Do I Really Need Detox?
Many addicts and alcoholics will avoid attending a medically monitored detoxification facility upon initially deciding to ‘sober up’, believing that because their drug use was relatively short-lived or because they may not be at high risk of potentially fatal symptoms of withdrawal, they will be fine detoxing on their own on a couch somewhere. The truth of the matter is that physical medical clearance is only a portion of the purpose of medical detox. The vast majority of addicts and alcoholics will experience intense and overwhelming psychological cravings during the very initial stages of sobriety. These cravings, more often than not, will lead addicts and alcoholics back to using before the withdrawal process is complete. For this reason, (amongst many others), it is crucial that men and women who are attempting to get clean and maintain sobriety for any extended period of time seek medical detox as a crucial first step on the road to recovery.
Do You Need Medical Detox?
If you are unsure as to whether or not medical detox is necessary, you can undergo an evaluation that will help to determine what steps should be taken to better ensure your physical and mental wellbeing. Factors that may indicate it is a wise idea can be medical, psychological, or social – it is important to take a careful look at all potential components before ruling detox out. The indications, in greater detail, are as follows:
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In most cases, the need for medical detoxing can be easily determined by several telltale physical symptoms of withdrawal. If an individual is experiencing severe abdominal pain, high fever, or major changes in heart rate or blood pressure, medical detox is certainly a wise course of action to take. Major sleep disturbances such as insomnia, any auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations, and seizures of any kind are also good indications that detox is in order.
- Psychological/Mental Health.
If an individual is experiencing significant suicidal ideations, he or she may be in need of medical detox or a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital. Additionally, if an individual has been known to struggle with anger issues or severe aggression, medical detox may be worth considering. Many medical detox facilities offer clients thorough psychiatric evaluations. If the symptoms of an underlying psychological disorder continuously lead an individual back to drinking or using, a professional psychiatric evaluation could mean the difference between life and death.
If a drug addict or alcoholic has become homeless because of the severity of his or her dependency issue, detoxing alone on the streets is an idea that pales in comparison to withdrawing in a clean and comfortable facility – for obvious reasons. Victims of domestic abuse may also benefit from removing themselves from their previous environment. This goes for men and women who live amongst other addicts and alcoholics as well – such as adolescents with addicted parents.
Detox Is Not, In Itself, Treatment for Addiction
If you do decide to attend a medically monitored detox facility, make sure that you keep in mind that detox is not a viable form of stand-alone treatment, and is only the very first step in the overall recovery process. One of the main purposes of detox (aside from physical stabilization) is assessment – clients will be thoroughly evaluated by a team of medical professionals and addiction specialists, who will then collaborate to determine an appropriate course of action. Most clients will be transitioned directly to an inpatient treatment facility, where they will undergo several months of intensive therapeutic care, designed to uncover all underlying causes of addiction and provide a thorough and lasting healing. If you or someone you love has decided that the vicious cycle of drug addiction or alcoholism has gone on long enough, please call for a comprehensive list of detox clinic options near you.