Detoxification is a process of getting rid of alcohol, drugs and their metabolites, and nurturing the body with essential minerals and nutrients. Due to lack of knowledge, many people harbor negative views about the process and hesitate taking the first and most important step of addiction treatment. It’s only after cleansing the body of all the toxins and making it stable, a patient can be administered further treatment targeting emotional and behavioral change.
Detox is crucial to monitor withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. But many people assume that it’s unsafe and some fear change in their lives. Here are some facts debunking myths surrounding detox, which can help a person to take the right decision of entering a rehab:
- Myth – Detox is always difficult and very painful.
Fact – This is one of the most common myths. Detox might be painful as the body tries to get used to the absence of the substance that was once taken regularly. However, under medical supervision, it can be made tolerable where one is helped in transitioning to other steps of recovery.
- Myth – Detox is only for heroin addiction.
Fact – Many people think that detox is only for people addicted to heroin or other strong drugs, but it is a myth. It is needed for those addicted to alcohol or prescriptions drugs as well.
- Myth – Detox happens only once.
Fact – Many people believe that detox can happen only once and if a person fails, there is only a downward spiral. The fact is that many people who have been in recovery for years swear by the number of times they attempted a detox before finally quitting the substance for good.
- Myth – Detox lasts for 24-48 hours only.
Fact – The length of a detox program varies from person to person, depending upon the drug of abuse, duration and dosage. It can last from a few days to a couple of weeks.
- Myth – Once detox is over, a person is fit.
Fact – This is again a misconception. Detox is the first step towards attaining sobriety; it should never be considered as a stand-alone procedure. Quitting treatment after detox can result in an imminent relapse.
Getting maximum out of detox
Here are some tips to help a person gain maximum from a detox or a rehab:
- It is important to keep reminding oneself why one entered a detox facility or a rehab. Affirmations help in reinstating one’s belief in the treatment and keep hopes alive.
- One must ask questions whenever in doubt as it will give clarity.
- It is important to stay focused on the present rather than ruminating over the past or getting anxious about the future.
- One must follow the rules and be patient. There should be no hurry to finish the program. Discipline and perseverance are essential in recovery.
- It is important to keep one’s mind open to all the possibilities, consequences and disappointments. It helps in learning and unlearning many things about oneself and the process, and this knowledge can be enlightening.
- One should not expect a quick fix solution to the problems. Clinically-administered detox gradually removes the drug effects. If it’s done suddenly, it’s bound to have repercussions.
- One should prepare for the best and the worst days in advance. Some days might be challenging, while some might be easy. Be grateful for each day of life.
- It’s important to be friendly as one might have to attend several group therapy sessions. Befriending other people offers an opportunity to share and learn from them.
Detox and recovery
Drug or alcohol addiction is a treatable disease only when a person seeks help. Though recovery can be faster during the initial days of addiction, it is not impossible to wean off the drug effects when a person has been addicted for long.