Chronic drug abuse will eventually take away everything you hold dear in life. Suppose you don’t take steps to overcome your addiction as soon as possible. In that case, you are jeopardizing your health, relationships, career, and everything else, not to mention the life-threatening effects of drug addiction.
Most individuals who struggle with addiction must go through detox when they decide to pursue a life of sobriety. It’s essential to understand the detox process and your addiction treatment options, so take a look at this quick guide on detox and addiction treatment to make the best decisions for your long-term health.
Table of Contents
- How Does Addiction Work?
- Can Anyone Become Addicted?
- Why Does Detox Happen?
- What Is the Detoxification Timeline?
- What Are the Different Kinds of Detox Programs?
- Are There Affordable Drug Detox Services?
- Is It a Good Idea To Detox at Home?
- What Happens After Detox?
- Getting Sober Is the Best Choice That You’ll Ever Make
How Does Addiction Work?
Alcohol and certain kinds of drugs cause your brain to release dopamine, a hormone responsible for feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Dopamine plays a primary role in your brain’s reward system, and the presence of this vital hormone can alter other chemical processes in your body.
Consequently, your body’s processes will eventually become dependent on a dopamine-releasing substance with prolonged use. Individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol struggle with stronger and stronger cravings as time passes.
After developing an addiction called substance use disorder, a person cannot abstain from the substance for very long without experiencing serious side effects. Additionally, quitting cold turkey without opting for a treatment plan or drug detoxification from healthcare professionals may cause uncomfortable drug or alcohol withdrawal effects.
Can Anyone Become Addicted?
Some people have a genetic predisposition to addiction, so if someone in your family has struggled with addiction, then you may be more vulnerable to addictive substances and behaviors. Individuals who regularly spend time in settings where drugs and alcohol abuse are easily accessible are also more likely to develop self-destructive habits.
Nonetheless, although some individuals may be more susceptible to addiction than others, any person who regularly consumes drugs or alcohol will eventually develop an addiction. Any person who regularly uses and eventually abuses drugs or alcohol may become addicted.
Why Does Detox Happen?
When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, all of their body’s regular processes change to adapt to a new substance in the system. On top of that, the brain adjusts its dopamine production, which exacerbates other chemical changes within the body. When someone who struggles with addiction misses a dose, their mind and body cannot function normally.
In turn, they will experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms until they take another dose. These symptoms mark the beginning stages of detox. During the detoxification process, the body slowly removes the addictive substance from the system, and all of the body’s organs must slowly readjust to function without constant doses of the substance.
What Is the Detoxification Timeline?
The presence, duration, and severity of symptoms depend on a person’s age, overall health, lifestyle, history of addiction, and other factors. Also, different kinds of drugs have different symptoms and timelines. Generally, however, most people will begin to experience early detox symptoms within a day of their last dose.
These symptoms often include headache, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, heart palpitations, sweating, insomnia, and muscle weakness. A rapid drug detox is the best way to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction.
Symptoms usually reach their peak around four days after the last dose. At this stage, some patients experience intense psychological symptoms, and individuals who suffer from alcoholism may suffer from seizures and delirium tremens, a sudden bout of intense confusion.
For most patients, detox symptoms significantly subside after the first week of sobriety. That’s why you need to undergo a detoxification program from a reputable rehab center. So you can undergo this process safely.
What Are the Different Kinds of Detox Programs?
Medical detox or medication-assisted treatment uses medications for detoxification and substance abuse treatment. In medical detox centers, doctors use anticonvulsants and other medications to manage patients’ symptoms. Many detox centers use small doses of methadone or buprenorphine, synthetic opioids, to stave off the worst symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
While medical detox programs are typically safer and more comfortable than other kinds of detox programs, patients may struggle with side effects from certain medications, and methadone can be addictive.
In contrast to medical detox, patients go through social detox to stop the use of drugs entirely and don’t take any medications to manage their symptoms. Instead, addiction professionals in social detox programs mainly provide psychological support to patients as they go through the worst symptoms.
