Addiction recovery doesn’t solely mean undergoing a treatment program. It is a mental, emotional and spiritual journey that can be extremely difficult and painful at times, but is ultimately life-changing. There are numerous obstacles a recovering addict must face on their way to sobriety, but working to confront and overcome each one can help bolster their overall recovery.
One of the most challenging aspects of recovery for most patients is detoxification. After having abused drugs or alcohol for so long, it is often physically and psychologically painful to grow accustomed to a substance-free life.
This is why it’s crucial to be closely monitored by trained medical professionals throughout the detox process. Medically monitored detox helps significantly reduce the risk of serious medical complications during withdrawal, as well as the urge to use drugs or alcohol again.
If you’re determined to get the most out of the recovery process, a drug and alcohol detox facility can provide you with the care and support you need to continue pursuing the path to sobriety. First, it’s important to ensure that you’re well-informed on what the drug and alcohol detox process entails.
Here’s everything you need to know before attending a detoxification facility and what you can expect from your time there.
Understanding Withdrawal Symptoms
For many individuals in recovery, withdrawal is often the first—and biggest—hurdle they must contend with. Substance users have spent a long time building up a powerful dependence on their substance of choice. As a result, learning to live without drugs or alcohol can be an incredibly difficult task, both emotionally and mentally.
When someone abruptly stops drinking or taking drugs, their body begins to crave the absent substance. This results in a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, otherwise known as withdrawal symptoms.
While no two people experience withdrawal in the exact same way, there are certain symptoms that most individuals in recovery have in common. Below are some of the most common symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Changes in mood
- Muscle pain
- Changes in appetite
It’s also worth noting that the substance of choice, as well as the duration of use, can impact the types of symptoms that a person experiences. Because withdrawal can impact patients in such a wide variety of ways, it’s imperative to make sure that you receive the right treatment for your specific needs.
By seeking out high-quality, personalized treatment at a detox facility in New England, you can receive care that takes your specific needs into account and is tailored to your unique situation. Taking this step forward on the road to recovery can help support and nurture you as you pursue a life of sobriety and wellness.
When Do Withdrawal Symptoms Appear?
Withdrawal symptoms may appear at any point in the recovery process. The amount of time it takes for symptoms to occur depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of substance, the duration of use and the preferred method of use. In addition, factors such as your metabolism, lifestyle and genetic profile can all influence when your symptoms begin to develop.
In the majority of cases, withdrawal symptoms first appear about 8 hours after your last time using alcohol or drugs. These effects typically reach their peak once a full 24-72 hours have passed. However, be sure to keep in mind that this number is calculated based on most people’s experiences. Your own situation may look very different from someone else’s for any number of reasons.
Another common question people have is, “How long does withdrawal last?” Generally speaking, the duration of withdrawal is heavily dependent on the type of substance you’ve been using and how long you’ve been using it. While some patients may only suffer through withdrawal symptoms for a few days, others might not see these effects subside until weeks or even months later.
Detox treatment is therefore a unique process for each patient. To ensure that all of your individual needs are properly addressed, be sure to find a detox-specific treatment facility that offers personalized care to each of its patients.
Choosing the Best Detox Facility for You
Detoxification is the first step in a drug or alcohol treatment program. The goal of detox is to facilitate the process of withdrawing from substances and foster each patient’s personal recovery. While detox is only a single part of addiction treatment, it plays a significant role in building the foundation for long-term sobriety.
Before you make a decision, it’s crucial to remember that detox treatment is not a one-size-fits-all situation. It’s well worth your time to do plenty of research before choosing the right detox treatment center for your needs. Once you have a clearer idea of what you wish to get out of a detox program, you can embark on your search with a greater sense of meaning and purpose.
Understanding what the detox process entails can help alleviate some of the uncertainty or anxiety you may be feeling. Fortunately, we have all the information you need to know about taking part in a medically monitored detox program.
What to Expect From Detox Treatment
There are two main components of a standard detoxification program: a comprehensive evaluation and medically assisted detox. Each component serves to help clinicians better understand each patient’s situation and address their needs accordingly. After successfully completing both phases of detox treatment, you can progress to the next stage of addiction recovery, which is typically drug or alcohol rehab.
Here is what you can expect from each step of detox treatment.
Before a patient officially begins withdrawing from drugs or alcohol, they are typically required to complete a comprehensive evaluation. This evaluation offers valuable insight into a patient’s addiction, allowing specialists to get to the root of their struggles with alcohol or drugs. During this stage of the detox process, medical experts also take the opportunity to thoroughly assess each patient and discern their physical and mental state.
