Drug addiction, a substance use disorder (SUD), is a complex disease that changes the structure of the brain. If it was easy to stop using drugs, many more people would do so. But because of the structural changes addiction causes in the brain, many people who try to stop using will experience acute and painful withdrawal symptoms. They may also face serious health risks as their body works to adjust to the absence of the drug.
Because the detoxification process can be so difficult and potentially dangerous, drug treatment programs typically begin with a medically supervised detox program. This allows doctors and other healthcare professionals to monitor a person’s symptoms and provide medications as needed to ease the withdrawal process. Without the support of a drug detox center, it may be much harder for a person to break their addiction.
The risk of relapsing from a SUD is high – about 40 to 60% of people do, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s one of the reasons to pursue detoxification. Medical detox can help increase your odds of long-term drug addiction recovery.
Do You Need Drug Detox?
Not every person who has an SUD needs to enter into a detox program. Depending on the drug/s used, how long you used them, and how much you used, as well as your general health, you may be able to safely detox at home. However, most people prefer and benefit from medical support during detox. You may need detox treatment if you have symptoms such as the following:
You Are Usually Intoxicated
Are you continuously using drugs or alcohol right now? You may be sober enough to make decisions and get through the day, but you feel the need to constantly have a drink or be “on something” to make it through the day.
If you are intoxicated most of the time, a detox program may be a necessary first step in your treatment. It will give you the ability to move away from continued use without the fear of withdrawal.
You Are Already in Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs as the body tries to adjust to the lack of a substance it has become dependent on. You may have symptoms such as the following if you are currently in withdrawal:
- Constant thoughts of using the substance
- Physical pain that makes you feel like you have the flu
- Intense desires – often uncontrollable – to find the substance and use it
- Mood swings
- Fatigue with the inability to sleep or feeling the need to sleep all of the time
- Aggressive thoughts and behaviors
- Rapid heart rate and breathing rate
- Anxiety and, in some cases, paranoia
- Muscle cramping
- Hot and cold flashes
- Digestion problems
Withdrawal symptoms are intense. In our detox treatment center in Lubbock, Texas, you will receive help for managing each of these symptoms and any others you have.
You Have Physical or Mental Health Issues
One of the impacts of continued drug misuse is physical. The body’s major systems are compromised. If you are suffering from chronic pain or illness, or have other physical issues, a medical detox will help keep you safe as your body adjusts to being substance-free.
If you have mental health issues, having the support of doctors and therapists during detox is also essential. You may suffer from extreme emotional states, such as debilitating anxiety or depression. You may be feeling intense fear or paranoia associated with withdrawal. Getting professional care during detox fosters a sense of safety throughout the entire treatment program.
What to Do if You Think You Need Detox Treatment
Think of detox as an opportunity to increase your odds of beating addiction while also providing you with a way to ease the symptoms and complications you feel during the process.