Is a Medical Detox Ever Not Necessary for Alcohol or Drug Withdrawal?

Is Detox Considered Necessary?

In general yes, detox is considered necessary; however, there are a few exceptions. While this may seem confusing, keep in mind the general relationship to specific substances as it comes to different addictions. 

Not only is each drug very different, but how each individual reacts to the dependency of that drug is also unique. No two addictions are going to be exactly alike, because no two people are exactly alike. This means treatment, as well as the need for detox, will also vary from case to case. 

Getting familiar with your addiction and how it has influenced your life is going to be important to determine. Whether you are dealing with an addiction to Xanax, heroin, or cocaine, your program may be altered. 

In addition, familiarizing yourself with the detox process can help to make educated and reliable decisions for your own future. Some have been able to complete this process alone, at home, on their own. Others have died trying. 

Taking the chance, when it is a life and death decision, can be difficult to do without professional assessment and guidance. That is why rehab and detox centers are there in the first place, to help break free from substance abuse. These resources are available to discuss options on how to detox from drugs safely. They are also important to ensure privacy and discretion during a potentially vulnerable time. 

The First Major Step In Addiction Treatment

The first decision made, that alters the outcome of the future, is the choice to get help for your addiction. After that, you place your faith in an accredited rehab institution, hoping soon, that days will begin to get better. Arrangements are made, and you are ready to get a new chance at life. 

You will be examined and assessed, as your specialized treatment program is developed. Once completed, you can begin to settle in. It is at this point, where many begin to wonder about their first step of rehab and recovery. The first major step is detox.  

Depending on the type of substance fueled addiction, and the length of active addiction, your detox treatment will vary. However, it is important to know that you are on the right track already. Quite literally, millions of people have been where you are right now; Ready to start a recovery journey. Over 90% have had detox success, and even more with professional care. 

By following the individualized program, you are actively considered to be working to recover. However, in order to begin, you must cross the first major milestone of rehab, which is detoxification. This is the beginning of a new, healthy, and sober life. 

Detox Isn’t Always Easy, But It’s Worth It

While it is a fairly easy process to become addicted, rehabilitation requires a bit more effort. At least at first. Quitting a substance abuse habit takes time, patience, endurance, and dedication, to no one other than yourself. 

The truth is, by the time you’ve realized that substance abuse has become an issue, many things have already been affected. For some, a lot of damage has been done. You might have dug a very hefty hole for yourself to crawl out of. However, many have done it successfully before you.

Detox and Withdrawal

Going without will usually produce some negative side effects, but it is part of the process. And whether or not you believe it now, it is going to be worth it. 

Taking detox seriously and focusing on a better life is going to be very important now. You see, your brain has become accustomed to the regular supply of drugs and alcohol. This creates a condition in which your body begins to rely on that steady supply. 

The uncomfortable sensations experienced during detox are known as withdrawal symptoms. The body needs to adjust to functioning again, without these foreign chemicals. This could take some time to happen, and you need to be patient. 

The longer you resist the cravings, the easier it will soon become, on a physical level. However, this is not always easy to do, especially alone. In fact, it can even be deadly. This is why it often becomes necessary to enlist in the help of professionals at an addiction recovery center. They can protect your privacy while ensuring your safety and even provide you with a significant level of comfort. 

What is Detox Exactly? 

The processes of detox often mark the beginning of new routines and the ending of old bad habits. This is true of the diet and nutrition world, as well as rehab

Plain and simple, it is the process of cleansing toxins from your body. However, when it comes to detoxing from drugs and alcohol, it’s a bit more complex.

Your liver already does a thorough job of cleaning contaminants from the blood and does so on a daily basis. The problem comes when drugs and alcohol need to be flushed out as well. Using more of these substances progressively, and doing so more often, your liver is forced to work overtime. 

Keeping the poison out of your blood supply is a strenuous task, even in cases of mild substance abuse. Over time, because of an overworked liver, a build-up of chemicals will remain in your system, unable to be abolished. 

When a person remains free from use for a prolonged period of time, the liver begins doing damage control. The organ then tries to go back to these built up supplies of toxins and attempts to play catch up. However, this may take some time to start. That’s because the body has become accustomed to preparing for an incoming attack and is waiting to pump out toxins quickly for survival. At first, there may be a stall before this actual process begins to take effect. 

It happens much like how the body functions when in survival mode during starvation. When a person is unable to supply the body with a constant input of food, it stores some away. The excess storage is to be used for energy when unable to eat. Until the system recognizes that the storage is unnecessary, it will continue to do so. 

Once a person puts a stop to substance abuse, the body will adjust and go back to those reserves and begin to cleanse. Unfortunately, this is when detox can become uncomfortable. Withdrawal from some substances can even be deadly, if not under proper supervision. 

Alcohol Detox is Risky Business

Substance abuse, such as alcoholism, can be especially dangerous when it comes to detox. The longer a person has been abusing alcohol, the more hazardous it can be. Oftentimes, alcohol isn’t the primary dependency a person needs to detox from but abuse along with other substances. This is referred to as polysubstance abuse. Facing how to detox from drugs while beginning to abstain from drinking, requires the body to overperform and become fatigued. 

This does not only refer to physical tiredness but also lowers the functioning of organs. Extreme caution should be observed. You may require help trying to manage how to detox from drugs as well as alcohol. Rehab and detox centers are prepared for these life-threatening situations and work to ensure your safety. 

Medication-Assisted Detox

Some detox procedures include having the assistance of medication incorporated into the program. How does detox work, in terms of using medication to assist, is a frequently asked question. Using drugs to get clean from drugs? It sounds backward, but there is a science to it. 

