Let’s face it, the word detox sounds a little scary, and the term “medical detox” is widely misunderstood. To understand their meanings, it’s best to take them one at a time.
Detox, which is short for detoxification, is the process by which toxins or toxic substances (such as What traces of drugs or alcohol) are eliminated from your system and/or removed from the body. Medical detox means the detoxification process is medically supervised.
When Detox Is Necessary
If you’ve been abusing alcohol or are addicted to drugs, it’s important to remember that, over time, two things have happened: Your body has developed a tolerance for drugs or alcohol, so it now takes more for you to get a buzz than it did, say, six months ago (and probably a lot more, compared to when you first started). Furthermore, your body has developed a physical and psychological dependency on your drug of choice, and actual physical and chemical changes have taken place in your brain.
If those conditions have happened, the cravings you feel every day are not simply going to be “willed away.” The idea that an alcoholic or drug addict should go cold turkey and “tough it out” no longer holds water. Medical advances now make it easier for addicts to go through the grueling experience that is detox.
In the 1950s and earlier, addicts and alcoholics were often locked in a room and basically told to fend for themselves. Or sometimes, patients were knocked out with large doses of ether gas so they would be unconscious for the first few days of their forced “dry out.” Medically supervised detox was developed in the 1970s to help lessen the extreme symptoms and pain of withdrawal and to minimize the chances for relapse. Current medical drug detox typically involves patients recovering in a well-appointed facility, being medically assisted by a team of professionals.
Medical Drug Detox Is Only the Start of Recovery
Many people mistakenly believe that detox is a recovery program. However, medical detox is only the first step. Prior to entering rehab, you must first detox and eliminate the toxins that are still in your system. This generally takes five to seven days and needs to be completed before rehab can begin.
In many cases, drug users have co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression. When this is the case, these issues will be treated simultaneously. This is why it’s important to choose a medical detox program that is customized to address specific needs.
During medical detox, individuals are under medical supervision around the clock from admission and guided step-by-step through the process. Once the program is completed, transition to a professional recovery program should happen.
Why Cold Turkey Isn’t the Answer
Many people first attempt to quit drugs or alcohol on their own. While there are some individuals who can make it through this challenging first phase of recovery without help, most need more comprehensive care to help them deal with the unpredictable symptoms that are associated with withdrawal. Additionally, professional detox provides a more secure foundation for the next stages of recovery.
Unfortunately, most people who go it alone quickly relapse. With each attempt at going cold turkey, the addiction can get worse and more difficult to treat.
Choosing a Medically Supervised Drug and Alcohol Detox Program
At Serenity at Summit, we integrate the most advanced medical, clinical and holistic treatments to support your well-being during detox. We also provide a peaceful, comfortable setting that is both private and discrete. We encourage you to call now to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one embrace recovery.