, depending on patient need. It is in rehab that patients learn how to live without abusing substances.
Serenity House Detox for Medically Supervised Drug Detox
Serenity House Detox in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida is a medically supervised alcohol and drug detox program. It is here that patients are able to restart their lives for a better future, one without the stranglehold of addiction.
If you or someone you love are ready to end addiction to drugs or alcohol, Serenity House Detox is an affordable detox, ready to help. Call Serenity House Detox now at 866-294-5306. Speak to one of our addiction specialists about detox and recovery. Take that step now by making this important call.