Drug detox or detoxification is the process of essentially removing any substances and traces of substances from the body. It can also be defined as intervening in the case of physical dependence on drugs or alcohol; the process of withdrawing. It is also a period of time when a person avoids a particular substance or any substances to rid the body of the chemicals and toxins associated with the abuse.
Drug detox is the first and possibly one of the most challenging steps of recovery. It is an essential part of the recovery process to help an individual “recover” their physical health so the mental part of recovery can begin.
What Happens During Drug Detox?
The first step in any drug detox program is to have a medical assessment. An assessment is pertinent so the treating provider can get a history of any medical issues, mental health concerns, and most importantly details of the person’s substance abuse history. This will help the program put together the best plan based on the individual’s needs.
The next part of drug detox is the actual detox or withdrawal from any substances the individual may have been taking. During the withdrawal phase any drugs or alcohol in the person’s system will be gradually reduced which is typically when the symptoms begin. Symptoms from drug and alcohol withdrawal can be very similar, however, the type and severity of symptoms can depend on several factors.
- Type of substance or substances used
- How much they were using
- How long have they been using these substances
- If they were consuming multiple substances together
- The person’s general mental and physical health
Each person’s drug detox will be unique depending on these factors, and withdrawal can result in a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. During the drug detox phase medications will be given in order to help the individual cope with the symptoms. No medications will completely prevent a person from experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but they do help a great deal throughout the process.
Support is Crucial In a Drug Detox Program
One of the most important aspects of the drug detox process is being surrounded and cared for by a trusting and compassionate clinical team and medical professionals around the clock to provide comfort and support. Compassionate and supportive care is just as important as any medication given to enable a successful detox and the best outcome for the individual.
Once the drug detox phase has been completed, a treatment plan will be established for the next step of the recovery process. This happens under the supervision of a residential (day/night), intensive outpatient (IOP), or partial hospitalization (PHP) drug addiction treatment program.
What are the Top 3 Concerns About Entering a Drug Detox?
Sadly many people that suffer from alcohol and drug addiction never enter a drug treatment program. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report the following information:
A survey of American adults revealed that drug use disorder is common, co-occurs with a range of mental health disorders, and often goes untreated. The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that about 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for drug use disorder in the past year and about 10 percent have had drug use disorder at some time in their lives. (NIH)
Why is the treatment rate for those suffering from addiction so low? Commitment can be very scary for a lot of people especially when it comes to drug addiction. Let’s look at the top 3 concerns that people often list about entering a drug detox.
Fear stops the majority of addicts from ever getting help. The fear of pain from withdrawal can be crumbling for a lot of addicts, and it is a very valid and logical fear. The fear of failure can also be a concern for many. 40 to 60% of people who suffer from addiction relapse. Also the fear of not being able to cope or have fun anymore without drugs or alcohol.
Accepting Help in a Drug Detox is BRAVE
Another top common concern when it comes to entering a drug detox is losing a job or career. There are many individuals that suffer from substance abuse that have high-paying jobs and successful careers. Entering a drug detox means they have to tell their employer they have a problem and need help. It also means losing that income which is a rational concern especially if you are the head of the household.
A lot of people don’t realize though that in this day and age many companies offer employee assistance programs that will help them get help and be able to return to successful employment once they have gotten treatment. There are also protections there through FMLA or the Family Medical Leave Act.
Another top concern about entering a drug detox is being away from family and friends, essentially leaving your life behind while in rehab. It’s hard to put your life on pause and expect not to miss out on things like your children growing. However, in reality, continuing life of addiction could mean you miss out on so much more.
Staging a New Jersey Drug Intervention
We as a country are in the midst of a drug and overdose epidemic. If you have a friend or loved one you are worried about that has a problem with addiction, there is help available. New Jersey Addiction Interventions has top addiction interventionists available to help you.
We are here to help you bring your loved one back from the grueling disease of addiction. Give us a call and let us help you with our intervention services.
Medically Reviewed: October 13, 2022
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.