Detoxing is perhaps the most important part of recovery because you have to go through it to even get started. If you’ve struggled with addiction for a while, the prospect of detox can be intimidating. Fear of withdrawal keeps many people trapped in addiction and it’s understandable to be anxious going into it. However, the more you know, the less you will be afraid, and the safer you will be. Here are some things you should know about detox.
Every substance is different
Every substance has a different withdrawal symptoms and a different timeline for withdrawal. Being dependent on several substances at once further complicates this. Typically, the withdrawal symptoms are the opposite of what the drug does. So alcohol or benzodiazepines calm you down, but withdrawing from those drugs makes you anxious and agitated. Cocaine hypes you up and gives you energy, but withdrawing makes you depressed and unable to concentrate. The timeline is different too, sometimes radically different. Detoxing from heroin may take a week or so, but tapering off benzodiazepines may take months to do safely. Most drugs take a week or two for acute withdrawal, but the course of symptoms may be different.
Every person is different
In addition to differences in substances, everyone experiences detox a little differently. Just as some people are more sensitive to pain in general, some people will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Some people only experience a little irritability or insomnia, while others may have seizures and vomiting. Typically, younger people have milder symptoms, but there’s no guarantee.
The worst symptoms may be delayed
Some people get through a couple days of detox and think it won’t be that bad, only to get hit with the worst symptoms around day three. This is mainly a problem if you’re detoxing at home. You may suddenly become extremely disoriented or unable to function, making it hard to get emergency help. This can put you in danger. It’s better to have someone looking out for you while you detox.
Detox can be dangerous
While detoxing from some substances such as opioids or cocaine is extremely unpleasant, it’s not particularly dangerous. Some drugs do have dangerous withdrawal symptoms though. Alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates can have withdrawal that includes seizures, psychosis, or death. Any detox should be undertaken only with medical advice. If you are detoxing from benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or a serious alcohol addiction, entering a medical detox is probably the safest way to go.
Detox is only the beginning
Treatment isn’t only detox. Detox is just the beginning. You can’t do much in recovery until you’ve stopped using. However, a good detox program can help you get through it quickly and improve your health to help you get ready for treatment.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.