Concerns About Drug and Alcohol Detoxification Process

Should you be? What kind of help is available if I need detox?

If you are considering detox, you may have some concerns about the drug and alcohol detoxification process such as what is detox exactly and how long it will last, will it be painful, what happens during detox and will I need treatment after detox.

When you use alcohol and drugs, chemical toxins collect in your body. Alcohol and drug detox is the process of cleansing those toxins from your system. Detox can last from three days to a full week and a little longer, depending on the substances you use. Some drugs do not require you to detoxify for them to be removed from your system, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. If you are not sure if you need detox for drug use, check with your doctor.

Withdrawal symptoms for drug and alcohol detox may range from mild and nonexistent to severe and painful and even fatal if not addressed properly in some rare cases. Drug withdrawal symptoms depend on the type of drug used, the amount of the drug you have been using and how long you have been using.  Some drug withdrawal symptoms may include insomnia, irritability and anxiety, nausea and vomiting, sweating, chills and seizures.

Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol use may produce irritability and anxiety, fatigue and depression, headache and insomnia. More severe symptoms can include delirium tremens, or the DTs; periods of confusion and hallucinations and even death from cardiac arrest.

Depending on your needs, there are several different methods for detox. If you are unable to do an inpatient detox program; an outpatient program may be better suited to you. An outpatient program is where you self report, and then are given medication to take at home to detox.

An inpatient program may take place in a hospital facility or a private facility. Hospital facilities have been seen by some as being unfriendly and cold. Detox patients are usually kept on lockdown or in a psychiatric unit or floor. Patients are restricted and they are not allowed personal items.

Doctors agree that IV therapy medical detox is the best method for drug and alcohol detox. IV therapy is administered by a physician, patients receive care 24/7 and intravenous therapy is important because it allows the doctor to change your medication protocol for an immediate effect. The patient is kept comfortable throughout the process.

Many individuals going through detox ask if they will need treatment or therapy for the rest of their life. 12 step programs would have you believe that you have a brain disease and that your alcohol and/or drug use is inherited. They would also like you to think that abstaining from use, have belief in a higher power and receive therapy for the rest of your life are the only forms of treatment. They will tell you that you are powerless against your substance use. None of this is true.

The truth is that there is no such thing as an addict or alcoholic gene. You drink and you use drugs because you want to.  Your substance use is a learned behavior and you can learn a different behavior. Freedom Model Retreats offers a cognitive behavioral education program that helps guests use change themselves by making different choices that are more productive and positive for their life. Our guests realize that they have power over their substance use and they go on to have long term success without substance use permanently.

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