Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to remove any and all traces of drugs and alcohol. Many people are familiar with feelings of withdrawal, especially if they are coming off of harder drugs like heroin that cause extreme physical dependence. However, medical staff are able to address and treat symptoms of withdrawal as they arise and make the process as comfortable as possible. Medically-assisted detox is absolutely necessary if a person is coming off of substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines, as withdrawal symptoms can be lethal if not treated medically. Detoxification can be an arduous and uncomfortable process, but it is important to keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The process is highly dependent upon what type of drugs we were doing, how we were administering them, and for how long we had been using them. In some cases, the physical symptoms will be minimal and we will begin feeling better after a few days, but in other cases it may take quite a bit longer before we begin feeling better. It is highly important that we do not take our newfound feelings of wellness as an indication that we are cured of our addiction and no longer require treatment. Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Although detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.” If we can get through the discomfort of detoxification, we will begin to feel better and become much more capable of receiving effective treatment. The NIDA further explains, “detoxification alone does not address the psychological, social, and behavioral problems associated with addiction and therefore does not typically produce lasting behavioral changes necessary for recovery.” Therefore, it is imperative that we stay in treatment even if we feel as though we are no longer bound by physical dependence. There is also the danger of reexperiencing symptoms after acute detoxification. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS. PAWS symptoms can last for weeks, months, or in some cases years after acute detoxification. We may feel tired, irritable, depressed, or have noticeable problems with cognition or memory. Fortunately, PAWS does not last forever, but it is important to continue receiving therapy and treatment to overcome PAWS symptoms and maintain sobriety.
Your story can become one of hope and redemption in sobriety. You can begin building a brighter future by making the courageous decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a licensed Substance Abuse Disorder and Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Center in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers an independent, medically monitored alcohol and drug detox that is closely supervised by an affiliated team of detoxification specialists to ensure that the process is as comfortable as possible. For information about detox and other individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777