What is Detox Treatment and Why Is It So Important?

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Millions of Americans and their families are affected by substance abuse each year. Only about 10% of those who struggle with substance abuse receive professional treatment. Self-treatment is often ineffective and short-lived. For many, achieving physical sobriety is one of the biggest hurdles in recovery, but it is a crucial first step.

What is Detox?

Detox, or detoxification, is the process of ridding the body of addictive substances and toxins. It is important to understand that, without professional support and monitoring during detox, withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and even life-threatening. When an individual abuses a substance, their body becomes accustomed to it. Neurotransmitters in the brain adapt and as a result, the chemical balance in the brain is altered which causes the body to crave the substance in order to function. If someone has been using substances for any extended period of time, attending a detox or stabilization program can be extremely helpful, and often is very necessary for safety and comfort.

During detoxification, the body is deprived of those addictive substances and the absence can result in withdrawal symptoms. Although the detox experience varies from person to person, withdrawal symptoms often depend on several factors including:

  • Substance of choice
  • Amount and duration of substance abuse
  • Medical conditions
  • Mental health conditions

For individuals using drugs like benzodiazepines, which encompasses Xanax, kolonopin, Ativan, and other similar prescription medications, a detox or stabilization period is almost certainly warranted. Detoxing from benzodiazepines without appropriate medical supervision can be extremely dangerous. Similarly, alcohol detox can be very dangerous without medical support if an individual has been drinking extensively or for an extended period of time.

Opioid withdrawal is known to be extraordinarily uncomfortable, and relapse often takes place as a result of an individual not being able to make it through the discomfort of an opiate withdrawal process. Having a professional detox can alleviate many of these issues and make the process much more comfortable, so that the likelihood of staying sober is much higher. Cocaine and methamphetamine, while not inducing the same type of withdrawal symptoms that are found with central nervous system depressants, can also often benefit from a stabilization period where an individual can have their vitals monitored and they can adjust to sobriety in a safe and controlled environment. Even in situations with cannabis abuse, stabilization can be helpful, especially if there are any residual psychological effects of the cannabis.

Some of the telltale signs that detox will be helpful include:

  • Long term substance abuse. The longer an individual has been using a substance, the more likely a medical detox will be necessary. It is important to remember however, that with substances like benzodiazepines, alcohol and opiates, someone does not need to have been using for a long time to benefit from a stabilization period.
  • Withdrawal symptoms. These can be more or less severe depending on the substances used and depending on the length of use, but regardless of where they fall on the scale, having withdrawal symptoms managed under medical supervision makes them much more tolerable.
  • History of seizures or other adverse physical reactions when discontinuing alcohol or drug use.
  • Any other medical complications or issues that could make discontinuing substance use independently dangerous.

Why is Detoxing important?

Professional detoxification care helps safely alleviate the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Detox treatment provides a safe, supportive environment for clients to recover from the physical dependencies associated with addiction.

It is important to detox under medical supervision to ensure comfort and safety. Medical professionals can administer medications to help ease physical symptoms of withdrawal. And by surrounding yourself with knowledgeable and encouraging professionals, you can increase your chances of successful recovery. Surrounded by treatment professionals and a recovery community often helps motivate clients to become stronger and healthier in their recovery.

The process of drug and alcohol detox can be significantly improved with the support of a compassionate team and the right medication management. Our residential detox and stabilization treatment paves the way to successful recovery by offering critical support and empowerment during this crucial phase.

While detoxification is a vital process in recovery, it is not the final step. The best recovery services support each client in addressing not only their symptoms and behaviors, but also their underlying causes, attitudes, values and family dynamics. The cessation of drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviors is only the beginning. As clients progress through detox treatment, they can shift the focus from detox and stabilization to therapeutic immersion, so clients can gradually shift from addiction to long-term recovery.

Detox treatment ensures that clients receive the appropriate treatment in an engaging and supportive environment and lays the framework for their recovery success. If you are interested in learning more about Clear Recovery Center’s detox treatment, contact our expert clinical team today.  

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