Going in for detox and surrendering yourself to your health care providers to treat your addiction is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Addiction is an ever progressive condition that will only get worse if you left it untreated. Medical detox is one thing that you can do to save your life.
What is Medical Detox?
The term detox is defined as cleansing the body of unhealthy food but what about medical detox? How is it compare to the usual detox that you do to your body?
When we say medical detox, it is a cleansing or ridding the body of the toxic and addictive substances with the help or under the supervision of a team of licensed medical health providers. It is headed by a physician and a team of nurses, therapists, and clinical staff while in some facilities, advanced nurse practitioners and physicians help in assisting the medical care during the detoxification.
Like any other chronic condition, addiction is also a chronic condition that needs to be managed. Medical detoxification helps by providing stabilization of acute flare-up of chronic addiction but by itself, does not change the course of the condition that is already long-term. However, medical detoxing is a priority for people who seek inpatient or residential drug and alcohol treatment. Once the patient seeks medical detoxification, the detox happens at the beginning of the treatment process. Medical detox is not a cure for addiction but rather a process that helps the drug addict stay in treatment longer or help in staying sober for a longer period.
When Do You Need Medical Detox?
The question is, when do you know you need medical detox if addiction is a chronic condition? How do you know that you need acute treatment? Truth is, signs and symptoms vary among many users but if you believe that you are at risk for being physically dependent on drugs then you are a good candidate for medical detoxification. You must seek medical detox treatment if:
- You have been abusing substances on a regular basis and in large quantities.
- You have been using a substance over an extended period.
- You have developed tolerance from the drug you are taking.
- Feel like you need or have used increasing amounts of the substance in order to achieve the usual effect of the drug.
- Craving for the substance you have been using on a regular basis even when you don’t have access to it.
- You attempted to quit the habit but only relapsed and felt like you could not function normally without it.
Most drug users seek medical detox once they are at risk of the withdrawal symptoms of the drug or alcohol they have been abusing. This usually happens when tolerance sits in and they are consuming more than they should. If this happens to you then you must seek medical attention immediately.
What NOT to Do During Medical Detox
Detoxification is an uncomfortable experience that many users relapse to using just to avoid discomfort. However, the only way to go through it is through it no matter how impossible it seemed to be. In order to be successful with your medical detox, you must avoid the following:
Avoid being close to drugs and alcohol
When you go through medical detox, the process affects not only the body but also the brain. You will experience physical cravings, nightmares, mood swings, insomnia, anxiety and a whole lot of things you cannot understand. This could be very uncomfortable which is why a lot of people going through detox prefer it to go away as quick as possible. Because of this, the risk of going into relapse is very much possible which is why it is important that you avoid alcohol. Clearing your house of drugs and alcohol is the first thing that you need to do. Avoiding parties where alcohol and drugs are present must also be avoided. All of these can help minimize your chance of relapsing and using these substances again.
Avoid being alone
Many drug and alcohol users isolate themselves from others to avoid the extent of the abuse. If you found yourself lying and making excuses to avoid people about your real condition then you need to avoid being isolated once you undergo detoxification. Detoxing alone is a dangerous business and could lead to serious medical complications. This is also the reason why you need a medical team to monitor your progress and help you recover. So don’t ever attempt to detox on your own as isolation will only put your life in danger.
Avoid any stressful situations
Stress is one of the main reasons why many people began using drugs and alcohol in the first place. Undergoing detox alone could be a stressful experience even without the daily struggles. That is why it is best to avoid any situations that could trigger stress on your part. Avoid traveling, dealing with difficult people and other things that could cause you to be stressed out. Learn how to relax and stay calm, meditate if you can so you can come out of your detoxification successfully.
Avoid other users who are still actively using
There are a lot of people who are very open to their drug abuse. They even tend to share their drug/alcohol use to other people during social activities. Although it is important that you don’t isolate yourself while detoxing, it is also very important that you avoid people who are active in using drugs and alcohol. These type of people will only influence you to use again and if you are enticed to do so, you will surely find yourself failing your medical detoxification in the process. Keep in mind the detox is the first step to take on your road to sobriety which is why it is best to keep yourself around people who are there to support you and not the other way around.
Avoid being inactive
As I have mentioned, going through detox can be uncomfortable and often changes your moods. It can also make you feel tired and weak which is why napping all the time sounds like a good idea. However, this is not the best way to succeed in your detoxing process. It is important that you stay active even when you are getting rid of the drugs in your body. Exercising moderately can go a long way. You can try hiking, swimming, yoga and other activities that will help you release happy hormones. Keep in mind that exercising helps you battle stress and anxiety plus it helps boost your moods so why not give it a try?
Avoid eating junk
Medical detoxification can weaken your immune system which is why you must eat food that is rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals, etc. Avoid eating junk food and sugar which can only give you temporary energy. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meat and so on if you wish to stay healthy and active during this process. Remember, detoxing removes all the bad toxins in your body and weakens you so you must replace everything you have lost by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Addiction can be treated but in order to do so, you must have the right mindset before you begin your medical detoxing. Try your best and help yourself so you can get results and stay sober. Stay away from people who are active users, avoid stress and live a healthy lifestyle – this is all you need to do in order to achieve a sober life. All of this is possible, you just have to take the first step and the rest will follow.