The path to recovery and freedom from addiction comes with many different stages. Each stage is an integral part of the recovery journey. Along the way, you learn more about yourself, your struggle with addiction, and become educated on how you can effectively handle your addiction to maintain recovery. One of the initial first stages of recovery is the detoxification process. Alcohol or drug detoxification is the process of ridding substances from the body.
Most treatment programs provide a detox option, yet some will not. Still, most facilities will encourage you to go through a supervised medical detox instead of an independent process as there are many dangers and issues detoxification can pose. If you or someone you love is currently suffering from addiction, finding a facility to safely detox may be the first step to consider. Look up the local detox facilities in your area of California, ensure they are credible and capable of what needs to be done, and seek the treatment you deserve today.
Detox and Medically Managed Withdrawal
The detoxification process within a facility is often referred to as medically managed withdrawal. It can be a safe way for you to begin your path to recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). As mentioned, detox is the process of naturally ridding yourself of whatever substance has been consumed, whether it is drugs or alcohol. A standard set of practical interventions may be used to manage the side effects, as well as withdrawal. Those interventions may include therapies and even medications that help treat detox symptoms. The benefit of medically managed withdrawal is that it limits the risk of physical harm.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) refers to medically managed withdrawal, or what is commonly known as medically assisted detoxification, as the first stage of treatment. Although, it does not support the recovery of long-term substance use on its own. Professional detox programs are designed solely to “safely manage the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal” and can sometimes “pave the way for effective long-term addiction treatment.” Upon completing detox, you should enter into an addiction treatment program if you want a better chance of recovering.
Dangers of Detoxing Alone
There are many dangers associated with detoxing on your own. The more you consume alcohol or use drugs, the higher chance you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Regarding alcohol withdrawal, the symptoms you may encounter—according to Medline Plus and the National Library of Medicine, include anxiety and depression, irritability, tremors in the body, nausea, vomiting, and—when more severe—can even lead to seizures and hallucinations. Symptoms vary based on the amount of alcohol or other substance(s) consumed, as well as any other underlying medical issues you may have. That is why it is important to detox with a professional facility. They have methods, medications, and therapies to treat withdrawal symptoms, which can lead to death if untreated.
Another issue that arises with the “cold turkey” approach to detox is the unpredictability of how the body will react. When your body gets accustomed to excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol in your system, there is no telling what parts may fail to function when substances are removed.
For example, alcohol use may lead to complications with your liver or kidneys, creating a turn for the worst. Additionally, excessive drug use can be incredibly difficult to quit. When trying a cold turkey method on your own, you risk severe relapse, which could lead to overdose. Even though death is not a guaranteed outcome, seeking professional help when detoxing is highly encouraged. It will help you get through it safely and help you take the next step to seek treatment and recovery.
What’s Next After Detox?
Upon completing a professional detox program, we highly encourage you to consider entering into an addiction treatment facility or program. The Lakehouse Recovery Center, for example, offers several programs to treat alcohol, drug, and prescription addiction. The Lakehouse difference provides a hybrid approach that combines clinical and holistic treatment offered through means most convenient to each client. Our goal is to help our fellow Californians enter into recovery without the sacrifice of having to put their lives on hold.
Reach out today to your local detox centers to gather more information on the resources that are at your disposal. Those in Southern California—specifically within Los Angeles County—should feel free to contact or visit us at the Lakehouse Recovery Center, where we can help you take your first steps towards lasting recovery.
There are many dangers and risks associated with detoxing alone. Dependent on how excessive your substance use is and other underlying medical conditions you may have, quitting cold turkey can often lead to nausea and vomiting, anxiety and depression, tremors, and in more severe cases, seizures, delusions, and even death. Professional detoxification programs, or medically managed withdrawal, are the safest options for detoxing. They provide you with interventions and methods that can help manage and treat troubling withdrawal symptoms. That includes medications, a monitored and safe environment, and potential therapy offerings. Detox is, however, only the first step to recovery. Upon leaving the detox facility, you should enter into a treatment program immediately if you hope to achieve full recovery. Those in Southern California–specifically the Los Angeles county–should research local detox facilities and seriously consider reaching out to those of us at the Lakehouse Recovery Center at (877) 762-3707 to begin your path to recovery today.