Drug detox is a tricky topic surrounded with various myths and vagueness. At the same time, it is too important and actual nowadays to stay uninformed if one wants to successfully beat addiction.
As detox is a process of cleaning one’s body of toxic substances, its primary goal is to help the body to rehabilitate itself and get used to living without regular consumption of drugs of any kind. Therefore the results of detox are the following.
- Having withdrawal symptoms
Different drugs vary in kinds of symptoms one experiences during withdrawal period, but this is what always comes with cleanness. Not a pleasant thing to know, but a vital one. These symptoms may include nausea, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety or depression, insomnia, restlessness, etc. Heroin and prescription drugs normally cause 24-48 hours long withdrawal with flu-like symptoms, from three to ten days for alcohol, from seven to ten days for cocaine, and from a few weeks to a long few months for benzodiazepines. Therefore drug detox is safer and more effective when done on an inpatient care programs. However, if one doesn’t have such an option it is better to try undertake outpatient detox with moral support of people available than to continue on one’s addiction.
- Being ready for treatment
After detox has been overcome, actual treatment takes place. Addiction, being itself a psychological issue in its core, is properly treated with various kinds of psychotherapy. It may be counseling, private, family or group therapy, self-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA), 12-step programs or any mix of the aforementioned that appears to be the most beneficial for a particular individual.
- Getting an opportunity to enjoy healthy life and restore one’s position in society
A successful detox followed by proper treatment significantly influences chances of a person to stay away from drugs for long-term periods. And this seems to be quite a worthy result to strive for.
However, there is a certain number of mistakes that can nullify the effect of detox and make one’s addiction a vicious circle with no visible way out. Here is what one should not do to ensure good detox results and obtain a chance to get to a new level.
- Interrupt treatment earlier than necessary
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it is crucial to remain in a treatment program for as long period as necessary. Though the duration of this period is different for every individual, the research has shown that normally it takes no less than three months to gain ability to considerably reduce or stop drug abuse.
- Try self-medication with prescription drugs to ease detox
Professionally supervised drug detox is very often followed by giving a patient prescription medicine to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Trying to facilitate it without a specialist advice and surveillance may cost a lot to one’s health, including risks of getting oneself into fatal drug-related conditions.
- Go all the way on one’s own
Detox itself may be quite a lengthy period that gives a person a lot to go through within this time, leave alone the whole process of treatment to be able to get to remission. The risk of relapse is quite high in almost every case, therefore attempting to make it without any help is definitely not an option. There are numerous options for people who have decided to quit drug abuse. Regardless of their financial conditions, social status, professional record etc., anyone can try getting help to get rid of addiction. Such a state is really the one where support of others must be considered and asked for.
- Consider relapse a failure
NIDA states that there are plenty of cases when patients who have relapsed assume their treatment itself was a failure. Nevertheless, this assumption is completely wrong. The relapse is nothing other but the signal that the patient’s individual treatment plan doesn’t meet their needs effectively and must be revised.
Pregnant women cannot get detoxification from opiates, because it may lead to high risk of miscarriage of premature birth! In order to get treatment for their addiction, they must visit a specialist and undergo alternative therapy with methadone as a substitute of drugs they have previously consumed. Those expecting a child must not try any detox measures themselves, out of professional guidance, control and supervision.
To conclude, there’s a short list of Myths vs. Facts that one should know to get proper understanding of what drug detox is.
- Myth: Drug detox is enough to get rid of addiction. Once you are clean, you are nor an addict anymore.
Fact: Detox is only a first step of a complex and lengthy treatment program that must be finished if one really wants to become a healthy person.
- Myth: A person has to hit the bottom to realize their addiction and want treatment.
Fact: Actually, one is perfectly able to understand the need of help as their social connections and financial conditions are worsening. And there is no need for someone wishing to help an addict to wait until the person crosses a line. The earlier treatment starts, the better. And there is nothing wrong with helping a close one to get into detox programs.
- Myth: It is impossible and pointless to make someone undergo drug detox and treatment, as it won’t work as long as the person in question doesn’t want it themselves.
Fact: Numerous cases prove that people forced into treatment can successfully go through the process. Criminals, military people, employees of some companies who have entered detox programs on the wish of respective companies or state systems have ended those with the same good results as people who have chosen it.
Considering drug detox may be hard itself, as it goes together with recognizing that one has an addiction and fear of withdrawal symptoms that occur during detox process, as well as fear of relapse. Therefore such a decision, if made, is an indicator of a person’s strength and determination that should not be left without respond and help in overcoming drug abuse habit.