The first step toward achieving sobriety is ridding one’s body of the substance one had been dependent on. In many cases, this effort is completed through a process called detox.
Detox is a medical procedure in which healthcare providers steadily remove an addictive chemical from a user’s system. Healthcare professionals prefer this form of drug elimination over stopping one’s usage abruptly.
Typically, individuals holding longstanding dependencies experience significant and, in certain instances, dangerous withdrawal symptoms when quitting cold turkey. This is because their brains are bodies are so accustomed to the drug that they cannot function without it.
Optimal Candidates For Detox
The best candidates for medical detox are individuals:
- With prolonged dependencies
- Who ingest prodigious amounts of a given substance
- Whose bodies have been weakened by extensive drug use
- Who possess underlying mental health conditions
However, even persons with short-lived addictions could benefit from medical detox if other underlying factors favor such treatment.
Steps Associated With Detox
Healthcare providers administer detox to suitable candidates in several stages including:
Before the procedure commences, the recipient undergoes a thorough physical and mental evaluation. During this examination, doctors will document the patient’s medical history, determine their overall health, and assess their mental and emotional states. This information will help medical professionals formulate a detox plan most befitting the recipient’s needs.
Detox Strategy Determination
Once the state of the patient’s health is determined, evaluators will recommend the most appropriate detox strategy. In patients with severe or imminently life-threatening addictions, recipients might need to be placed in a medically-induced coma. This allows a more rapid systemic withdrawal of the offending drug.
Usually, however, medically-assisted detox, which is also abbreviated as MAT, is administered. During this therapeutic protocol, the addictive substance is gradually withdrawn from the recipient’s body.
MAT typically includes the delivery of withdrawal-suppressing drugs. As the addictive chemical exits the body, the healing soul may experience any number of physical or mental withdrawal symptoms. These manifestations will vary depending on the chemical they were dependent on. However, the MAT process eases these manifestations and prevents potentially serious events from taking place.
Where Does Detox Take Place?
Detox can safely be performed in settings such as clinics, hospitals, and detox centers.
That said, addiction treatment specialists recommend such therapy be given inside established and licensed detox centers because these facilities are strictly devoted to medical detox, staffed by medical staffers possessing significant experience in the detox process, and offer a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere for patients who are sick or frightened.
Researchers maintain that, on average, the process lasts anywhere from a week to 10 days. However, this timeframe could be shorter or longer and often hinges on the individual recipient’s physical and mental well-being, the drug they were hooked on, and how long they used said substance.
While the successful completion of detox is a critical first step, it is merely the beginning of an addict’s recovery journey. The process takes one’s physical dependency away. However, true and lasting recovery lies in a healing subject’s capacity to conquer the subsequent mental and emotional challenges.
Therefore, following detox, recovering dependents usually enter some type of drug treatment program. Such programs are offered on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on numerous factors.
Regardless of the type of program or its location, participants also learn to cross other crucial hurdles such as:
- Overcoming mental cravings
- Understanding why one first started using drugs
- Identifying any underlying repressed mental or emotional pain
- Ridding oneself of bad influences or environments
- Facing one’s fears and unexpected challenges
- Learning to live, work, and socialize in the sober world
Recipients receive instruction on mastering these tasks from trained professionals such as counselors and therapists.
To maintain long-term sobriety, recovering addicts must also develop a strong support system comprised of tough but fair family members and friends, in addition to other recovering subjects capable of understanding their feelings and shepherding them through experiences those who have never faced addiction simply have not been through.
Reaching Out To Us
Going through detox means taking the first major step toward recapturing a clean and sober lifestyle. The addiction specialists employed at our south Florida facility know how scary this process may seem. If you have questions about detox or any other aspect of the drug treatment process, please contact us today at 833-846-5669.