• Staff Writer

How Do I Know If I Need Detox?

Updated: Feb 2

Deciding whether or not you need detox is not something to enter into lightly. Detox is often the first step in the recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. However, it is not always medically necessary. Detox is not the right decision for everyone. There are a lot of factors involved in whether you need detox or not.

What Is Detox?

Detox regarding substance abuse recovery is medically supervised withdrawal. During this process, the body experiences symptoms as a result of the body cleansing itself from drugs or alcohol. Without the assistance of medication and healthcare professionals, withdrawal can come with a slew of unpleasant, painful, and even life-threatening side effects.

After long-term use of drugs or alcohol, the body reacts to the lack of that substance through symptoms like anxiety, vomiting, and even seizures or hallucinations. The exact symptoms will vary depending on the substance used, how long it was used, how often the substance was used, and how much was taken with each use.

Who Is Detox For?

Whether or not an individual needs detox depends on the presence of withdrawal symptoms. While physical dependence is a sign of a substance use disorder, it does not need to be present for someone to be suffering from addiction.

A telltale sign an individual needs detox is the presence of withdrawal symptoms. If they choose to stop using drugs or alcohol and experience uncomfortable symptoms as a result, it is most often a sign that detox is needed.

However, specific drugs may not create severe withdrawal symptoms, even if physical dependence is present. For example, marijuana can produce withdrawal symptoms such as diminished appetite and headaches. While these may be uncomfortable, a doctor may recommend an outpatient detox.

With that, deciding whether or not you need detox should be a decision between you and a medical professional. Everyone who enters a treatment facility should have a clinical assessment to determine what is best for them. At-home detox is not recommended and comes with an abundance of health risks. It is always best to seek out the help of medical professionals if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms or are considering detox.

What to Expect From Detox

Detox is the safest way to withdraw from drugs or alcohol. It manages symptoms, is medically supervised, and begins your journey of recovery. Not all detox facilities use medications, but these medications keep the patient or client comfortable while their body withdraws.

The detox process can take anywhere from days to a week, depending on the level of dependence, type of substance, and the individual. Detox will last until no more drugs are present in the client's system and they are medically stable to enter treatment.

For those who are not physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, there is also social detox. This treatment method offers social support and guidance for those who don't require management for physical withdrawal symptoms.

It is essential to understand that detox is not treatment. Going through detox without further treatment rarely helps anyone remain in recovery. Detox is just the first step towards treatment. It requires follow-up and further treatment to be successful.

The Difference Between Treatment And Detox

Detox most often takes place in a hospital or medical ward of a treatment facility. Treatment follows detox to ensure quality treatment for addiction. Detox itself is not a valid or useful way to recover from substance use disorder.

Treatment usually involves intense therapy, group counseling, guidance, and support required for long-term recovery. Treatment can be inpatient or outpatient. Although treatment is different for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing from addiction, any form of treatment increases your odds of a longer, successful recovery.

Detox addresses the physical symptoms of addiction but has little to no effect on the emotional and mental aspects. If you think you might need detox, reach out to a medical professional for guidance, even if you're unsure. Deciding to take that first step in your recovery is a big deal. It will not be easy but is often an essential part of the rest of your treatment. Rehab and continued treatment are the only proven methods for long-term sobriety.

Without the follow-up to detox, most people relapse within the first few weeks of getting sober. Don't let your detox go to waste. If detox is right for you, be sure to continue your treatment through all the means at your disposal.

Entering treatment after detox helps you develop ways to manage your addiction and take care of yourself without the use of substances. Learning how to maintain peace and confidence in yourself is a crucial part of rehab. It is what inspires you to have hope in yourself and your future.

Entering detox is not always necessary, but it is always best to involve a medical professional in that decision if you are considering it. Without supervision, detox is often dangerous and can be fatal. Seeking help to rid your body of drugs or alcohol is the first step towards the rest of your life in recovery. Even if you don't require physical detox for drug or alcohol dependence, consider social detox to help you get through the emotional and mental parts of withdrawal. Having this added support through the first few days or weeks of recovery can help you ease into treatment and feel more at peace with your decision and all that is to come next. Here at California Care Detox and Treatment, we go above and beyond to ensure you are comfortable through every step of detox, treatment, and follow-up care. Reach out to us today for more information about detox and recovery by calling (949) 281-0632.

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