Last Updated on by Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley
Going through detox alone can be incredibly dangerous. Instead, it’s best to go through a supervised medical detox program.
Every year, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction cost the American people more than $740 billion.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, you need to seek help as soon as possible.
There are many different programs out there designed to help those who struggle with addiction. Before you can begin any kind of long-term program, though, you must first go through a detox period.
Read on to learn more about these programs and why they are so important for those who are struggling with addiction.
The Detox Period
When you first stop using drugs or alcohol, your body will begin to detox and start trying to get the substances you’ve been consuming out of your body.
You will also begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, as your body has become used to consuming those substances on a regular basis.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Excessive sweating
- Watering eyes
- Runny nose
- Agitation and mood swings
- Muscle aches and pains
For some people, these symptoms are not particularly serious. For many others, though, they can be severe and potentially life-threatening.
When they begin to detox, some folks may become violent. They may experience symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoia and hallucinations, too. They could also experience severe issues like seizures or even fall into a coma.
In order to protect themselves and their loved ones, it’s imperative that individuals struggling with addiction seek out a medical detox program instead of trying to go through this stage alone.
Risks of Unsupervised Detox
As you can see, the detox period can be a pretty unpleasant experience.
In addition to experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, there are a number of other risks that come with trying to detox alone, including the following:
Increased Risk of Relapse
When you try to detox alone, your chances of relapsing increase.
Detoxing is incredibly taxing both on the physical body and on the mind. It’s hard to withstand cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you’re going through the process by yourself.
It can be even harder if you live in an environment in which drugs or alcohol are consumed on a regular basis or if you regularly have easy access to them.
Increased Risk of Overdose
As soon as you stop consuming drugs or alcohol, your body begins to recalibrate itself. As a result, you begin to lose your tolerance for your drug of choice. If you consume them again after going without them for a period of time, your body will be more sensitive to them.
If you consume drugs or alcohol at the same rate or dosage that were taking them before, your chances of overdosing (and potentially dying from that overdose) increase dramatically.
Become a Danger to Self and Others
Remember, detox is psychologically demanding, too.
Many people begin to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia when they begin going through the detox process. You may experience a desire to harm yourself or others around you.
Because of this, it’s important that you detox in a safe place where trained medical professionals are available to help you through the process and keep you safe.
Benefits of Medical Detox
As you can see, there are a lot of different reasons why you shouldn’t try to detox alone. There are also plenty of benefits that come with utilizing a medical detox program, including the following:
Access to Medication
When you stay in a medical detox facility, you will likely have access to medications that can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms effectively.
These medications help to minimize the symptoms and make the withdrawal process more comfortable for you.
Access to Resources
In a medical detox facility, you have access to more than just medication.
You also have access to a variety of other resources that are meant to help you get clean and stay clean. These resources include mental health counseling and support groups.
You’ll also have the knowledge of knowing you’re not alone in recovery since all of the other people staying at the facility will be going through the same thing as you.
Ability to Avoid Temptations
When you participate in a medical detox program, it’s easier for you to avoid temptations and triggers.
You’ll be in a clean, safe facility where everyone who enters is carefully screened to make sure they’re not bringing drugs, alcohol, or other harmful substances onto the premises.
You’ll be able to focus on beginning your recovery without also having to dodge temptations at every turn.
Finding a Medical Detox Facility
Okay, you’re convinced that medical detox is the safest and most effective approach. How do you find the right medical detox facility, though?
Here are some guidelines that can help you sort through the different facilities and find one that meets your specific needs:
- Find out what kind of medical treatments are available and how many staff members are on hand to monitor each resident
- Find out what kind of non-medical approaches they take (group meetings, one-on-one counseling, etc.)
- Consider the cost and find out if any financial assistance is available
- Call your insurance company to see if they will help cover the cost of treatment
Be sure to consider aftercare, too. What does the facility do once you’ve completed the detox program? Do they have options for inpatient or outpatient treatment?
Begin Medical Detox Today
Are you ready to begin detoxing and get started on the journey toward sobriety? If so, medical detox is the safest and most effective approach to take.
When you undergo medical detox, you will have all the support and resources you need to manage your withdrawal symptoms and learn to manage triggers in an appropriate way.
If you live in or around the Los Angeles area, we’re here for you at Revive Detox. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week so you can get the help you need.
Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley is the CEO and Founder of Revive Detox, a Joint Commission Accredited and Legit Script Certified Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in Los Angeles in 2007 and has extensive experience working in the addiction and recovery field and the LGBT community. To learn more about Dr. Calvert-Conley click here.