How Do I Know if I Need a Drug Detox?
A disease that affects your ability to control your use of substances, an addiction to alcohol or drugs is known as a substance use disorder (SUD). This is because drug and alcohol abuse impairs the brain’s natural reward system, causing it to crave the hit of dopamine that substances offer, leading to addiction.
Drug addiction can have dangerous consequences, such as short and long-term health issues as well as premature death. Although you may think that taking a small number of drugs is not harmful, this is not true. Using even a small amount of drugs comes with the risk of addiction.
Like many others who develop an addiction, you may find it hard to ask for help. You may even hide your addiction due to the societal stigma of the disease. However, there is no shame in having a substance use disorder. It is an illness like any other, and it can happen to anyone.
What Are the Signs of Addiction?
Signs of addiction greatly vary depending on the substance and the severity of your drug use. Some common signs of drug abuse and addiction include:
- Mood swings
- Acting out of character
- Secretive behavior or lying
- Denial or defensiveness
- Withdrawal from social interaction
- Poor performance at school or work
- Financial issues
- Reduced personal hygiene and self-care
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities that were once important
- Risk-taking or law-breaking behavior
Many of these signs on their own can be due to something else, such as a mental health disorder, so awareness is vital in detecting substance abuse issues early for the best chance of recovery.
How Do I Get Help for Addiction?
If you think you might have an addiction, it is important to talk to someone, such as a qualified healthcare provider, about it. This is because you may require treatment, such as an outpatient detox program or medically supervised detox.
Although asking for help with addiction is scary, it is also a courageous thing to do. Dedicated medical professionals are waiting to help you – you don’t have to go through this alone.
Typically, securing help for your addiction will require you to complete substance abuse treatment in the form of a medical detox. Here, drug detox is the first step in recovery.
How Do I Detox My Body From Drugs?
A medically supervised detox is the first step in addiction treatment. Designed to rid the body of drugs, detox removes harmful toxins from the body and stops the physical side of drug addiction. Across the country, there are many drug detox programs available, meaning you can shop around and find the right one for you.
Most people receive an inpatient detox at a treatment center under the care and supervision of medical professionals. Treatment centers are designed for people to detox, providing a suitable environment and ongoing treatment and support. Sometimes, detox is administered in a hospital setting if addiction is severe.
In some instances, it is possible to complete a natural drug detox. This form of detox is usually offered when addiction is mild, enabling you to detox at home without medical intervention. However, be aware that it is the least effective method of drug withdrawal and can be dangerous. Always seek professional medical advice before going down the route of a natural detox.
It is not advised to detox at home unless you secure outpatient detox via a treatment center. This is because detox can give way to side effects and medical complications, such as potentially painful withdrawal symptoms. Going cold turkey can also be dangerous due to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
As you commence treatment, you must detox as safely as possible. Detoxing from drugs can be an unpleasant experience, but it is essential for recovery.
What Does a Medically Supervised Detox Look Like?
Medically supervised detox can last from a few days to several weeks depending on the severity of your drug or alcohol use, your age, medical history, and substance abuse history. When you start a medical detox program, you will be required to complete a medical assessment. This assessment is conducted by licensed medical professionals who create a personalized care plan to ensure you receive the treatment you need.
When you enter a detox program, you will either stop taking alcohol or drugs immediately or taper off them over a specific timeframe. Although doing so may cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms, your treatment team will ensure you feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
What Are Common Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal symptoms differ from person to person. Some people encounter severe withdrawal symptoms, while others may only experience mild symptoms that are entirely manageable.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach ache and nausea
- Sickness and diarrhea
- Pain and body aches
- Mood swings
- Fever and sweating
- Panic attacks
- Vivid dreams and delirium
- Drug cravings
Withdrawal symptoms such as delirium and seizures can be severe, which is why it is better to detox in a professional setting under careful supervision. Most withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, nausea, insomnia, and pain, can be managed naturally. Should withdrawal symptoms exacerbate existing mental health problems, medical professionals at a detox treatment center can assist with possible medications or psychiatric care.
As mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders are often co-occurring, you may also require treatment from mental health professionals during your treatment. If this resonates, any possible co-occurring mental health issues will be addressed.
What Is Addiction Treatment?
Addiction treatment involves more than just a detox. Though beneficial, a detox only rids the body of drug traces – it does not consider why you turned to abusing substances in the first place.
After you have detoxed and overcome your physical addiction, you will move on to dealing with your physiological addiction to alcohol or drugs. Here, psychotherapy will allow you to talk to a therapist in a neutral and non-judgmental setting. During this treatment, you will work through the trauma that led you to misuse alcohol or drugs.
In therapy, you will also learn your triggers and develop new healthy coping methods. Your therapist will help you uncover any deep-rooted trauma and clear your mind of any darkness that may lead you back to the path of using. After all, a clear mind is essential in recovery.
In addition to one-to-one therapy, you may be introduced to group therapy. In small groups with other substance abuse disorder sufferers, you will gain valuable feedback and support from people who understand what you’re going through. Group therapy is a very effective treatment method and essential to recovery.
Sadly, relapse is common. However, relapse is not a failure, nor does it mean you won’t recover. Irrespective of whether you think you will relapse or not, continued support after your detox will help you stay on track.
When an addiction consumes your life, it often indicates that you have lost control to alcohol or drugs. Starting the recovery process and completing detox means you have decided to take that control back.