Many individual’s fear the detox process is going to be painful or unbearable. This can stall them from getting the help that they urgently need. Detoxes can be unpleasant, but are also a necessary part of stopping the cycle of active addiction. A detox is needed before psychological measures can be of maximum benefit.
The doctor that assesses you at the rehab clinic, and the addiction rehab clinics staff, will do all they can to make the detox period as comfortable as possible. It is not in anyone’s interest for you to suffer unnecessarily. Based on the medications and the information you present to the clinics doctor, a detox plan will be written up for you. In all cases a substitute medication is prescribed, so that the alcohol or drug can immediately be removed from the person’s system. There are a few exceptions to this with some prescribed drugs, as a suitable replacement may not be available. In cases such as this, a reduction plan will be written up by the doctor to help safely wean you off the drug
How Long does a Detox Take?
The length of a detox is dependent on a number of factors, such as:
- Your age and general health
- The length of time you have been addicted
- Other medications that you may have to continue to take for health reasons
- Your mental state of health
- The type of substance you are addicted to
For example, benzodiazepines and certain medications need to be withdrawn from the body more slowly in order to avoid complications or health risks.
Once the detox regime has been written up by the addiction rehab clinic’s Doctor, a member of staff at the clinic who is qualified to distribute medications will be responsible for administering your detox. They will watch you closely along with other members of staff for any signs that your detox may need to be reviewed by the doctor. Your safety will be paramount at all times. You will also be encouraged to eat healthily and take regular rest periods, and not to engage in any physical activities whilst undergoing the detox.
Regular urine tests and sputum tests will also be carried out by the clinics staff to ensure you are adhering to the detox plan and not taking anything additional that they have not preapproved.
What to Expect whilst Detoxing
It may be helpful to you to know what to expect whilst detoxing, withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person so it is difficult to give a definitive list. Symptoms also differ depending on the substance being withdrawn. Some individuals may experience no withdrawal symptoms at all, whilst others do in varying degrees of severity, so it is difficult to advise exactly what to expect whilst detoxing, but you may experience any of the following symptoms:
Sweating, shaking, sleepiness, insomnia, restlessness, agitation, nausea, anxiety, seizures, headache, upset stomach, stomach cramps, muscle cramps, muscle stiffness and soreness, lethargy, hyperactivity, confusion, memory loss, poor concentration, exaggerated emotions, panic, aggression, sneezing, runny or blocked nose, blurred vision.
Please do NOT be alarmed by this list, as you may not experience any symptoms at all, and any symptoms you do experience whilst detoxing will be carefully monitored by the staff at the clinic.
Detoxing in an addiction rehab clinic, using a medically assisted detox plan, is the safest way to detox.
The important thing to remember whilst detoxing, is that any uncomfortable symptoms will pass, and if engaging in a full rehabilitation program, you will be given the tools to show you how to avoid relapsing and going through the whole process again. Try to view your detox as a temporary state, which is the first major step to becoming free of your addiction and a brand new and happier way of life.