Drug and alcohol abuse can sap your energy and sends your life into unintended directions. Reaching the point of asking for help takes courage. The process of making your way out of substance abuse often begins with an important phase: medical detox.
During medical detox, you work in partnership with doctors and counselors to flush the drugs or alcohol out of your system. Once you do, your mind and body are ready for the challenge of treatment.
Recognizing when you need drug and alcohol detox isn’t easy for someone caught in the trap of substance abuse. But there are certain signs you and friends and family can look for to help make the decision easier.
Why Is Medical Detox Important?
Drugs and alcohol have a powerful impact on your brain. They alter the balance of your brain chemistry, leading to changes in behavior and judgment.
For most people, it’s not possible to simply stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol and recover from addiction on their own. Unfortunately, because substance abuse causes changes in the brain and body, individuals often require professional help to recover.
In the immediate sense, your body begins to depend on drugs and alcohol to feel normal. When you stop using, and the supply is cut off, the body reacts. It begins a period of withdrawal, marked by uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea.
Over time, your body will adjust. But until you complete this period of substance abuse detox, you will not be in the best position to deal with your addictions.
Five Signs You Need Medical Detox
Every individual charts their own course through substance abuse and substance abuse detox. There is no magic moment when you’ll know it’s time to get help. However, some signs you need medical detox include:
- Withdrawal symptoms are growing increasingly frequent and severe. A hangover on a Sunday is one thing, but lasting withdrawal symptoms require serious consideration of medical detox
- You’ve made promises to step away from drugs and alcohol, but the cravings become too much
- You walk away from things that you used to enjoy in favor of drug or alcohol use
- Relationships with your family, friends, and co-workers have deteriorated
- You need to consume more and more drugs or alcohol to produce the same effect, which means you’ve developed a tolerance
One or more of these symptoms should be the catalyst for you to seek medical detox.
The Next Phases of Treatment
Medical detox is only the first step toward recovery. Once you have stepped down from using drugs or alcohol, you are ready to move forward with counseling. The purpose behind counseling is to help you unravel the circumstances that brought you this point and to develop coping skills.
Counseling takes on many forms, depending on your situation. You will meet with a therapist one-on-one most of the time. But you’ll also join group therapy sessions, where you share experiences with peers. Peer support has proven to be a powerful tool in addiction recovery.
You may also participate in other forms of counseling, such as family therapy, art therapy, or outdoor therapy.
The final phase of therapy is aftercare, which involves resources to help reduce the risk of relapse.
Start Your Recovery at Summit Detox
Medical detox is the safest way to initiate the process of recovery. Working together with your health care team, you will focus on stepping down your use of drugs and alcohol. It’s not advised to try drug and alcohol detox without that support. Summit Detox and its experienced team members are on the leading edge of evidence-based drug and alcohol detox procedures. We provide a safe and comfortable 20-bed inpatient detox facility where you can do the hard work of medical detox. Summit Detox is also a member of the Transformation Treatment Center family, which offers a full continuum of care and access to other degrees of addiction treatment support. Make today a moment of change. Contact Summit Detox today by calling 866.341.0638 for a confidential, caring consultation.