The Importance of Detox for Substance Abuse
Substance abuse can expose a person to a wide range of dangers, from temporary problems to long-term and potentially irreversible negative outcomes. When a person’s substance abuse develops into an addiction, the potential for serious harm can increase significantly. Also referred to as chemical dependency and substance use disorders, addiction can be characterized by several criteria, including a loss of control over the amount and frequency of one’s substance abuse and an inability to stop engaging in substance abuse without experiencing distressing symptoms of withdrawal.
When a person becomes addicted to alcohol or other drugs, his or her body will adapt to the presence of the substance that he or she has been abusing. When the individual attempts to stop abusing this substance, or when he or she is incapable of acquiring the drug, his or her body will experience withdrawal symptoms and react in a manner that can range from unpleasant to dangerous. Depending upon the nature and severity of a person’s addiction, the withdrawal symptoms that he or she may experience can include intense drug cravings, nausea, muscle and bone pain, abdominal cramping, agitation, anxiety, and depression.
The pain of withdrawal can defeat even the most earnest efforts to stop using a substance upon which a person has become dependent. In some cases, even the fear of withdrawal can cause a person to resist the idea of trying to overcome an addiction. Making matters potentially much worse, when an attempt to stop abusing alcohol or another drug is derailed by withdrawal symptoms, that failure can plunge an individual even deeper into the depths of substance abuse.
Of course, stopping one’s substance abuse is a necessary prerequisite to fully engaging in the therapy that can empower an individual to achieve long-term sobriety. The good news is that programs exist to help and support individuals during the process of ridding their bodies of substances of abuse. Detoxification, or detox, is a medically monitored process through which a person can get through the withdrawal process with minimum discomfort and maximum safety.
Benefits of Detox
As indicated in the previous section, detoxification can be an essential step for many people who have been struggling to overcome a substance use disorder. When a person chooses to participate in detox, he or she may receive many benefits that will significantly improve his or her chances of successfully overcoming an addiction to alcohol or other drugs. Participating in medically monitored detox at a reputable comprehensive treatment center offers many benefits, including the following:
- Detox occurs in a safe environment in which participants are monitored by trained and experienced professionals.
- A person’s detox experience may include certain prescription medications that can reduce discomfort and lessen health risks.
- The absence of substances of abuse in the detox environment will eliminate the risk that the individual will relapse into their addiction as a means of ending any discomfort.
- Professionals and others who are also completing detox can be sources of both therapeutic and moral support throughout the process.
- Some programs allow individuals to begin to participate in group or individual therapy while still in detox, which can accelerate the healing process.
- Upon completion of detox, the individual can transfer directly into an inpatient, residential, or other type of program, which ensures continuity of care and supports continued recovery.
Among the many barriers that prevent individuals from overcoming addiction, withdrawal is both formidable and treatable. With proper care through a reputable detoxification program, the experience of ridding one’s body of the substance or substances upon which one has become addicted can be far less distressing and much safer than many people realize. But the benefit of detox is not limited to the physical improvement of being substance-free. In addition to helping people eliminate destructive substances from their bodies, a successful detox experience can also be a source of improved confidence and enhanced self-esteem, two characteristics that can be invaluable as a person participates in therapy and progresses through the early stages of recovery. Just as a failed attempt at withdrawal can complicate future attempts to end one’s substance abuse, so too can a successful experience boost a person’s resolve and increase his or her odds of achieving long-term sobriety.
At Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab, we understand the challenges that are associated with finally deciding to get help for a substance use disorder, and we honor the strength and courage of every person who makes this choice. When a person chooses to complete detox at Duffy’s, he or she will work with experienced professionals who are committed to upholding the highest clinical standards while providing care in a compassionate, dignified, and respectful manner. At Duffy’s we know what you are going through, and we are dedicated to making your recovery process as smooth and successful as possible, from detox through continuing care. For more information about how we are uniquely prepared to help you or your loved one achieve a healthier life free from the constraints and limitations of substance abuse, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.