Detox is a term that all addicts have probably heard of, and may or may not know what it is. Detox is basically a medically supervised form of withdrawal, meaning this is the time you withdraw from your drug of choice. You need to realize that it does not matter what you are addicted to, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or even alcohol, you will go through a detox period with any drug because you are physically addicted to it. You may consider detox to be one of the most difficult parts of your addiction treatment plans, and you could be correct as withdrawal can be uncomfortable to say the least. However, if you were to go through a medically supervised withdrawal at a treatment center, some of your discomfort could be alleviated, if only by the mere fact that you are surrounded by a staff who knows how to help you.

Still, you cannot start a detoxification program without being willing to seek help. Any form of treatment begins with you. It does not matter who you are, where you are from, what you are addicted too, or how long you have been addicted. If you ever hope to achieve sobriety, you must take the first step and enroll in a detoxification program.

Detox Is The First Treatment

You, as an addict, need to realize that detox is unavoidable when you are seeking to obtain sobriety. Through preparing your self now, you will be better equipped to handle the detoxification process. Any treatment center that does not offer detox as the first step in your treatment plan is not an effective center. How can you expect to heal your mental addiction if you are still physically craving the drug. It is nearly impossible to focus on anything else when your body is screaming for your drug of choice and this is why detox is one of the first treatments you will encounter when you enroll in a treatment center.

However, detoxification is not the only treatment you will go through. Addiction is a complex disease, in that it affects your entire being or, simply put, your mind and body. Once you are no longer physically craving your drug, you will begin to heal your mental addiction. It is possible to still crave your drug of choice in your mind, even when you are no longer physically dependent on it. In fact, healing all aspects of your addiction depends on both detox and other treatment programs. You have to be willing, mentally, to accept help, then you have to physically withdraw from the drug, and then you will have to heal mentally.

What to Expect During Detoxification

Knowledge plays an important role in your recovery process and you knowledge can start with knowing what to expect during detox. Knowledge of your addiction and its treatments helps you to gain control over you addiction from the moment you desire sobriety. You may have heard that withdrawal can be very painful, and this may be true depending on what drug you are addicted too. However, in a proper treatment center, many of the uncomfortable feelings you will experience during detox can be lessened somewhat. However, you still need to be informed as to what you may experience, as when you are mentally prepared for what your body is going to experience, it can be less traumatic.

Generally, any type of detox you go through will provoke an array of symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can include, but are not limited to, nausea, night sweats, anxiety, depression, the chills, the shakes, and insomnia. However, these detox symptoms can be worse, especially if you were addicted to opiates, such as heroin, methamphetamines, and certain prescription painkillers. These drugs generally require a medically supervised detox, as more serious withdrawal symptoms, which can affect your heart and breathing, can occur.

After Detoxification

As you have learned already, detox is only the first step in your treatment plan. You will still have to participate in many other forms of addiction treatment programs if you hope to achieve lasting sobriety. The reason for this is because drug and/or alcohol addiction does not only affect your body, but your mind as well. Once you heal your body from its physical cravings, you can begin to focus on the more intensive parts of treatments, which is facing the reality of your addiction. Facing the reality refers to when you have to search with in yourself, with the guidance of a counselor, therapists, or even fellow patients to discover why you turned to drugs in the first place.

This part of treatment also involves realizing the pain you have put your loved ones through. Some may even state that healing your mental addictions can be even more difficult than going through detox, as you do not have the drugs and alcohol to hide from emotional issues any longer. However, these programs, such as the 12-step program, individual, group, and family counseling, relapse prevention, life coaches, etc. play just as an important role as detox does in helping you to achieve lasting sobriety. If you do not deal with the underlying issues of your addiction, you may fall back into old habits once you leave the treatment center.

Aftercare Following Detox

Effective treatment centers will start you in a detox program and then give you the tools needed to heal the remainder of your addiction. However, what you may not realize is that you need aftercare programs just as much as you need detox programs. Aftercare programs are what will give you continued support after you have successfully completed a treatment program. Aftercare programs are what will keep you on the path to staying sober. Without aftercare, you may fall back into temptation, because you did not have the support you needed to resist it. Even if you have been through the stress of detox, and then managed to successfully complete a treatment program, alcohol and drug addiction can haunt you for the rest of your life; hence, this is why aftercare programs are so important.

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