If you’re investigating a detox program for yourself or your loved one, you’re facing a frightening time.

But with all the dangerous health effects that result from drug abuse, the prospect of continuing abuse is scarier than the struggle of getting clean.

Here, we’re breaking down everything you should expect if you check into detox treatment.

Intake Consultation and Assessment

It’s the first day of detox. What should you expect?

The first step is an intake consultation and assessment. You’ll sit down with an intake manager to discuss a huge array of issues while filling out paperwork.

Usually, this assessment will cover your history, your substance abuse (frequency, drugs of choice, etc.) and any medical issues that might have an impact on your detox proceeds.

It’s vital to be as honest as possible during this stage. The intake staff can’t properly help you if they’re making recommendations based on an incomplete picture.

Based on the information you provide, a therapist will draft a treatment plan that matches your needs. Remember, no matter how uncomfortable the information might be, the staff is here to help you.

This is also when you’ll get settled in your room and take a tour of the facility if you wish. It’s alright to be uncomfortable, but don’t let the discomfort chase you out of detox.

Medical Evaluation

After you’ve completed your intake, you’ll need to do a medical evaluation.

It might seem counterintuitive to do a medical evaluation after the staff just did an intake assessment. But the truth is, by the time you make it to the detox process, you’ve been abusing drugs for months or years on end.

This takes a massive toll on your body, and not just on your liver. Your body has become accustomed to functioning with drugs, and it will have to chemically readjust. You also may have nutritional deficiencies, health issues exacerbated by drugs, and underlying mental health concerns.

The medical evaluation is designed to help your treatment team get a clear picture of what they’re dealing with. This will help ensure that you can detox safely in their care.

Once you’ve completed the evaluation, your doctor will talk with you about how to manage withdrawal and cravings so that you can be as comfortable as possible.

Starting Detox Treatment

Once your assessment and evaluation are completed, it’s time to begin your detox treatment.

Your team will often recommend medically supervised detox if your drug abuse has been particularly severe or for a prolonged period of time. This will allow them to make sure that your health doesn’t take any major turns for the worse during withdrawal.

What this looks like will vary between treatment centers. Some detox centers prescribe medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and dull drug cravings, though this is only done in a supervised setting for a three to ten-day detox.

Many medical teams prescribe nutritional supplements to give your body an extra boost. They will also push a lot of fluids to help combat dehydration.

It’s common to limit contact with family and friends until the initial stage of detox is over. This is for both sides, so that you can focus on detox and so that your family can focus on self-care.

Will Detox Hurt?

Based on what we’ve already said, you’re probably wondering whether detox will hurt.

It’s not going to be as easy as marshmallow fluff, but the whole detox process is designed to help keep you as comfortable as possible.

Your Body on Detox

Once you’ve properly begun the detox program, your body begins going through withdrawal.

Remember, you’ve been taking drugs for a while, and that means that your body has chemically recalibrated itself to function with drugs in your system. Detox forces your body to readjust to a different chemical balance and re-learn how to regulate in the absence of drugs.

This isn’t going to be the most pleasant process, but your medical team will help you stay comfortable during the worst of it.

The specifics of withdrawal look different depending on what the drug is and how long you’ve been abusing it–alcohol withdrawal is different from opioid withdrawal.

However, there are generally a few common features, including:

  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • High or irregular heartbeat

This is when your brain starts craving familiar chemicals to make the feeling go away, which feeds into the vicious cycle of addiction. Some reactions are worse than others, especially if your abuse was severe.

This is why it’s generally not recommended to do a drug detox without medical supervision. Aside from helping you stay comfortable and safe, medical supervision helps ensure that you don’t give in to drug cravings.

Detox vs. Rehab: What’s the Difference?

When you think of detox, you’re probably picturing rehabilitation or the image of rehabilitation that you have from celebrities.

However, detox and rehab are not the same things.

Detox is the short-term process that gets you off your drugs of choice and past the early stages of withdrawal. Rehab, on the other hand, is the long-term process that teaches you how to live your life without relying on drugs. Rehab may sometimes include detox, but generally, they’re two different things.

The Detox Treatment You Need

Now that you understand how detox treatment works, are you ready to take the next step for you or your loved one?

We offer a smooth transition from detox into residential treatment based on the needs of the individual. Our detox process combines professional therapeutic and medical advice to ensure you receive the best treatment possible.

Click here to find out what to bring to rehab, get your insurance verified before checking in, or get in touch with us today to take the next step towards a happier, healthier life.