Quitting drugs or alcohol on your own is nearly impossible. Most people who attempt to do so usually end up relapsing, with only a few achieving success. Not only that, but detoxing on your own can be dangerous for your health. This is why you should always go through a medically supervised detox while you withdraw from drugs or alcohol. It is the safest thing you can do, and also ensures that you are physically safe from the dangers of detoxing.
As with so many things related to rehab and treatment, there are a lot of unknowns. Plenty of terms are thrown around, and you might find yourself confused about what they all mean! One that you will hear often, and right off the bat, is “Medically Supervised Detox”. While the term may sound intimidating, rest assured that it is something that is a necessity, and will also bring you peace, comfort, and safety.
What To Expect During a Medically Supervised Detox
Detox is generally something that all addicts dread because it is not a pleasant process. When your body gets used to having drug or alcohol pumped into it, it also grows accustomed to functioning with and around your substance of choice. Removing drugs or alcohol suddenly can completely throw your body out of whack. This leads to unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms that almost always lead to relapse when one attempts to detox outside of a medically supervised environment.
A medically supervised detox means that you will detox under the care of doctors, nurses, and therapists. Their job is to make sure you are as safe and comfortable as possible during your detox to ensure that you aren’t in danger at any point, and also that you do not relapse. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help ease the symptoms of your withdrawal, and your therapist will be on hand to discuss any and all issues that arise.
This is all done after you go through an intense physical so that any underlying medical conditions are exposed. Again, the goal of a medically supervised detox is to make sure that you get through it with minimal discomfort or danger. Without this kind of care, detox symptoms can include insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, intense anxiety and paranoia, trembling, and night sweats – just to name a few. In some extreme cases, sudden withdrawal from drugs and especially alcohol can lead to seizures, coma, a condition known as Delirium Tremens, and even death.
Clearly, detox is not something to be taken lightly. Not only is it uncomfortable and can lead to relapse if not done correctly, but it can also be extremely dangerous.
What You Will Experience While Detoxing
Thanks to medication and therapy, you will be allowed to sleep as much as possible to help heal your body and mind. Your medication will be regulated by a nurse so that you do not abuse it, and you will be weaned off so that you don’t take more than is necessary. Your vital statistics like blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen circulation will be monitored around the clock so that any medical issues can be intercepted. You will meet with your doctors and therapists daily for support and adjust your medications as needed.
You will also have access to healthy food, plenty of water, and the main goal is to rest and be easy with your body while the drugs and alcohol leave your system. This is the beginning of a long, but positive, journey to sobriety so it is essential that it is done right.
You can expect your detox to last anywhere from a few days to a week. It will depend on the severity of your addiction as well as any underlying issues you are facing. Your treatment team will help determine what is needed and when so that your detox is perfectly catered to you. A medically supervised detox isn’t something to be afraid of. It is something to be grateful for because it is the first step in your journey to a happy, healthy, and sober lifestyle!