Detox is the essential first step in recovery from substance abuse, making it a crucial part of one’s entire journey. However, knowing when it is time to explore detox can be different for each individual, creating difficulty when deciding when to search for help with substance use. Understanding detox, the intention behind it, as well as how it relates to one’s recovery journey as a whole, are all necessary before starting a detox. Being prepared for the difficulties therein can help each person take an informed step toward their own healing journey.
What Is Detox?
The detox phase involves taking time to remove toxic substances from one’s body. In order to begin the healing process, it is first necessary to remove traces of alcohol or drugs from one’s system as much as possible. It is also important to deal with the immediate symptoms of withdrawal that may manifest as one ceases their use.
However, these withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly difficult to cope with. There is emotional turmoil involved with the cessation of substance use as a person’s brain may have become programmed to believe that it needs drugs or alcohol the same way that a person needs air, food, or water.
The physical symptoms can be just as difficult to manage. Shaking, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and more can all be common withdrawal symptoms. The severity can depend on a few different factors. What substances were used, how long one had been using, how frequently, as well as if they have tried to quit on their own before, are all important considerations when starting detox.
Depending on the individual, medical detox and medication may be necessary to cope with the severe withdrawal symptoms. This can help to alleviate some of the pain or discomfort that may otherwise come as a result of this difficult–but necessary–part of the recovery process.
Stop Measuring With Numbers
Many who are considering detox and beginning their recovery journey can be thrown off by counting how often they engage with drugs or how many drinks they have in one sitting. Oftentimes, this is an inaccurate way of gauging one’s relationship with addictive substances.
What may be one person’s “average night out” can be too much for another person. Gauging how much one drinks compared to others or staying under a certain numerical threshold can overlook other key indications that detox may be necessary. Rather, determining when detox is appropriate should instead be measured based on how one’s substance use affects their personal life.
While some people may suffer from a substance use disorder due to daily use of addictive substances, others may experience them as binging on occasion and being unable to stop. Both of these forms of substance abuse need to be addressed.
Tracking Responsibilities and Workplace Performance
Rather than counting drinks, measuring one’s adherence to meeting responsibilities and obligations can be a more accurate metric in which to gauge one’s relationship with addictive substances. Regardless of how often an individual engages with addictive substances, if these substances begin to affect an individual’s ability to tend to other responsibilities, or are not performing with the same quality that they normally would, one’s relationship with addictive substances should be addressed.
Likewise, if one finds that their thoughts are focused on addictive substances, such as planning one’s day around when they can use again or jumping to their use as an outlet for stress, the relationship should be discussed. Detox may be appropriate in order to begin having an honest and open dialogue about one’s substance use.
Take Relationships Seriously
A person’s use of addictive substances also affects those around them, with one’s closest relationships often being affected first. If a person is noticing that they are spending less time with loved ones in order to engage with addictive substances or is confronted by loved ones harboring concerns over their substance use, it is important to take these considerations seriously.
These conversations are not easy to have, and it is common that one’s use has been affecting one’s relationships for a long time before being overtly brought up by others. An outside perspective can offer invaluable information when it comes to determining the need for detox. An individual may not be fully aware of how often they are using or how it is affecting other parts of their life.
Detox is often the first step in the long journey to recovery, and it can look different for each person. However, determining if detox should be the next step for each individual can be handled on each unique circumstance. Recovery is a personal journey, and only one’s own relationship with addictive substances should be considered.
There is no universal safe threshold for one’s substance use or any concrete numerical guide when it comes to addiction or substance use disorders. However, once these substances begin to impact other parts of one’s life uninvited, detox may be the crucial, needed step towards lasting change.
Detox is a difficult but essential part of your recovery. Whether you are taking your first steps towards sobriety or are looking to return to the sober path, we at Everlast Recovery Centers are ready to help you today. Located in Riverside, California, we treasure the opportunity to help you begin your recovery today. Our medical detox program allows us to continuously monitor and provide support regardless of your needs and struggles during this tumultuous phase, all in an effort to start your recovery off on the right foot. With a personalized approach to your needs, along with an individualized recovery plan focused on the therapies and strategies, such as art and music therapy, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and more, all backed with our experienced and professional medical services, we are prepared to help you begin a transformative journey to sobriety. For information on how we can personalize your recovery, call (866) 338-6925.