Drug and Alcohol Detox - Addiction Answers

The amount of drug and alcohol abuse is going up.

If you’re someone who is dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction, you might be wondering what your options are. The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options available for you to look into. The best treatment plan is one that is customized for your particular struggle.

In almost all treatment programs, you’ll have a drug and alcohol detox. This is one of the first steps in the path to recovery. The detoxification process is what will clean your body of any traces of drugs or alcohol.

There are many details to this that you should know about so keep reading to learn more.

What Is Detoxification?

Detoxification, or detox, is naturally allowing your body to get rid of the drugs inside it. The detoxification process is used to safely manage the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop using drugs or alcohol. When you use drugs frequently, your body gets used to it and stops producing some of its own chemicals.

Once you get rid of the drugs and alcohol, your body needs to ‘restart’, which causes a sickness called withdrawal. This can include a lot of negative side effects that can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s important to be under the care of a medical professional.

Everyone has a different experience with the detoxification process, your addiction is not the same as everyone else’s. Your experience will depend on the type of drug you used and how long you used it for.

Process of Detox

The process of detox depends on your individual needs but for the most part, it follows a pretty standard path. It begins with an evaluation, then stabilization, then preparing you for the actual treatment program.

EvaluationWhen you contact a medical professional about addiction, you’ll come in for an evaluation. This usually involves a medical team that will check your physical and mental health issues. There’ll be different tests to determine how much drug is in your system which will determine the type of medications that will be used.

That information will become the foundation for a treatment plan.

StabilizationProbably the most challenging part of the process is getting stabilized. This is when the medical professionals will stabilize you using things like medication and various types of therapy. The goal here is to have support as you go through withdrawal, making sure you stay safe.

Prepare for TreatmentFinally, you’ll prepare for a treatment program. As you go through the detoxification process, doctors will begin to understand what you need and work with your goals to create a customized treatment plan. Once detox is over, you’ll know everything about what that treatment plan will entail.

Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

While there are many similarities between drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, there are some differences to note. It’s good to be aware of what you might experience so you can prepare for what’s to come. As you’ll see, the symptoms can get pretty severe so it’s good to speak to a medical professional about any concerns you may have.

Some of the similar withdrawal symptoms for both drugs and alcohol include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting

The biggest difference in symptoms that is unique to detox from alcohol is delirium tremens or DTs. These are severe symptoms that include hallucinations and delusions. Although it’s rare to have these symptoms, it does happen.

You might also have:

  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Racing heart

Drug withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be frightening but with the right treatment and support, you’ll be able to get through it and come out stronger on the other side.

Can You Detox at Home?

While it may be tempting to go through detoxification in the comfort of your home, it is strongly advised that you go to a medical professional. If the withdrawal is very mild then perhaps you can get it taken care of at home but when it comes to something potentially dangerous, it never hurts to go see a professional.

With a severe withdrawal, it can be dangerous to be left alone or with someone who isn’t trained for detox. When you’re in the care of doctors and nurses, they’ll be able to manage your symptoms and provide relief. It should not be taken lightly, certain detox scenarios could be fatal.

Treatment Options

The first thing you want to do is contact a doctor. They’ll be able to hear your concerns and recommend the best course of action.

Depending on your situation and goals, you have different treatment options to consider. All of them will include detoxification. Then you can decide if you want to be rehabilitated in an inpatient program or outpatient.

Inpatient programs mean you’ll reside on the premise and receive round the clock medical and emotional support. For an outpatient program, you’ll come in to receive treatment but still live in your own home. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you have a moderate to severe addiction, an inpatient program is better suited for your needs – it also has a higher success rate. If your case is mild then you can opt for an outpatient program and still get the benefits of treatment.

Drug and Alcohol Detox

While it may be confusing and scary to seek help for drug or alcohol addiction, know that there are plenty of treatment options available and medical professionals ready to help. You don’t have to go through it alone.

You’ll likely begin your sobriety process with a drug and alcohol detox, which will rid your body of the substance. Then you can take the steps for an individualized treatment plan to help you get to a better place.

If you have more questions about alcohol or drug addiction, be sure to check out our website!

Get Help Today

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.