What is Detox? 8 Things You Need to Know

There are over 14,000 drug and alcohol treatment centers helping people across America. But before you can enter the treatment stage, you need to remove the substance from your system. The first step to overcoming a drug or alcohol use disorder is detoxifying.

Are you wondering: what is detox, and how can it help me? Keep reading because we have the answers right here.

What Is Detox?

Detox is the first step of the recovery process because it removes the drugs or alcohol from your system. Detoxing can be overwhelming to attempt alone, so medically-assisted detox is the best way to begin. Patients usually stay in the detox phase for a week or two until withdrawal symptoms subside.

Once the detox phase is complete, people enter an inpatient or outpatient rehab. You can find more information about the difference between rehab and detox at Hope Rising!

Types of Detox Centers

There are three basic types of detox treatments to choose from. The decision often depends on the severity of your substance use disorder and how much supervision you’ll need.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is performed in a clinical setting and is the most common type. A team of medical professionals supervises the entire detox process and keeps the patient safe. They also provide medication to reduce symptoms.

Inpatient Detox

This type of treatment combines detox and an inpatient program. Your detox will be supervised by professionals, but medication may or may not be given. Once detoxed, you’ll enter the inpatient treatment program right away.

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox is the least supervised option and has the lowest chance of success. But people with busy lives who can’t commit to two weeks might find this solution helpful. Patients visit the detox facility every day but aren’t monitored 24 hours a day.

Detox FAQs

Before entering a detox facility, it’s a good idea to understand everything it entails. Detox and rehabilitation can be a scary and overwhelming process. But knowing the details can ease those nervous feelings.

  1. How Long Does It Take?

Detox typically takes one to two weeks, depending on the severity of the disorder. It’s often followed by a three, six, or nine-month rehabilitation program. Many people choose to pursue recovery programs for years after leaving the center.

  1. What’s the Detox Process Like?

The process starts with complete mental and physical evaluations by your medical team. They’ll take blood tests and conduct interviews to determine what level of care you need. Once you’re admitted, the stabilization process begins.

Patients stay in a medical facility during the detox phase and undergo daily testing. Medication can be requested to reduce discomfort or pain throughout the day. You might also begin to create your treatment plan and establish goals with your team.

  1. Are There Any Side Effects From Detoxing?

Detoxing does come with withdrawal symptoms. These side effects are most intense during the first three or four days and taper off by the end of the first week. Most people experience mild symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • Mood swings
  • Shakiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Nightmares

Some people experience severe symptoms like seizures and hallucinations. These symptoms can pose a threat to your health, so medical supervision is vital!

  1. Why Shouldn’t I Try to Detox Alone?

Going cold turkey might sound like a good plan, but it can land you into a lot of trouble! Withdrawal symptoms can be impossible to deal with alone, even mild ones. Many people give in to the addiction because they can’t handle the side effects.

And although only 3% to 5% of people experience severe withdrawal symptoms, the dangers are there. You’ll have no idea how severe your symptoms will be, so it’s better to leave it up to the professionals.

  1. What Are the Benefits of a Detox Center?

The number one benefit of a detox center is safety. You’ll be safe from triggers and outside influences, so using the substance will be impossible. You’ll also stay safe from possible withdrawal complications.

Other benefits include medication to lessen the effects and a team of experts to guide you. There are other crucial factors that people often fail to consider, such as nutrition, water intake, and vitamins. Your detox team will ensure you’re well cared for!

  1. Should I Go to an Alcohol Detox Center?

The symptoms of alcohol use disorder (AUD) vary for everyone but typically include:

  • Inability to limit alcohol intake
  • Building a tolerance to alcohol
  • Attempting to quit and failing
  • Spending too much time and money on alcohol
  • Giving up hobbies, relationships, and career plans
  • Continuing to drink when it causes problems

If you’re experiencing these signs of addiction, contact a detox center or your doctor. They can help you choose the right program to get clean.

  1. Should I Go to a Drug Detox Center?

The signs of substance use disorder (SUD) can depend on the drug your using and the severity of the addiction. Some common symptoms include:

  • Sudden weight changes
  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Slurred speech, runny nose, body odor
  • Paranoia, anxiety, or fear
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Lack of motivation and energy
  • Increased anger
  • Suspicious or risky behavior
  • Relationship and career problems

If your life revolves around drug use and quitting seems impossible, you may have an addiction. Using drugs despite negative consequences can lead to physical and mental problems. Getting help as soon as possible is essential!

  1. Where Can I Get More Information?

Struggling with addiction can seem isolating and overwhelming, but help is available! Start by contacting a professional like:

  • Your doctor
  • Addiction treatment center
  • Detox center
  • A hospital or clinic
  • An addiction hotline

If this is too much for you, consider confiding in a close friend or relative. They might be able to help you coordinate a treatment plan!

Alcohol or Drug Detox Center Is the First Step

Deciding to cut drugs or alcohol out of your life is a huge step! The best way to ensure success is by attending a detox center before starting your inpatient or outpatient treatment. Recovery is possible with hard work, a treatment plan, and a great support system!

Now that you know what is detox, it’s time to learn more! Check out some of our other helpful guides, articles, and tips.