The outcome of abusing alcohol, illegal substances, or prescription medication is the same: they all burden the body with harmful chemicals that generate longings and withdrawal symptoms when withheld. Patients need to go through a medically controlled detox for there to be any likelihood of a lasting recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reveals that addiction is a multifaceted brain disease with 40% – 60% chances of relapse just like with other common chronic illnesses such as asthma, hypertension, etc.
When a relapse occurs after detox, it may prove fatal since the user tends to use higher doses than they were previously used to, in order to achieve the desired effects. In 2013 alone, over 40,000 U.S citizens died of a drug overdose – the leading cause of death that year. This was according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To understand the importance of detox in the recovery process, you must first understand what alcohol or substance abuse does to your body in the long-term and how addiction occurs.
How Does Addiction Occur Among Alcohol and Substance Abusers?
Drugs affect all aspects of a person’s life – physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and psychological. When you inject, smoke, inhale, or eat the chemicals in a drug, they interfere with the brain’s communication center. The nerve cells send and receive distorted information from the brain’s reward area. At this point, the user experiences euphoria or intense feelings of happiness. Repeated use causes the brain to adapt to the high flow of dopamine (messenger chemicals in the brain), which causes the user to crave more of the substance to feel the same level of excitement or pleasure.
This habitual substance use starts a vicious cycle that worsens over time until the user can no longer live without the drug. This takes a toll on the body and brain and the best chance the person has of normal living is by seeking detoxification and rehabilitation from an accredited health facility.
How does Detox Help in the Recovery Process?
While the addiction recovery process is a complex one, detoxification treats the physical facet of addiction. Detox gets rid of all traces of drug use in the body, which eliminates any withdrawal symptoms or cravings. The process requires that the patient be monitored throughout (24/7) since the withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and may require medication to ease them. Detox is a draining process to say the least, however, it’s the most vital step in the recovery process. When the medical specialist is satisfied that you are free of drugs and the cravings have reduced, you can begin focusing on the emotional and psychological aspects of the recovery process.
Common Mental and Physical Symptoms Experienced during Detox
Common mental and physical symptoms that a patient can experience during detox include:
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fast heart rate
- Muscle spasms and pain
Finding the Right Facility for Alcohol Detox and Treatment
According to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), almost 10 percent of American adults aged 18 and older consider themselves to be in recovery from a drug or alcohol dependency. More than 23 million Americans have overcome alcohol or drug abuse and addiction, and you can too.
Given the expertise and experience of their addiction specialists, the Infinite Recovery detox program can help you to successfully overcome your addiction and go back to living a normal and sober life. Addiction treatment should include a comprehensive and holistic treatment and care program, in a safe and comfortable environment to help you get well as quickly and effectively as possible.