The Biology of Recovery
August 24, 2015
You’ve taken the first important step in recovery. Admitting that you have a problem and asking for help from friends, family, a doctor, or a treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction treatment takes courage.
Now that you have decided you’re ready to purge drugs or alcohol from your system, you probably have a lot of questions. Some of those are likely about the detox process–the first step you’ll take toward getting healthy.
What is detox?
Detoxification or detox is the removal of toxins from the body. A medical detox program like at Rock Springs Hospital helps individuals stop using addictive substances and eliminates residual toxins from the body in a safe, supervised setting. Since the use of substances causes changes in the body’s chemistry, it takes time and professional supervision to recover and restore equilibrium to the body and mind.
Why can’t I just quit addiction on my own?
The temptation to quit “cold turkey” is fairly common. This may seem harmless, with the added incentive of being completely free of cost. Think again. Not only is the practice frequently ineffective, it can also prove dangerous – even fatal, in some instances.
When a person is regularly introducing drugs or alcohol into their system, there are mental and physiological repercussions to the body. The drug or alcohol stimulates reactions that were formerly produced by natural substances. Abrupt withdrawal from alcohol or drugs can cause massive stress and pressure on the heart and blood vessels, putting the individual at risk of seizures and even death.
How will my body react to the detox?
Detox can be challenging for your body and mind, but remember, you will have adequate support. Withdrawing from drugs in a supportive, comfortable environment can make the process much easier. Symptoms experienced during detox may be as mild as a headache or nausea but could be as severe at seizures and hallucinations. The best facilities in the Austin area like Rock Springs provide on-site detoxification and are staffed with licensed medical professionals who will closely monitor you for signs and symptoms of withdrawal, making sure to adjust your medication to offset the discomfort of withdrawal. You will also receive nutritional replacement, hydration therapy and pharmacological support to help your body feel better and return to health.
Keep in mind that alcohol and drugs take a serious toll on the body. The kidneys and liver that serve as the body’s natural detox organs have been working overtime to eliminate alcohol from the body. After an extended period of heavy abuse, they are exhausted. Frequently, individuals with a drug or alcohol addiction tend to have a poor appetite and don’t get adequate nutrition from their meals. Combined with the physical challenges of a detox, this leaves the body nutritionally compromised. To address that deficiency, many detox programs use vitamin and mineral supplements to boost overall health during and after detox.
In addition, the leading behavioral hospitals like Rock Springs now offer holistic therapies like yoga to help your body cope with withdrawal during the detox. As the drugs leave your system, alternative practices can speed up the detox process and make it much more comfortable.
How long does it take to detox?
While it’s natural to want to recover in one day, it is important to realize that detox is the first step on the road to recovery in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. The process usually takes three to five days.
Once this initial period of cleansing is over, the important work of behavioral treatment begins; without it, relapse is more than likely. Although you may feel better soon after the detox stage, reaching an optimal state of physical health will take longer. That’s one reason why professionally supervised inpatient treatment at Rock Springs, followed by partial hospital or outpatient treatment is critical for a lasting recovery.
Your new life awaits at Rock Springs. Call today to begin your road to sobriety.