Drug and Alcohol Detox

With over 30 million Americans having drug and alcohol addiction problems, there is no wonder why over 15,000 rehabilitation centers exist. The success rates of each facility varies, with the average being around 70 to 80 percent. The success of a particular rehabilitation center depends on many factors. One of the key factors in whether a person succeeds or not at a particular facility is the drug and alcohol detox program. Such is the very first step in beginning a course of full recovery. Success begins with how well the facility treats the client from the very beginning.

What is Detox?

Detoxification or detox is the cleansing of the client’s body of the substance to which he or she is addicted. Different facilities use different methods to detox a person. However, the most successful method is the abrupt cessation of the drug or alcoholic substance with no substitutes issued. This method ensures that the individual does not develop an addiction to another substance while he or she is healing from being addicted to one substance. Abrupt and natural cessation speeds up the recovery time so that the individual can enter other programs that aid in long-term cleanliness and sobriety.

The Process of Drug and Alcohol Detox

It is important for a person to understand what he or she will be going through during the process of detox. Detoxification will be an uncomfortable experience. However, the benefits of surviving the program will outweigh any uncomfortable feelings the client may have.
Depending on the substance the person was using, withdrawal symptoms will begin 12 to 48 hours after he or she stops using it. Such withdrawal occurs because the person’s brain activity was suppressed during the course of addiction. The brain and the body had become used to the presence of drugs or alcohol. When the person stops ingesting such items, the brain has an adverse reaction as many of its functions begin to go awry. Returning to normal functionality may take three days to one full week. Even after the addicted party’s brain and body returns to normal functionality, he or she may still experience abnormal effects for weeks, months or years.

Withdrawal Symptoms During Detox

Withdrawal symptoms come in three categories: physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, and emotional symptoms. Some physical symptoms that may appear during detox are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, breathing problems, heart palpitations, tremors, sweating and heart racing. Some emotional problems that may occur are depression, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, pining, memory loss, headaches, nightmares and insomnia. Some psychological problems that may develop during detoxification include hallucinations, delirium and seizures.
During the first two weeks of withdrawal, the individual will feel the most physical symptoms. After approximately 14 days, the individual will advance to the second stage of withdrawal, which includes little or no physical symptoms and mostly emotional and psychological symptoms. Cravings for a specific substance may last several months. For this reason, it is important for an addicted person to receive care at a reputable rehabilitation facility that offers stellar support programs.

Inpatient Treatment After Detox

Alcohol and drug detox is the most difficult stage of recovery. It is best for a person to go through this portion of treatment at an inpatient care center. An inpatient care center will provide a quiet and friendly environment in which the person can fully detoxify without disturbances. A facility of this kind will also be staffed with people who are specialists in providing support. Staff members will periodically monitor the client to make sure that he or she is detoxifying at a healthy pace. Concerned members will speak with the client to ease that person’s anxiety about recovering.
After the individual completes the detoxification portion of treatment, he or she should seek additional services such as therapy and counseling. These services will help the person to remain strong in times of powerful cravings. Professionals can hold the client’s hand and walk through the vulnerabilities that may make that person susceptible to addiction. After uncovering the client’s vulnerabilities, the staff members can help that person come up with coping strategies that will lead him or her into a clean and sober existence.

Choosing the Right Alcohol and Drug Detox

Choosing the right facility to join involves research and inquiry. Anyone who is curious about entering a recovery program can make an anonymous phone call or online inquiry about facilities in the area. Some sites provide anonymous assistance with finding an institution that best suits the person’s immediate needs. The best facility will have the most supportive detoxification system as well as the most effective post-detox treatment programs. A person can treat drug and alcohol addiction in many different ways. As long as he or she has the drive to succeed and a reputable establishment, the light at the end of the tunnel will shine brightly.