Drug detox is the process of removing all traces of addictive substances from the body. If you happen to have a substance addiction, and you’re going through rehab, detox is typically the first step you need to take. It lets you dial down on your drug use, and eventually, you will be able to live with taking zero drugs.
Drug detox is highly effective in eliminating drugs from your body. Also, it helps a lot in dealing with nasty withdrawal symptoms that show up during the process.
Why is drug detox necessary?
When you have an addiction to drugs, your body has a large amount of drug molecules inside. These molecules alter your brain chemistry, producing waves of pleasurable feelings each time you take drugs. By the time you become addicted, your body has become used to feeling those effects on a regular basis. Your body then continuously seeks those pleasurable feelings, leading you to take drugs constantly.
As long as those drug molecules are inside your body, they will influence you to keep taking more and more. To overcome the addiction, you first need to get rid of those drug molecules from your body.
That is exactly what drug detox helps you achieve – removing those addictive substances from your system.
How is drug detox done?
Detoxing aims to flush out drug molecules from your body. This is usually done through a method known as “tapering off.” Here, you would be taking less and less of the substance you’re addicted to. Each day, you would take a smaller dose, and after a few days, your dose will be zero. The process may take a week or more, depending on the severity of your addiction.
You may also be given certain medications to counteract any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
What are withdrawal symptoms?
When you try to quit drugs, your brain and body will be “shocked” that the drugs are suddenly absent. The body will then try to adjust to the abrupt change, and the adjustment can turn unpleasant. You may feel things like restlessness, anxiety, itching, difficulty sleeping, and many others. Other times, the symptoms may be life-threatening, such as breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, and convulsions.
Once the symptoms become so unbearable, you will have a stronger urge to take drugs again.
Drug detox also aims to address these withdrawal symptoms. Medical professionals will be there to assist you in case of any discomfort. Also, you will be prescribed medications, if needed, to combat the withdrawal symptoms.
What makes drug detox effective?
The process is managed and closely monitored by medical professionals. This is an aspect of drug detox that makes it successful.
Particularly, when you suffer from addiction to drugs that have serious withdrawal symptoms, drug detox is the best way to help you quit your drug habits. At any time that you feel discomfort, pain, or anything out of the ordinary, you can call for help. Medical professionals will immediately assist you. With them always at the ready, the detox process is made as safe and painless as possible.
What will I feel after drug detox?
After detox is over, you may no longer feel the urge to take drugs. However, the effects of addiction on your mental health may still remain. To address these, you will go through several different psychological therapies as part of your rehab program.
These therapies will educate you on what caused your addiction, what triggers your drug cravings, and what emotions make you vulnerable to drug use. Once you’re aware of these, you can actively avoid these situations. Other therapies will also equip you with better coping strategies for stress and negative emotions. This way, you won’t have to resort to drugs to deal with those upsetting feelings.
Is it possible to do drug detox at home?
The cost and commitment of time needed for drug detox may be serious concerns for you. With that, you may consider just detoxing at home. Often, at-home methods involve quitting drugs “cold turkey.” But this is not advisable, and it could even put your life in danger.
Some drugs, like opioids, have fatal withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to quit cold turkey. Without medical supervision, detoxing at home is highly dangerous, so it’s not a good idea.
You could do home detox safely, though, if your doctor has confirmed that it’s safe to do so. Often, this can only be done if your case is very mild and you don’t have any signs of dependence on drugs. Also, your doctor must have previously determined that your risk for developing serious withdrawal symptoms is very low.
These circumstances are rare, though, so do not assume that you can do detox at home. Consult with a medical professional first.
Do drug detox kits work?
You may have heard of “detox kits” sold on the market. Purportedly, they help you remove all traces of drugs, and you can use them even from home. These kits usually come in the form of pills or drinks.
Detox kits are legal, but they are not regulated very well. With that, you cannot be sure of the quality of each kit.
Also, drug detox kits have a dubious purpose – to cheat drug tests. The kits just make it look like there is not much drugs in your body. They do not really detoxify your system in the real sense. They don’t help you manage withdrawal symptoms like medically-assisted detox does. The worst part is these kits do not help you end your dependence on addictive substances.
How do I find a reputable drug detox center?
Detox is usually the first part of any drug rehab program. Get in touch with your local rehab center to find out the best program for your case.
The best drug detox methods are supervised by medical professionals. They will closely monitor your progress throughout all of your detox sessions. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, you can ask them for help. They will make the detox process as comfortable as possible for you.