Drug and Alcohol Detox: A Vital First Step to Addiction Recovery

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Drug and Alcohol Detox: A Vital First Step to Addiction Recovery

Detox is a topic and a term that is often misunderstood. Drug and alcohol detox is the first step in the recovery journey where the body’s dependence on the substance is eliminated and withdrawal symptoms are managed. Detox centers in Orange County and all over the country are providing detoxification services to drug- and alcohol-dependent individuals, allowing them to break free of the strong grip of addictive substances.

What Is Detox Exactly?

Over time, our bodies adjust to medications and illicit drugs such that the sudden stopping of the regular dose can be life-threatening. Allowing these toxic substances to leave the body and readjusting to a normal chemical balance takes time.

Supporting physical and mental well-being is the goal of detoxification programs. Sometimes this means using short-term medication to wean off gradually. The choice to go this route or the faster “cold turkey” method should be based on the individual’s unique medical and psychological needs.

Who Can Benefit from Detox?

Some addictive substances have dangerous withdrawal symptoms, and medical supervision or treatment is strongly recommended during this time. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Heroin
  • Opioids such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet
  • Benzodiazepines like Ativan, Valium, and Xanax
  • Stimulants including cocaine, methamphetamine, Adderall, and Ritalin


The Dangers of Detoxing Alone

Managing the serious impacts of drug dependence on the mind and body is challenging. If you or a loved one chooses to go through alcohol detox or other drug withdrawal without medical supervision, you should understand what symptoms may arise.

The following are expected, uncommon, and rare symptoms of drug withdrawal.

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive distress
  • Headaches, nerve and muscle pain, and muscle spasms
  • Irritability, agitation, and disorientation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Strong drug cravings which may be difficult or impossible to control
  • In extreme cases, seizure or coma is possible


What Are the Steps of Detox and How Long Does It Take?

A medically managed detoxification program usually takes a few days to a few weeks. It involves three basic steps which provide the most successful long-term recovery.

  • Evaluation involves getting to know the patient’s history and running tests to determine their current physical condition as the first step to treatment.
  • Stabilization is the next step, which leads the patient through the process of detox. Medications might be used to manage symptoms. Family and friends may be engaged to rebuild support systems.
  • Transition to treatment is the last phase of detox. Treatment will have addressed the body’s dependency, but healing the whole person requires going further to create positive living strategies which prevent relapse. A residential treatment program may be the next step.


Guidance and Support Is Waiting

hiker thinking of drug detox possibilities

Don’t let fear of detox prevent you from breaking free from addiction. There are many options for drug rehab Orange County residents can choose from. At Yellowstone Recovery, we are ready to help you start your sober life today, with affordable programs and participating insurance coverage.

Even without insurance, we strive to make sure this critical help is available to you or your loved one. We believe everyone should have access to effective, intensive, and supportive substance abuse treatments. Call us today to find out how!

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