What You Need To Know About Substance Abuse Detoxing

One of the hardest steps in recovering from a drug or alcohol use disorder is committing to quit. After making this decision, you need to begin the detox process as soon as possible to avoid continuing the current patterns of behavior. However, it’s also very important that you know what to expect, so when the road gets bumpy, you’ve already made the commitment to complete the program.

What To Expect During the Detox Process

It’s normal to experience difficult emotions and tough physical symptoms, so make sure you have a safe environment with experienced caregivers. The detox timeline varies for each individual, but you can generally expect the first few days to be the hardest, especially if you’ve been a heavy user:

  • During the first six to 12 hours, after your last drink or dose, you may feel irritable and anxious. You may get headaches, feel nauseous, and start to shake.
  • During the second half of the first day, the symptoms make become more significant. You may start to feel disoriented, and you could experience seizures. If you have a medical caregiver, you should have access to appropriate seizure medications.
  • As you work past the first and second day, you could feel feverish or sweaty. You may struggle to sleep, and it’s possible that you’ll experience hallucinations, both auditory and visual.
  • After 72 hours, you may feel some relief from the symptoms, but you should still be monitored by a supportive, qualified professional.

Other symptoms to expect during the detox process include rapid changes in your heart rate and blood pressure, depression, and delirium tremens. Remember that withdrawal from substances can put your life at risk.

Why You Need a Facility

Just about every physical and mental health professional will advise you to choose a Denver detox center rather than going it on your own. When you choose a program in a licensed facility, you’ll have support from peers and professionals. Caregivers may provide access to medication that offers some relief from detox symptoms. If any health complications arise, medical professionals can respond almost immediately. Counselors and clinicians will create a plan that includes behavioral assessments, classes, trainings, and other information to help you avoid the situations that first led to a substance disorder.

Which Option Is Best?

There are two common options available as you prepare to detox. An inpatient rehab center is perhaps the most common of the two options. An inpatient program means that you’ll live at the rehab center for somewhere between one and three months, usually. As a patient, you won’t have convenient access to alcohol and other substances. You will have 24-hour care.

The second option is an outpatient rehab center. Although this option means that you may still have easy access to addictive substances, it also means that you can keep your job and take care of children and other family members. One of the main reasons people choose the outpatient rehab program is that it’s more affordable than an inpatient program.

When Detox Is Over

Once you’ve worked through the detox process, you may want to reach out to counselors, peer-support professionals, friends, and family members. You must address the social and psychological factors of addiction to enjoy sober living. Discuss your future plans before leaving the detox center.

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