Do I Need a Detox Program?

The process of addiction treatment may or may not be tied to an addictive substance or chemical. Addictive behaviors can also be successfully treated by attending a treatment program to help you manage an addictive behavior more effectively or replacing the addictive behavior with a healthier series of behaviors. However, if you have ingested an addictive substance and need to go to rehab or treatment, a medically supervised detox can improve your odds of success. Because some addictive chemicals, once built up in your tissues, can be dangerous to get out of your system, a medically supervised detox can actually save your life.

It’s About Shedding Toxins

To successfully shed the toxins of addictive substances in your system, you will need care and monitoring. Detoxing in isolation can be fatal. Detoxing in the company of a friend or beloved relative can cause a lot of damage. The professionals who work in the detox and treatment industry understand that things said during a detox don’t necessarily reflect true feelings. You may become agitated and verbally abusive. You don’t want that experience in the presence of a loved one. Detox is painful. Your cells are used to a particular level of substance, even if it’s a toxin. Once you stop taking it in, each cell is going to raise a riot of discomfort. You may experience

  • cramping
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

If you’re completely alone, you are at risk of vomiting, aspiration, and suffocation. Depending on the length of time you’ve been using, you could have a negative psychological reaction. Anxiety, depression, and a psychotic break are all possible during detox. You will need monitoring. The physical symptoms of detox can lead to dehydration and malnourishment over time. During a medically supervised detox, you may be able to receive

  • medication to reduce cravings
  • medication to reduce your pain
  • IV fluids as necessary

Your body will be under an extreme amount of pressure as you shed the drugs in your system. Careful monitoring can save your life as your body settles to a new normal without drugs and alcohol. Low fluid levels and high levels of agitation can contribute to an elevated heart rate or risk of cardiac damage or arrest. Your cleansing organs will be under a great deal of pressure during this time. Your care team may choose to push fluids to support your kidneys and liver.

You may also be on a special diet to support your gut. Because many drugs cause diarrhea, bringing your gut back online may take time. Be prepared for bland foods or a low sodium diet to gently get your stomach back in rhythm and to protect your heart. At each step in your detox process, symptoms of physical damage from drug use may well crop up.

Make sure you let your care team know if you are experiencing pain, nausea, or anxious thoughts. You may be able to get a prescription medication to reduce your pain level as your body and brain come back online without all the toxins in your system. Finally, your brain will be under a tremendous amount of pressure during this time. The shame culture around drug and alcohol addiction may have you feeling terrible about yourself and hopeless about your future. You may be facing legal challenges or hoping to rebuild relationships that have withered during these tough times.

Supporting your brain during a monitored detox may include some intrusive questions and close monitoring. You may find that, as the chemicals leave your system, you will start to suffer from symptoms of mental illness that have been suppressed by the drugs and alcohol. You may be started on different medications to help you better manage those symptoms. Your detox process will be specific to you. Depending on the drugs currently in your system upon entering detox, you may need IV fluids or other medications. At no point during a detox should you feel isolated or suffer in isolation. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833-846-5669.