The Importance of Detox for Addiction
Once a person has become addicted to a substance, it can feel impossible to overcome the need to use it. For one, the person often feels compulsively drawn to his or her drug of choice. The pleasurable feelings that come from abuse of the drug can pull the person back into using again and again as he or she seeks a high.
However, as a person continues to abuse substances, his or her body acclimates to the drugs. As a result, he or she needs more of the substance in order to experience the high that he or she is seeking. At this point, the individual’s body has become reliant on the substance and will struggle to function without it. Some mental health professionals refer to this reliance as dependence, though that word is beginning to be used less frequently. The clinical term used to describe dependence or addiction is substance use disorder.
Because at this point the individual cannot function effectively without a certain amount of the drug in his or her system, that person will experience significant uncomfortable and painful symptoms if he or she attempts to abstain from further use. They are a result of the body experiencing shock as it attempts to readjust to operating without the presence of the drug.
These symptoms, known as withdrawal, vary depending on the length and extent of an individual’s substance abuse. Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms mirror the effects of the drug a person was using. For example, the effects of stimulant abuse include excess energy and appetite suppression, and the symptoms of stimulant withdrawal can include fatigue and increased appetite. Unfortunately, the fastest way to relieve withdrawal symptoms is to take more of a person’s drug of choice. As a result, withdrawal can be one of the most significant barriers to sobriety in the early stages of recovery.
Because of the intense compulsion to use and the extremely painful symptoms of withdrawal, many people are unable to successfully withdraw from substances without professional assistance. For these individuals, a detoxification, or detox, program may be what they need.
Benefits of Detox
Detox is a type of treatment that allows a person to go through the withdrawal process while remaining under the supervision of a dedicated treatment team in a controlled setting. For people who are trying to overcome an addiction, detox is often the first step. Because withdrawal symptoms and the desire to abuse their drug of choice can be so intense, they need the help of a detox program in order to successfully withdraw. In addition to providing the best possible chance of withdrawing successfully from substances, some advantages of detox programs include:
- Being placed in a safe environment
- Care from an experienced medical team who can track the individual’s progress through withdrawal and monitor his or her heart rate, pulse, and other vital signs
- Receiving medications, dispensed by the medical team, that can alleviate withdrawal symptoms
- No ability to relapse since the person will not have access to his or her drug of choice
- Psychological and emotional support during detox
- Smooth transition into residential care after detox without a gap in treatment
Should a person not receive detox services, he or she runs the continued risk of career interruption, financial distress, relational conflict, social isolation, organ damage, and even a potentially fatal overdose. Because of the hold that it has over individuals’ lives, an addiction is likely to continue unless a person seeks professional help.
Fortunately, it is possible to find treatment that can enable someone to reclaim his or her life from substance abuse. With the top-notch care provided at Sober Living by the Sea, each man or woman who comes to us for care has the best possible chance of recovering from addiction. To learn more about our range of high-quality treatment programs, contact us at your earliest convenience. Our admissions team is ready to answer any questions that you may have so that you or someone you love can get the treatment that can bring about a brighter tomorrow.