Ideally, at the end of each evaluation, addiction experts will have all the tools that they need to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Every individual has their own lifestyle, background, needs and goals that influence their experience with substance abuse.
To cater to this wide range of needs, our specialists take the time to get to know each patient on a deeper level before advancing to the next phase of detox treatment. This can help give you peace of mind in knowing that your goals and needs are always being accounted for throughout the treatment process.
Medically Assisted Detox
Once the comprehensive evaluation is complete, patients are ready to begin the following step. This stage is commonly referred to as medically assisted detox or medically monitored detox. During this program, each patient has access to highly skilled and experienced therapists and clinicians who are available to address their concerns and provide medical care as needed.
The idea of detox treatment can be daunting, and our experts are well aware of this. That’s why they’re always in close contact with patients so that they can help them manage the symptoms of withdrawal in a safe way. Because our clinical staff has ample experience treating substance-abuse patients, they’re also diligent about guiding individuals through withdrawal cravings and preventing them from relapsing.
Depending on the severity of a patient’s symptoms, medical experts may also prescribe medication to certain individuals at any point during the detox process. The purpose of this is to abate any pain or discomfort that the patient may be experiencing.
In any case, the decision to prescribe meds is made after identifying the types of substances a patient has abused, as well as how serious their specific addiction is.
Signs of Drug Addiction
Addictive disorders are typically manifested in a series of physical, emotional and social symptoms. Because not all addicted individuals are necessarily aware of these effects, they may not actively seek out the treatment they need. It’s also worth noting that everyone with a drug addiction experiences their addiction in a unique way.
However, there are a few key symptoms that most people living with drug addiction face. Each of these symptoms helps to measure the full impact of drug abuse. Here is an overview of each sign of addiction:
- Impaired control: This includes a powerful craving/urge to use the substance, failed attempts to stop using the substance and continued use of the drug despite being aware of its consequences.
- Social problems: Drug abuse can negatively affect a person’s social life in a wide range of ways. Some of these signs include a failure to complete important work or school assignments and a neglect of social or recreational activities.
- Risky behavior: Prolonged drug abuse can drive many substance users to engage in risky behavior, such as driving while intoxicated or stealing in an effort to obtain drugs.
- Drug use symptoms: The substances in use can trigger dangerous symptoms as well. Some of the most common effects of drug abuse include reduced energy, weight loss or gain, lack of motivation, insomnia, increased heart rate, altered cognitive ability and difficulty taking care of personal hygiene.
By paying attention to these warning signs, you can seek out the help you need and work toward a full recovery. If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else, it’s crucial to address them with professional treatment as soon as possible.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Now that you’re aware of the red flags associated with drug abuse, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of alcohol addiction as well. Being cognizant of these key symptoms will allow you to find the right detox program that is tailored to your needs.
To better understand the signs of alcohol abuse, it’s helpful to sort them into categories. Here are the main categories of alcohol addiction symptoms and what they entail:
Emotional and mental symptoms: These symptoms typically include irritability, extreme mood swings, depression, restlessness, anxiety, anger and short-term memory loss. People who drink excessively may also become confrontational around others. This can negatively impact the relationships that they have with friends, family members and romantic partners.
Physical symptoms: Alcohol addiction can also trigger a vast array of physical symptoms. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms are temporary blackouts, balance problems, hearing loss, blurred vision, slowed reaction times, lowered inhibitions and irritable bowel syndrome. Examples of long-term physical effects that are associated with alcohol abuse include heart disease, liver disease, hepatitis, gastritis, diabetes, stroke, cancer, dementia and seizures.
Social symptoms: It’s common for alcoholism to affect a person’s social life in numerous ways. For example, they may prioritize drinking over other obligations and responsibilities, isolate themselves from loved ones, hang out with a different group of friends, hide their drinking habit from others and come up with excuses to continue drinking alcohol.
While these warning signs help paint a more vivid picture of alcohol addiction, they are by no means a complete list of symptoms. Alcohol abuse can be displayed in any number of ways, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary, be sure not to ignore these red flags.
Once you make the decision to find a detox treatment program that’s a perfect fit for you or a loved one, you can make recovery an achievable goal for yourself or someone close to you.
Take the First Step Toward Lasting Recovery
Detox may only be the first step in addiction treatment, but it is essential to promoting better health and sobriety in the long run. At Mayflower Recovery, we offer highly rated drug and alcohol detox programs designed for residents of Massachusetts. No matter what your situation looks like or how long you’ve been battling substance abuse, know that it’s never too late to get help. Our experts are here to guide you through the recovery process every step of the way.