Choosing to quit an addiction is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. And we wish we could say it’s the hardest part of quitting altogether.
Unfortunately, the next step, drug and alcohol detox, is an even greater challenge. The extreme discomfort of withdrawal symptoms make it more tempting than ever to self-medicate with substances. Many addicts decide they can’t bear it anymore and end up relapsing before the detox process is complete.
But here’s the good news. As discouraging as this sounds, we’re about to show you that it’s not hopeless.
You absolutely can avoid relapse and get through detox. People do it every day.
How do they do it? That’s what we’re going share with you today.
This guide lists the common challenges of the detox process and how to deal with them. Learn how to ease your withdrawal symptoms and get through detox successfully with this guide.
What Happens During Drug and Alcohol Detox?
To understand the complexity of withdrawal symptoms and how to ease them, you need to understand what’s happening to your body during detox. Basically, your body has gotten used to your substance abuse and now considers it normal.
Your body naturally wants to keep things “normal” to help you survive. So it sends you signals when it’s running low on the abused substance, telling you to use again. These cravings ensure that you keep using the substance that your body thinks it needs in order to survive.
The problem is, it’s all a trick. You don’t really need the substance to survive. Your body has just been conditioned to think it does.
Reconditioning the Body
Detox attemps to rid the body of the abused substance completely. This requires a complete reconditioning of the body.
That’s why withdrawal symptoms are so intense. Your body actually thinks it’s in danger, maybe even dying, when the addictive substance is removed.
However, this is actually true in some instances. In extreme cases, the body is so dependant on the substance that quitting cold turkey is dangerous or even fatal. This is one of many reasons why it’s important to rely on professional help for detox.
Get the Right Help
Your first step for successfully completing detox is to get professional help. It’s a scary thought to give up control and be open with others about your addiction. But, trust us, it’s far more frightening, and challenging, to attempt detox on your own.
Rehab professionals are here to help, not judge. They just want to assist you in achieving your goal of quitting.
Furthermore, they’re highly qualified to provide the most effective detox treatment plan for you. The best way to minimize and manage your symptoms is to entrust them into the hands of professionals.
First, they’ll assess your level of dependency on the abused substance to determine if you need inpatient care or outpatient care.
Extreme cases of addiction will require inpatient care for safe and effective detox. As we mentioned, it can be dangerous to remove a substance that has been heavily abused and/or abused for many years.
Inpatient care centers have the tools and staff necessary to make sure the patient detoxes safely. In some cases, the patient is weaned off of the substance gradually to prevent harm. Other patients are given special medication to replace the addictive substance as they are weaned off.
In less extreme cases of drug/alcohol addiction, detox takes place outside the facility. Typically, it’s supervised by supportive friends and family somewhere other than the patient’s home.
It’s usually not a good idea for patients to detox in their own homes. Most addicts have a lot of memories of using at home, and may even have drugs stashed there. It usually helps for them to be somewhere less familiar.
In any case, the treatment plan of outpatient care is still determined by the professionals at the rehab center.
Know the Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal
Physical withdrawal symptoms during detox will differ from patient to patient. It depends largely on the abused substance and the severity/duration of the addiction. For extremely addictive substances, like heroin, withdrawal symptoms will be extreme as well.
Withdrawal symptoms from any substance typically include:
- Body aches
- Changes in blood pressure/heart rate
- Sleep problems
In some cases, muscle spasms, hallucinations, and other symptoms are present.
Whatever the symptoms, there is always much physical discomfort involved in the detox process. However, rehab professionals may prescribe certain medications or other treatments to ease your symptoms.
Know the Psychological Symptoms of Withdrawal
Beyond the physical symptoms, there are many psychological symptoms that occur during detox. These are often the most difficult to deal with.
Anxiety and depression are very common during withdrawal, as are powerful drug cravings. Restlessness, agitation, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating are also typical. Patients may also have difficulty feeling any positive emotions, like joy and pleasure.
These symptoms are more likely than the physical symptoms to trigger a relapse. Fortunately, rehab treatment includes counseling during this difficult process that can help. Patients are given cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and other training to give them the mental strength and strategies for dealing with psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Don’t Detox Alone
Whether you choose to trust rehab professionals or not, there’s one thing that’s always true about detox. If you choose to detox on your own, with no help from anyone, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll succeed.
Support and accountability are vital for overcoming addiction. These only come from outside help. The best way to ease your symptoms is to let others help you through your detox.
Get Help With Your Drug and Alcohol Detox
Remember what the first step is for completing drug and alcohol detox successfully? Get the right help.
Only a professional rehab specialist will know the best treatment plan for your specific needs. You’ll get the medical care you need, support, and counseling on how to avoid relapse.
Professional rehab help is your best chance at successful sobriety. Contact Oasis Recovery Center now to get started.