Many addicts avoid getting treatment for addiction because they are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms they might experience during detox. Unfortunately, detox can be uncomfortable, but it is the most crucial step in overcoming drug or alcohol addiction. In most cases, an individual cannot detox on their own because the cravings are too strong and they resume using the substance to quiet the symptoms. For this reason, a professional detoxification, followed by rehabilitation, is the recommended course of action.
Professional detox provides a safe environment with around-the-clock supervision by well-trained addiction specialists. The intended goal is to help the individual eliminate all the toxins or residues from their body to eliminate cravings. Once this is effectively accomplished, the individual is ready to begin their rehabilitation program to learn how to participate in life without needing drugs or alcohol as their motivation or escape tool.
What Are Withdrawal Symptoms?
The reason an addict experiences these symptoms is due to chemical changes in the brain and body wrought by the substance of abuse. When the drug is withheld, the body produces a wide range of discomforts to encourage the person to provide more of the substance. Some of these symptoms can be mild, while others can be dangerous or life-threatening. Depending on the duration of the addiction and the substance involved, a detox period can produce some, or all, of the following symptoms:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Weight loss
- Joint or muscle pain
- Sweats or chills
Facing the prospect of enduring these discomforts is something no addict wants to volunteer for. What they fail to understand is that these symptoms do go away with time, but if they continue their drug abuse, addiction will produce some side-effects that are much more intense than those experienced during detox.
How Long Does Detox Last?
The length of time it takes to successfully detox depends on the substance involved and on the severity of the addiction. Another determining factor is the presence of more than one addiction as in cocaine and alcohol addiction or marijuana and alcohol, or many other combinations. An individual might also have physical health problems, mental disturbances, or emotional issues that play a role in the addiction. Each of these factors contributes to the length of time needed for the person to successfully withdraw. Some of the most common time frames for detox are as follows:
- Cocaine or Crack: heavy users experience withdrawals for up to 90 days
- Heroin or Opiates: withdrawals can come and go for several years
- Hallucinogens (MDMA): withdrawals last several hours and up to a week or more
- Alcohol: heavy drinkers can experience progressively worsening symptoms for days or weeks
The best way to ensure safety during detox is to enter a professional facility that is equipped to treat specific addictions, and that has experience in treating dual-diagnosis cases. Entering detox can be traumatic, so no one wants to have to do it again and again. Choosing the best program is crucial to overcome these addictions and avoid having to detox repeatedly.
Recovery is a Process of Healing
The most misunderstood aspect of addiction is the belief that detox is a cure. If that were true, then no one would relapse. The reason they relapse is because they did not follow a rehabilitation program that teaches addicts how to function in life, how to avoid relapse, and how to deal with cravings. In order to avoid drugs or alcohol in the future, the individual needs to learn new coping techniques and heal not just the physical aspect of the addiction, but also heal mentally and spiritually. A comprehensive rehab program helps addicts regain self-esteem, develop new skills, improve physical well-being, and leave the program empowered and motivated to enjoy a drug-free future.
For more information on detox and to learn more about our program, call now. Our representatives are available day and night to answer your questions and help you determine the best path for your recovery process.