The process of medication-assisted detox involves administering a controlled supply of a drug similar to the one you were abusing. Throughout the process, typically, doses are gradually reduced after initial detox. This is to prevent having to suffer the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms. For treating addiction to some drugs, withdrawal can be very difficult when done naturally. 

When you try to quit “cold turkey,” it can send the body into a state of shock. Withdrawal symptoms may be too much to handle, proving deadly or even result in a relapse. 

Depending on the severity of your addiction, withdrawal symptoms may be severe enough to seek medical attention. This includes cardiac arrest or serious life-threatening complications. As the doses of medication are lowered, and eventually diminished altogether, your liver should be able to finish the job. After flushing the rest of those toxins out of your system, withdrawals will stop, and behavioral therapy can begin. 

The Benefits of Detox in Rehab 

In reality, before you can begin participating in therapy to help you cope with addiction, you must first get clean. While toxins and the harmful remnants of substance abuse remain in the body, the work to move forward is hindered. Detox is not only necessary, but it is also beneficial to the rest of the journey. 

Though it may be uncomfortable for some, a lot can be learned at this time. Paying attention to how severely the body reacts is a reminder of how badly it was damaged. Sometimes, you can do this without much help. But the potential for deadly side effects makes it cautionary. 

In addition to detox being able to reset the body closely back to its original functioning, overall mental clarity should improve. By using rehab facilities to your benefit, you can quickly integrate new behavioral practices into your routine if partaking in targeted programs. Therapy will immediately proceed detox, leaving no space for error. 

Many who have completed detox believe that they now have control over their addiction. While eventually, this is the goal, new coping and training skills must be adapted to. This takes time and practice that rehab programs such as executive treatment can offer. 

Moving quickly into programs designed for maximum effectiveness post-detox reinforces new healthy and sober habits. These habits become routine, and routine becomes a new way of life. Get the most out of your rehab journey by taking your sobriety seriously. Be sure and follow the program that has been proven to work. Your life may depend on it. 

The Few Times Rehab Detox Isn’t Necessary

In some cases, though few, the addiction will never become so severe that a medicated detox is necessary. Certain drugs only have psychological effects, and a medical detox treatment is primarily helpful for withdrawal symptoms of physical addiction. However, there are very few drugs that cause such little biological harm. 

For some drugs or those that do not yield severe withdrawal, you may be able to abstain successfully without intervention. That’s not to say it will be easy to quit. Breaking bad behavior can be equally as difficult, even with reduced risk factors. 

Unfortunately, some still assume that when a drug doesn’t produce a physical dependency, it is considered safe to abuse. However, no foreign chemical makes this true. Even though there may not be a physical dependency that comes along with some substances, problems can still arise. 

Some of these health hazards may include lung damage and other respiratory problems, heart disease, or even kidney and liver damage. Some of the substances that run this risk and may not require a medical detox include:

This does not go to say that rehab won’t be helpful. It simply suggests that it may not be medically necessary. Treatment and recovery is a different story. That said, everything depends on the severity of the addiction, and how abusing has affected your life overall. 

If you have tried time and again to break free from these addictions, maybe it’s time to consider getting help. Especially when you are still feeling as though you are always facing relapse, further intervention may make the difference. Reinforcing your will to remove harmful behaviors from your daily routine adds to an increase in overall quality of life. 

When Detox is a Necessity 

Conversely, there are many drugs, such as alcohol and opiates, that do require a medical detox to manage withdrawal symptoms. If you use these drugs, even for a short time, your brain may already be rewired to rely on them.

Taking drugs alters and stimulates the receptors in the brain, causing it to release neurotransmitter molecules. These molecules are intercepted in the brain and create a sense of euphoria. Over time, the brain begins to rely on these sensations. When deprived of the drug, the body will produce withdrawal symptoms, responding automatically.

In addition to alcohol, substance abuse of the following drugs commonly require a medical detox to do so safely. These addictions include:

While a physical addiction yields a more difficult withdrawal, it can also affect a person psychologically. The latter can be managed with counseling and therapy. However, physical addiction requires a physical solution. Having a plan during detoxification to control the intensity of withdrawal symptoms is something that most rehabs specialize in. Along with withdrawal, some individuals will experience unexpected health complications that require emergency medical attention. 

Common Withdrawal Symptoms During Detox and When to Expect Them

Surely this will be a different experience for each individual person. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have any. It means that you will have uncomfortable sensations, but in different combinations than another may. Understand that you may endure any of the following during detox: 

  • Muscle pain
  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Seizures
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Excessive or unexplained sweating
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Dehydration
  • Delirium

If attempting to detox without professional help, at least be aware of how soon the process can begin. Withdrawal symptoms can occur as early as eight hours after the last use of the drug. They usually last three days; however, this can surely go on much longer. They can persist for up to two weeks. After that, symptoms typically begin to subside, though not always right away. 

Unfortunately, without proper follow up care, many will relapse. Others begin using again to prevent or decrease the discomfort before withdrawal symptoms even begin to dissipate. This is why professional care is in such high demand. 

Rehab and recovery treatment can help you break the cycle of addiction. Undergoing therapy and inhouse treatment can give you a more fair shot at a life with your sobriety. If you have any doubt, or unsure about how to detox from drugs, utilize what rehab centers have to offer. That is what they are designed for. 

Getting Information on How to Detox from Drugs

There is no shame involved with asking for help with addiction. There is also no shame in getting information that can benefit you. Living with an addiction can be scary and unpredictable. You don’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed about rehab and recovery. 

Contact us and get the answers to the questions you have about how to detox from drugs and alcohol. Specialized institutions have more than just the response you are looking for. They also have the best ways to help and work to ensure treatment plans that are specific to each individual. There is no need to stay on the painful path of substance abuse any longer. Get motivated. Find the answers you need. Get sober. Get healthy!

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.

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