Detoxification is one of the most critical steps of addiction recovery, because it’s the turning point from active addiction to a time of cleansing and healing. Although it’s often the first step, it’s one of the most feared – and that’s because many people don’t know what to expect. In many ways, detox is different depending on the person – their age, sex, weight, substance abuse history, genetics, health and more can all have an impact on the reaction their body has to weaning off of drugs. As you can imagine, however, detox isn’t the most pleasurable experience – but it’s only temporary and there are more medications and support now than there have been in the past.
Many people experience physical and emotional changes throughout detox. Withdrawal symptoms often emerge, which may include chills, nausea, sweating, seizures, vomiting, depression, fatigue and more. Substance detoxification typically lasts 7-14 days, which may feel like forever, but is truly only a speck of time in the grand scheme of things. Additionally, medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and others can help people avoid some of the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Yale Medicine emphasizes that extended release injection naltrexone has become more popular for those who do not want to take medication that stimulates opioid receptors in the brain (which many drugs do). Here at Cumberland Heights, we used Naltrexone as part of our Safe Start program.
Despite the painful symptoms that can emerge temporarily, there are some positive components of detox that may come to surface. According to a research study published in the journal International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE), detox tends to give people a greater sense of clarity. As one participant stated, “As you get cleaner or the fog goes away you realize that, ya know, what keeps me going is wanting to live some type of normal life, you know, working, paying taxes, taking care of your kids…instead of the everyday chaos and not caring about anything…that’s what keeps me going.”
Detox could be described by some as a roller coaster, as there is a lot of uncertainty. Each person responds differently, which is also why it’s incredibly important to have an adequate healthcare team by your side if you’re ready to detox. Doing so at home could place you in much greater danger.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.