The question of how long a person will take to break free of addiction is always a tricky one – not only can it vary wildly case-by-case, but it’s common sense that plenty of people are in and out of rehab during long-term addictions. Detox is step three on the road to recovery: the first, of course, if acknowledging the problem, and the second is actively seeking help. According to SAMSA, the average length of anyone’s detox is around eight days. Remember, though, that severe addiction and addiction to multiple drugs will inevitably add time onto the necessary treatment. Detox isn’t the only part of addiction treatment, either. It is supplemented with physical therapy and psychotherapy, as well as diet changes and exercise. Particularly where eating and exercise are concerned, detox and addiction treatment is a multi-faceted, multi-step process is necessary for well-rounded healing to take place.
Officially, ‘detox’ refers to the use of medicine to counter the chemical reactive effects of the drugs of abuse. Detox is a cleanse, of sorts, and during detox, the body is allowed to work out the toxins the brain and bloodstream. This doesn’t mean that anyone is cured of addiction after detoxing – it does mean that the drug of abuse is pushed out of your system. If you’re going through detox, you will still crave the drugs you’ve been using, and feel the urge to use them again. Additional medication can mitigate or relieve cravings for easily-abused drugs.
While it’s possible to detox on your own, without medication, this course of action is never recommended. Detox, in addition to being the first step of treatment, is also the most dangerous phase of your drug addiction recovery. The detoxing process is so dangerous because your body has developed a chemical dependency on the drug of abuse, and needs that drug to function properly. Without this specific set of chemicals, your body will experience a number of adverse effects, including, but not limited to, vomiting, weakness, hypersomnia, constipation, and seizures. Psychologically, you’ll likely experience chills, irritability, confusion, and exhaustion, and some people find themselves falling into a depression, or given to anxiety.
With all of the risks associated with detox, as well as the possibility of relapse, the amount of time that detox takes in a person can rarely be predicted. Much of it comes down to a person’s willpower and commitment to becoming and staying drug-free. It also comes down to access to quality healthcare. Addiction-focused rehabilitation centers are generally the best place to receive the best treatment available, though there are many who are able to get clean and sober while incarcerated. Incarceration, though, is rarely the best option, especially with the dedicated treatment centers offering much more in the way of customized programs and individualized attention. Centers that focus on detoxing the body from drugs are an excellent place to begin drug recovery in Scottsdale, and to discover resources of which you may never have known.
Throughout the detox process, you will also need some resources of your own. The biggest resource you will need, as well as the best asset on your journey to lifelong sobriety, is a supportive network of friends, family, and counselors. Friends and family, including friends who’ve become family, will be there to talk you through the difficult times, including the times that you feel prone to use again. Friends and family are there to encourage you to be your best self and beat your addiction. Counselors can do all of that, plus more: counselors will work with you to establish a customized treatment plan, ensure that you’re getting the medicine that you need, and coach you along through therapy and your transition back to life outside of detox and rehab.
As scary as detox may sound to some, it is the best first step to treatment that you can take. Getting over the hurdle of admitting to yourself and to loved ones that you have a problem can be harder than the treatment itself, but it’s is a big favor that you’re doing for yourself, and for your future. If you’re living with an addiction to any substance, reach out to your local, reputable detox center, and get ready to start a healthier, more productive life.