While social detox is often effective, it may be unbearable for many patients, and the intense symptoms they have to endure in social detox can significantly exacerbate occurring disorders. To make matters worse, just a few days without a dose can greatly diminish a person’s tolerance to a drug. Consequently, opioid patients who go through social detox are more likely to overdose if they relapse after making it through a social detox program.
Some treatment centers offer rapid detox for patients who struggle with opioid addiction. In rapid detox, doctors put the patient under anesthesia and administer naltrexone or a similar medication to jump-start the detox process.
Naltrexone helps the body quickly expel all traces of opioids from the patient’s body, and the anesthesia keeps the patients sedated so that they don’t have to endure any discomfort. Even in healthy patients, anesthesia can occasionally cause severe medical complications.
On top of that, patients sometimes wake up prematurely and have to endure agonizing withdrawal symptoms anyway. Due to the risks and inconsistent results of this treatment, rapid detox is the most controversial detox option.
Are There Affordable Drug Detox Services?
Prices for detox services differ between detox centers. However, a wide range of health insurance plans cover many high-quality detox facilities, and many patients are eligible for detox services under Medicare or Medicaid. If you do not have eligible health insurance coverage, then you will likely be able to work out an equitable payment plan with a detox center.
Is It a Good Idea To Detox at Home?
Going through the detox process at home isn’t only dangerous and likely to end in failure. Patients often experience severe physical and psychological symptoms when they opt for home detox. In some cases, these symptoms can trigger dangerous medical emergencies.
Without skilled medical professionals to help, you will have to wait for someone to call emergency services or a helpline if a medical complication arises. When you’re at home, you can easily access drugs and alcohol, so you will likely relapse once the worst symptoms start to kick in.
The staff at a detox center constantly monitor patients and keep them away from alcohol so that patients cannot relapse when they’re at the facility. Undergoing a rehab program from a reputable treatment center is always safer and better than home detox.
What Happens After Detox?
Patients still have a long road ahead after successfully getting through detox. To maintain a sober lifestyle, individuals who struggle with addiction must understand their triggers and develop healthy strategies to deal with cravings and the stresses of everyday life. Because of this, most detox patients enroll in other addiction recovery programs to increase their odds of success.
After detox, many patients continue their journey toward sobriety at a residential treatment facility. In an inpatient addiction treatment program, patients go through the individual, group, and other therapies while staying at a comfortable facility for several weeks. This treatment format allows patients to develop healthy coping mechanisms without having to deal with their old environmental triggers or destructive patterns of behavior.
After a patient cultivates the necessary skills and finds the right living arrangements to maintain their sobriety in the real world, they typically shift to an outpatient program. Early in an outpatient program, the patient may commute daily to the treatment center to attend long therapy sessions. Over time, the patient will gradually attend fewer and fewer appointments per week. At some point, the patient will no longer need to attend regular therapy sessions at a rehab facility.
Getting Sober Is the Best Choice That You’ll Ever Make
Quitting drugs isn’t easy, but it will improve every aspect of your life in the long run. While detox may seem scary at first, the mental health professionals and medical staff members at a detox facility will look after your health and attend to your psychological needs throughout the process.
Although Live Free Recovery doesn’t have its own detox program, its staff can still point you toward the best programs for your unique situation, so contact them today to find out how you can take your first step toward a sober future. Contact Live Free Recovery today to learn more about alcohol and drug rehab programs.
How long does it take to detox from drugs?
The time it takes to detox from drugs can vary depending on several factors, including the type of drug, the method of use, the frequency and amount of drug use, and the overall health of the person.
For example, it can take just a few days to a week for someone to detox from stimulants such as cocaine or amphetamines, while it can take several weeks to a month or more to detox from opioids like heroin or prescription painkillers.
It is important to note that detox is only the first step in the recovery process. After detox, it is recommended to seek ongoing treatment, such as therapy or support groups, to help maintain sobriety and address any underlying mental health issues that may have contributed to drug use.
It’s also worth noting that detoxing from certain drugs, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, can be potentially dangerous and should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional.