Things in your life can change. It will be the hardest thing you may ever do, but going through a drug or alcohol detox will change your life for the better. Overcoming addiction is no easy task. There are a multitude of reasons why one might fail to succeed, but at Blu By The Sea, we’re passionate about changing people’s lives for the better. It’s scary, but quitting is the only choice when it comes to recovery. Because drug detox is the first step for many, we want to share the best practices for how to safely go about detoxing your body.
What is Detox?
Detox is a process in which one abstains from and rids their body of toxic substances like benzodiazepine, alcohol or opioids. By not consuming the drug you’ve become dependent on, you allow your body to remove all the harmful remnants and recover from any chronic mental and physical damage. This is a difficult process because the body goes through withdrawal. Drugs and alcohol suppress the brain in many ways. When you stop taking them, this can have a spring-like effect, causing your body to become overloaded. This is why detox can be exceptionally difficult. Withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelmingly intense, dangerously so.
Over time, our bodies develop tolerance to the drugs we consume. We become dependent on more and more alcohol to get a buzz, for example. As we consume more drugs to get the same high, the damage becomes exponential, and our brain and body find other ways to cope. Drug use mentally and physically changes us. And, detoxing is the only way to break this cycle. It’s the only way to get ourselves back.
Why Do You Need Help?
Willpower isn’t enough. When it comes to giving up drugs and alcohol addiction, we’ve lost ourselves. Our brains have been altered by our drug use. Where once we may have been strong enough to quit, that part of us is weakened, and we need help. Friends and family are the first place to go for support. But, when it comes to drug detox, seeking an institution that offers medical detoxification is going to be the safest and most successful option.
What to Expect From Detoxing
Depending on the substance you’re addicted to your detox symptoms may vary. Overall, though, there are some universal side effects that you can be expected. We don’t want to sugar-coat the process. Detox is hard and will challenge your every fiber. Knowing what to expect can prepare you for the fight that lies ahead. Here are some side effects of detox:
- Muscle Weakness
- Mood Swings
If these symptoms remind you of other serious illnesses like the Flu, it’s for a good reason. When you detox from drugs and alcohol, your body suffers many of the same ailments, as it first removes the toxins, then copes with not having them.
Get ready for a lifetime commitment. The initial detox process, overcoming withdrawal and living to tell the tale, may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but you aren’t detoxing for the short term. The pain and anguish you experience shouldn’t be for nothing. It takes therapy and commitment beyond the primary detox phase to maintain your recovery from addiction.
That being said, here are some general detox timelines for some of the most common drug addictions.
- Alcohol – After the alcohol leaves your bloodstream, about 24 hours, withdrawal symptoms usually last 5-7 days.
- Opioids – Like alcohol, the opioids leave the blood after 24 hours, and the body typically goes through withdrawal for 7-14 days.
- Benzodiazepine – Processed faster in the bloodstream. Benzodiazepine withdrawal starts after about 12 hours and can last between 3-5 weeks.
- Stimulants – These psychoactive drugs make their way through the bloodstream in 12 hours and take weeks of detox to recover.
Seek Professional Help
Addiction is difficult to overcome. That may be the understatement of the century. The statistics suggest that it’s nearly impossible, more so when you go at it alone or without the help of professionals. Detoxing can be – and often is – dangerous. As your body copes with withdrawal, you will experience physical and mental pain that is more than any person should bear. By detoxing at a facility where medical professionals are on staff day and night, you’ll be taken care of and eased through every step of the process.
A good medical detox institution will provide a structured environment with healthy meals, an exercise regimen (even if it’s just walking), prescription medication that can ease the symptoms of withdrawal or help with sleep.
Attending a dedicated detox center will increase your chances of successfully recovering while reducing the risk of serious medical conditions like seizures and dehydration.
At Home Detox
If you’re thinking of detoxing at home with the help of friends or family, we recommend that you instead seek professional help from a medical center. As stated above, the symptoms of withdrawal can be dangerous, even deadly. If you do choose to do it on your own, consult a physician beforehand and consider the following list for good practices.
- Have Someone With You – Never detox alone. Be sure to have someone by your side at all times. This person will make sure you stay hydrated, eat and get enough exercise. They’ll also keep you company and can call for help if you need it.
- Eat Good Food – This will be difficult, as nausea and diarrhea are common symptoms of withdrawal. Avoid unhealthy snack foods like potato chips and fast food. Eat nutrition dense foods like leafy greens, vegetables and lean proteins when you can. This will make a huge difference in your recovery and overall health.
- Stay Hydrated – Drink lots of water. When you detox, you will lose a lot of fluids. Staying hydrated is paramount and is commonly a reason at-home detoxing leads to hospitalization. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
- Clear Your Schedule – Don’t make any plans. Commit to detoxing. If you make plans to leave or take part in any activity during the detox period, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
You Owe it to Yourself and Your Family
You can change your life, starting right now. It won’t be easy, there’s no doubt about that, but drug addiction is ruining your life. Family and friends care about you and they mean well when they try to help. The truth is, though, that you have to help yourself. Taking action and seeking help is the first step to making a positive change in your life. You owe it to yourself to change, to take your life back from your addiction. Detoxing is the first step.
Blu By the Sea
Blue By The Sea is a drug rehabilitation facility with 20 years of experience, a personalized, holistic approach to recovery and a team of qualified professionals that are dedicated to helping you detox and recover successfully. Don’t wait any longer.