You may be wondering what the heck medically supervised detox is, and why so many places recommend that you go through one when you are trying to get sober. Well, don’t be alarmed, if it is your first-time seeking treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol, you’ll be hearing plenty of new words and phrases that will become familiar over time.
The Benefits of a Medically Supervised Detox
All addicts know how terrible detox is. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening in some cases. If you have tried to detox on your own, you know that it is nearly impossible. Most people end up relapsing during the detox process simply because they can’t stand the symptoms anymore.
Symptoms can include:
- Extreme Anxiety and Agitation
- Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
- Confusion and Delirium
- Coma and Death
Sound appealing? It isn’t. However, during a medically supervised detox at a treatment center, you will be given medication and supervision you need in order to make sure the process is as easy, safe, and comfortable as possible. You’ll be in a completely safe environment where you will be monitored around the clock, ensuring that you are as safe as possible.
As soon as you arrive at treatment, you will be given a thorough medical and psychological exam to make sure that all underlying issues are diagnosed and treated. Also, this will set a baseline for your treatment plan which will be entirely customized for you. Your medically supervised detox plan will be made according to your background, your health, and your individual addiction. And, you’ll be monitored throughout the detox process to make sure you are perfectly safe, and medication can be administered and increased or decreased as needed. Detox usually lasts for about one week.
What to Expect During a Medical Detox
A medical detox is nothing to be scared of. It is the safest way to make sure that your body adjusts back to existing without the substances you have been putting into it for so long. See, everything you put in your body, from alcohol to cocaine to heroin, has a unique effect on all of your cells and your brain too. Your body adjusts to functioning with the substance in it, and basically re-wires itself to make things work. When you remove the substance suddenly, you are shocking your body and the transition can be incredibly emotionally and physically uncomfortable.
The doctors and therapists who help you during your detox are experts in knowing what you are going through and the best ways to help. Many of them have even been through it themselves. Over the first few days, you will be expected to rest a lot and you will be given a course of medication especially for you to help you sleep, have less anxiety, less nausea, and any other symptoms you may be experiencing. Nurses will check your vital signs to make sure your body is functioning normally every couple of hours to ensure your complete safety. You may also be prescribed vitamins because many addicts and alcoholics arrive at treatment severely malnourished.
As the detox continues, you might be weaned off of certain medications. The goal is not to over medicate you but rather to gradually remove the amount of medication you are taking as your symptoms subside. Done correctly, you will barely feel the effects of detox, although you may find yourself needing a lot of sleep and rest.
Once the medically supervised detox part of treatment ends, you’ll be expected to continue in treatment attending group and individual therapy sessions to set yourself up with a strong foundation for recovery. This is one of the best and only ways to get through detox without being extremely tempted to use, and we encourage all addicts to get the professional help they need.