When someone you love is struggling with addiction, it can be hard to know how to help. When an individual is struggling with addiction, the prospect of battling their addiction can be a daunting one. Regardless of whether you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, the very best thing you can do is to educate yourself on the process of addiction recovery. Recovery takes many different shapes and forms for almost everyone and no two courses of treatment every quite look the same for any two individuals. Some individuals thrive under one course of treatment that doesn’t work nearly as well for another. While there are certain aspects of recovery that are almost universal for everyone, the path to recovery is filled with any number of individual twists and turns.
Types of facilities and levels of care
When researching treatment options for yourself or a loved one, it is important to understand the different types and levels of care available. Just a few of the many types of treatment available are detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient therapy, group therapy, counseling and support groups. Each facility is generally designed to provide a specific type of treatment and level of care and not all facilities can provide the same types of care. This is why it is important to understand the different levels and types of care a facility offers before choosing a facility.
What is detox?
Detox if often the first and possibly most critical step for most individuals struggling with addiction and seeking treatment. Most addictive substances have a profound effect on body chemistry. In many cases, it can actually be medically dangerous to simply stop taking a certain substance. Even when it isn’t medically dangerous, it can be extremely uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Detox centers are most often located in hospitals but even if they aren’t, they are fully licensed medical centers. Detox facilities will employ a range of licensed medical staff that can help an individual struggling with an addiction to rid their system of the substance of their addiction.
Addiction is a complex disease that has any number of underlying causes. At it’s root, addiction is almost always a means of managing some type of pain. Most individuals that struggle with addiction are also in tremendous pain. Sometimes that pain is physical but often it is psychological or emotional and in some cases a combination of all three. Before the underlying issues can be addressed, however, an individual needs to be free of the effects of the substance they are using to manage their pain. This is where detox comes in.
Detox is not like other types of treatment. The singular and sole purpose of detox is specifically to help the addicted person rid their system of the chemicals affecting them. Detox can last as little as 48 hours, but generally lasts from 3-5 days. It can also extend longer depending on whether or not medical conditions arise. There is generally no therapy involved, but instead individuals are encouraged to go directly from a detox facility to an inpatient treatment center.
Most detox facilities will have strict rules in place regarding visitors and the use of cell phones. Individuals in detox are in an incredibly vulnerable position because detox can be extremely uncomfortable, but real treatment cannot begin until an individual has been freed from the hold of the substance of their addiction. In many cases, the process of cleansing one’s system of addictive chemicals is all many individuals can handle.
While some individuals may have loved ones that want to see them while they are in a detox center, this is not generally permitted or advisable. Individuals are also not encouraged and often not permitted to leave the detox facility in the middle of treatment. Not only can it be medically dangerous for them to do so, but doing so is almost a guarantee of not getting any further help or treatment. Most detox facilities will take strong measures to ensure that once treatment begins, the patient does not leave until the detoxification process has been completed.
Detoxing from any substance is almost never going to a pleasant experience by any stretch, but the goal of almost all detox facilities is to make the patient as comfortable as is medically possible.
While there is just no way to put a pleasant spin on the detox process, the only way out is through. In addition, detoxing in a medically licensed facility is almost always preferable to simply going “cold turkey.” If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, detox is often the first step in embracing a full, rich life of sobriety.