What Are Drug Detox Programs, and How Do They Work?

drug detox programs

The hardest part of recovery is arguably the detox and withdrawal process, which also happens to be the very first stage of overcoming addiction.

When an addict goes into the detox stage, there’s no telling what kind of symptoms they may feel. The intensity of their symptoms and the combination of them all depends on which drugs they’ve been using, and how often they’re been using.

Generally, though, the withdrawal stage is the most mentally challenging and physically demanding part of getting clean. This is why drug detox programs exist.

These are resources that addicts can use to get through the withdrawal stage with the support and attentive care of medical professionals. Such programs ensure that an addict doesn’t feel alone, and they do their best to keep an addict from falling back into their old ways.

The following is a closer look at how drug detox works and what special programs can do to support recovering addicts.

What Is a Drug Detox Program?

A drug detox program is a specially crafted medical treatment that aims to guide addicts through the necessary withdrawal process. Before such programs existed, addicts had to suffer through detoxing on their own, or admit themselves to a general hospital. But neither of these options can compare to the attentive, genuine care of a professional drug detox program.

Whether it’s an alcohol addiction that your loved one is dealing with, or they’re using things like opiates and painkillers, a drug detox program can help them overcome their dependency on the substance.

This type of program provides a space for an addict to go through the stages of withdrawal with emotional support and medical care. It helps addicts commit to their detox and complete their first step to recovery. Detoxing in such an environment lowers the likelihood of an addict falling back into drugs and increases their chances of reaching sobriety.

How Can Drug Detox Programs Help Addicts?

It only takes about a few days to get everything out of an addict’s system in drug detox. Withdrawals, on the other hand, can last anywhere from 5-10 days or even longer depending on the kind of drugs a person has been using.

Some symptoms are physical while others are emotional; the latter is what can affect a person long after the initial 10 days of withdrawal symptoms. With so much to deal with, the best thing an addict can do for themselves is to check into a professional drug detox program.

Below are all the benefits that choosing to go to rehab has to offer.

1. Fight the Temptation to Use

Imagine if you were sitting alone in your home dealing with everything from a headache and intense nausea to insomnia and vomiting. You’d probably be willing to do anything to make these things go away.

During a drug detox, this is the body’s way of telling an addict that it wants drugs. The body has gotten to a state that it can’t function without having drugs, and it’s begging for the addict to drink, shoot up, or otherwise give in to the temptation of using again.

Most addicts will give in because the intensity of these symptoms is just too much to bear. However, if they’re in a supervised, controlled environment instead of on their own, the option to use their drug of choice isn’t available. An addict has no choice but to finish what they started and complete the drug detox, leading to recovery.

2. Administer Medication for the Symptoms of Withdrawal

Being in a drug detox program doesn’t just help an addict focus on the goal they’re trying to accomplish; it also helps them reach this goal in a much easier manner than they’d be able to on their own.

Medical professionals are committed to the success of each addict’s detox. They’re available around the clock to administer medication that can ease the physical and mental effects of withdrawals. These medications are given in controlled doses and chosen carefully so as to help an addict detox, but not offset their progress toward sobriety.

3. Provide a Safe, Comfortable Place to Detox

Another huge benefit of detoxing in a controlled environment is that it’s made to be comfortable. Drug detox programs offer single rooms where addicts can relax and focus on getting better. It is a place where people can go to get away from distractions and negative influences that may get in the way of their detox.

This is especially beneficial if an addict lives with roommates who encourage bad behavior or who have decided not to support their journey to sobriety. The fewer distractions a person is influenced by or has access to, the better their chances of getting through the detox.

4. Offer Emotional Support

Sometimes, the biggest benefit of a drug detox program isn’t so much the medical attention as it is the genuine care. Addicts are often people who feel outcasted or alone in life. They don’t know who to lean on while experiencing withdrawals, or they may fear being rejected if they do reach out.

Thankfully, the professionals at a drug detox program are very understanding and compassionate. These people are willing to meet addicts where they are and walk with them on the journey to recovery – without any judgment, holding grudges, or negative comments.

5. Set Addicts Up for Success

The final way that a drug detox program helps an addict is that it sets him/her up for success on their journey to sobriety. If an addict decides to go through withdrawals on their own, they’re more likely to fall back into drug use after detoxing. This creates a cycle of relapse where they decide to get clean, use drugs again, and have to try all over again to get sober.

When a person uses a drug detox program to begin recovery, though, it’s easier to move onto the next steps. They can bypass the back and forth of dealing with withdrawals and jump into the real work of recovering instead.

What Comes Next?

Drug detox programs are only the beginning of every addict’s journey to recovery.

Once they’re in a good mental state and their body is clean of all the drugs they’ve been using, a person has to work on changing their ways for the better. They have to learn how to avoid future drug use, use better coping habits, and improve their life as a whole. That’s when the real transformation begins.

If you or someone you love needs help along their journey to sobriety, you’ve come to the right place. Click here to discover everything we can do!