Ongoing abuse of drugs and alcohol will eventually result in harmful impacts on your physical and psychological health. Deciding to seek addiction treatment and entering a drug and alcohol rehab program like Cal Recovery is a challenging step, especially as many enter treatment with various questions, concerns, and fears about detox. What is detox? What can I expect at a comprehensive detox program? Is it going to be like I see on television? Detox and withdrawal are not easy, and the symptoms you will experience are unique to you. No two people experience detox and withdrawal in the same way.
What Does It Mean to Detox From Drugs and Alcohol?
When someone enters an addiction treatment program like Cal Recovery, the first step on their sobriety journey is often detox. It is vital to cleanse the body of any substance that may remain. When someone begins to detox, the body often reacts negatively to a lack of drugs or alcohol that it has become accustomed to. These negative reactions or effects are known as withdrawal symptoms. The duration, intensity, and severity of the withdrawal symptoms you experience during detox are related to various factors, including how long you have struggled with addiction, the severity of your addiction, and the substance or substances you used. It is important to note that detoxing from certain drugs such as opioids or alcohol can be dangerous and sometimes leads to fatal withdrawal symptoms.
The process of detox begins with the decision to stop drinking or using drugs. During detox, your body must learn to function without substances it has become dependent on. For many, the detox process can be scary, unpleasant, and, as previously mentioned, dangerous. While using or drinking, your brain and systems within the body become accustomed to certain levels of drugs or alcohol to function. Withdrawal symptoms are your body’s reaction to not having access to the substances it craves. For most, withdrawal symptoms last for three to seven days, although they can last up to two weeks in some cases. Common withdrawal symptoms include changes in appetite, altered mood or behavior, fatigue, restlessness and irritability, aches and pains, changes in sleeping patterns, and respiratory issues such as congestion or runny nose. Other common symptoms include sweating, shakiness, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, more severe symptoms such as seizures, cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, and delirium tremens (DTs) can occur. For these more severe symptoms, medically assisted detox programs are recommended over choosing to quit “cold turkey.”
What Is the Best Way to Safely Detox?
The best and safest way to detox from drugs and alcohol is at a medically assisted detox program like Cal Recovery. At an addiction treatment center specializing in medically assisted detox, you will receive medical supervision throughout the detox process. Depending on your unique needs and the design of the program, this may include the administration of medication to help manage and reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Throughout the duration of detox, medical professionals will continually monitor your vitals (including blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing) to ensure your ongoing safety and reduce the chances of an acute medical emergency. Medically assisted detox helps provide holistic assistance with mental and physical stability while providing nutritional support during the earliest and most challenging days of treatment. Once detox is complete, it is possible to transition to our addiction treatment program, including therapy, addiction education, and aftercare support.
If you are ready to begin your journey to sobriety, contact the admissions team at Cal Recovery today to learn more about medically assisted detox and our addiction treatment programs.