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What Is Drug & Alcohol Detox



Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

When people become physically addicted to alcohol or drugs, their body will adapt to this situation. These substances are toxic, but the human body had a wonderful ability to adapt even to adverse conditions. The individual will still suffer harm because of the substance abuse over time, but the body will find a way to function as best it can. This adaptation means, though, that when the individual stops using alcohol or drugs the body will have to readapt to the new conditions. It is this readapting to life without the toxic chemicals that is the cause of most of the withdrawal symptoms.

The symptoms that the individual will experience during the withdrawal process can vary a great deal. For most people they will not be any worse than mild flu symptoms. The thing that makes them so hard to deal with is the knowing that they can be ended at any time by using alcohol or drugs again. It is this nagging temptation that can be the real source of discomfort during detox.

There are also some individuals who will be at risk of a severe type of withdrawal known as delirium tremens (DTs). Usually only heavy and long-term users of alcohol and barbiturates are at risk of this. If the person enters DTs, they can begin to experience some very serious symptoms such as convulsions. People can die as a result of the delirium tremens, so it is vital that anyone who is at risk of developing this extreme form of withdrawals is closely mentored. In such a situation, the person needs to be medically supervised in rehab or in another type of detox.

The Need for a Drug & Alcohol Detox

Most substance abusers will have had experience of making it through withdrawals without any assistance. There are good reasons for why they would choose a drug and alcohol detox for this including:

  • If there is any risk that the person could enter DTs, they will need to be medically supervised through the detox process.
  • The time when people are most likely to relapse during an attempt to end the addiction will be during detox stage. There is just too much temptation to end the discomfort. By entering rehab, the individual will be supported, and thus far more likely to see the detox through.
  • Many of the discomforts and symptoms associated with withdrawals can be eased when the person is in rehab. There will be pharmaceutical agents and other treatments available to increase the person’s comfort levels.
  • By going through detox in rehab, the individual will be able to begin a recovery programme right away. There is a great deal of progress they will be able to make, even though they are still in the detox stage. This means that the length of time that they need to spend in rehab may be shortened.

When you contact us, we will be able to go over some of the other reasons for why a rehab detox might be a good option in your particular case.

How to Make It through Drug & Alcohol Detox

Here are a few tips that should make drug and alcohol detox a bit easier:

  • The mental attitude that the person has when they start the withdrawal process will have a huge influence on how they experience the symptoms. If the person is in any way resistant to recovery, they will exaggerate these symptoms – this will happen unconsciously as well as consciously. The individual will not have the motivation to just get on with things, and will spend too much time dwelling on the negative aspects of detox.
  • The fact that the person knows that relapse is not an option takes the sting out of the detox process. The 100% commitment means that the individual will be less vulnerable to the cravings and negative thoughts that want them to just give in. When the person starts to think how they could get rid of their symptoms by relapsing – they will be able to nip that line of thinking in the bud.
  • One way to ease the discomforts associated with detox is to use distraction. This can involve things like talking to other people or engaging in activities. One of the reasons for why it can be so helpful to begin the treatment programme in the detox stage is that it will act as a good distraction.
  • It is important to keep in mind that the detox symptoms will soon pass – the worst of them will be gone in a few days. The individual is likely to have survived many bouts of the flu over their life, and this is unlikely to be any worse than that.
  • One of the best resources for making it through detox in rehab will be the other clients. These people are on a similar path, and they will be experiencing many of the same things. One way to deal with these symptoms is by humour, but there can also be a sense that each of the clients is there to support their other. This sense of overcoming addiction as part of a community can really make all the difference.

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