A Complete Breakdown of the Detox Phase in Recovery

It’s not easy to decide to seek professional help for a substance use disorder, so to be at the point where you’re about to formally begin your recovery process is huge.

A complete medical detox is going to be the first phase you go through in recovery. It’s an important stage, one that is best done with professional medical supervision because it often takes a toll on both your mental and physical health.

This phase of eliminating substances from your body in a safe and supportive setting allows your initial transition into sobriety to be as smooth as possible, giving you a strong foundation for a successful recovery journey.

In this article, we’re going to breakdown the important role that the medical detox plays in your recovery journey. We’re going to take an overall look at the detox process as well as share with you the top benefits of going through detox.

What is a detox?

A complete medical detox is the process of cleansing the body of the drugs and/or alcohol.

Regardless of how long you used either or both of these substances, detoxification can be a shock to the body that has become accustomed and sometimes even reliant on them. This is why detoxing in a safe, medical, professionally managed environment is important.

It’s not uncommon for friends or family to hold an intervention for their loved one struggling with addiction as a “last resort” before turning to formal rehabilitation. But, these interventions rarely have a long-term plan in place.

While the road is paved with good intentions, at-home recoveries can be dangerous, as detoxification is an unavoidable stage in addiction recovery. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even fatal to some individuals, due to the physical and mental shock of sobriety.

A professionally supervised medical detox not only makes the detoxification process much safer for the individual, but they are likely to be more comfortable in an environment that can provide them with the proper tools and support to continue on the road to recovery.

Benefits of a detox

When you detox your body, both your mind and body begin to undergo chemical, neurological and metabolic changes as they readjust to existing without the interference of substances.

It can be daunting to face the detox process, which is why it’s important to remember why you’re going through it to begin with—to be someone you’re proud of; to live a long, healthy, happy life; to fulfill your dreams and potential; to have good relationships with your friends, family, children.

Having the benefits of going through a detox at the forefront of your mind can serve as both a motivational tool and a source of encouragement and inspiration.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Improved relationships with your loved ones
  • Improved relationship with yourself
  • Overall better physical and mental health
  • Developing confidence, self-love and -compassion
  • Ability to pursue a long-term career
  • Opportunities to try and enjoy new hobbies and interests
  • Access to a long, healthy, happy life full of love and purpose

The idea of going through a detox can sometimes feel overwhelming, which is why we’re going to walk you through the detoxification process. Knowing what to expect can significantly put your mind and heart at ease, and that’s what we’re here to do.

How the detox process works

Depending on your unique situation — type of substance(s) used, frequency of use and total length of time you were using — the detoxification process can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

A detox from drugs and a detox from alcohol are nearly identical processes, with the primary difference being the withdrawal symptoms, which vary mostly due to the substance used.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating, shaking, shivering
  • Cramps and muscle soreness
  • High temperature or chills
  • High blood pressure or heart rate
  • Irritability, anxiety, agitation
  • Depression
  • Mood swings and intense emotions
  • Insomnia and paranoia
  • Cravings for the substance
  • In extreme cases, hallucinations and seizures

Before the detox begins, doctors will take a look at your personal as well as addiction history and estimate how long the detox will last. They might also suggest relevant medications that may be available to alleviate certain withdrawal symptoms.

Once the detox process begins, you will be closely monitored by your medical support team so they can observe how your mind and body are handling the transition into sobriety, and be available to help you in whatever way they can.

Ongoing tests (such as blood tests, disease screenings and hormone panels) are often conducted throughout the detox process so your doctor can clearly identify how you are mentally and physically recovering and make adjustments where necessary.

Seek substance abuse detox and treatment

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, send us a message.

Bluff Augusta is a premier addiction rehabilitation center in Georgia. We have carefully established a compassionate, experienced team of nurses, counselors, psychiatric providers and nutritionists in order to provide you with full-spectrum treatment.

We specialize in providing fully customized, evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and addiction that has been proven to be effective at helping our patients achieve and maintain long-term recovery.

To speak with one of our intake specialists and learn more about our programs, call us today.