In most cases, the first step in the process of choosing to fight an addiction is often going through a detoxification process. Detoxification, also known as detox, is the process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. When detoxing, it is extremely important to do it ‘the right way’: in a supervised, safe, medically-trained facility where a person can be monitored. If not, the process of detoxing alone, unsupervised and without medical attention can lead to serious consequences.
Every detox is different. People have different circumstances, bodies, health issues and drug of choice. Some detox processes — such as that of alcohol — can be extremely dangerous or life threatening if not done the correct way. It is important to recognize that, without proper medical detox, a person can become very ill or face death, in the case of quitting cold-turkey alone.
Why is it important to detox, the right way? And what makes for a safe detox? Keep reading, below, to find out:
- A MEDICAL DETOX IS THE ‘RIGHT WAY’ TO DETOX
You might ask yourself, “Is there a right way to detox?” The answer is simple: yes. A medical detox is just that. A medical detox is the process in which alcohol or other drugs are safely removed from the body, under supervision, to allow the person to begin their recovery on the right foot. In most cases, a person will begin their addiction treatment at a detox program. Before, during and after detox, the person will go through a thorough assessment of their health. Patients are seen by psychiatrists, who will evaluate their history, and also create a specific medical regimen during detox for that person. For example, a psychiatrist will most likely assess possible withdrawal symptoms to better accommodate a patient. The purpose of a medical detox is to rid the body of substances safely, while making the person as comfortable and at ease as possible. Without a medically-supervised detox, a person can experience terrible side-effects and possible withdrawal symptoms.
- DETOXING OR QUITTING COLD-TURKEY, ALONE, IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS
Detoxing, alone, from any substance can be dangerous. However, for specific substances, a body can go through terrible withdrawal, causing scary, sometimes life-threatening side effects. Regardless of what a person may be detoxing from, they may experience certain side effects, that can be managed and controlled when in a safe, medically-supervised environment: anxiety, seizures, extreme hallucinations, disorientation, sweating, insomnia, headaches, nausea and even delirium tremens can occur.
Did you know that approximately 16 million Americans try to quit using drugs or alcohol each year? That is a huge number of people. And out of these 16 million, many try to enter the detox process alone. For those detoxing from alcohol alone, anywhere from 7 to 25 percent of individuals actually die from the most dangerous portion of withdrawal. Often, it is common for those who struggle with addictions to substances such as heroin, methamphetamine or other opioids to also try and detox alone. Symptoms, that come with withdrawal from this, can also be excruciating.
If a person is not in a safe environment, they may face these sometimes fatal, dangerous side-effects alone. Often, trying to quit cold-turkey leads a person giving up and continuing to use their drug of choice. The purpose of utilizing a medical detox is to help alleviate the process, through specific medical regimens catered to the individual, in a supportive and safe environment.
- THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS TO A MEDICAL DETOX
By now, you should get it: detoxing alone is not safe and it is important to detox the ‘right way.’ While detoxing alone can lead to many harmful, terrible side effects, a medical detox has tremendous benefits. First and foremost, a medical detox will ensure that a person gets the proper care needed for their specific circumstances. Second, it can help provide comfort and ease in the transition, to a person who is detoxing. Along with this, a medical detox provides a built-in support system to the person detoxing, so that they feel less isolated and backed in their decision.
Did you know that a medical detox can increase the chance of a lasting, successful recovery? Above all else, the main goal for someone to detox and enter an addiction treatment program is to find lasting recovery. Addicts want to be free from the chains of their addiction. A medical detox can provide the foundation for a new life, rooted in recovery, purpose and drive to do better and be better.
Once a person has successfully detoxed, the right way, they can begin in the next steps of their recovery journey.
DO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW NEED TO DETOX, THE RIGHT WAY?
At Renewal Health Group, our goal in this step of treatment is to assist people cleanse their bodies of intoxicants as comfortably and safely as possible. Getting through detox then allows a patient to explore underlying issues, that may be fueling their addictions, or life choices.
When entering into our detox program, a person can expect: a thorough assessment of their health, being seen by a psychiatrist who will evaluate their history, as well assess withdrawal symptoms to create a medical regimen for detox process. While at this higher level of care, patients receive additional attention and supervision by the nursing and treatment team especially during drug withdrawal. Groups and programming are available during the day; clients are encouraged to participate, but it is not required at this time.
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If you or someone you know may need addiction treatment, please call: (888) 226-7413