Do I Have to Start Drug Rehab With a Detox Program?

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Do I Have to Start Drug Rehab With a Detox Program?

While many addicted individuals go through a detox program, it isn’t necessary for every single instance. Detox treatments are designed to remove a physical dependency on drugs and alcohol before the rehab process begins. Patients often choose to detox under medical supervision because it helps them manage withdrawal symptoms. In addition, detoxing at a treatment center ensures that patients won’t relapse while they are going through withdrawal symptoms.

What Withdrawal Symptoms Are Experienced in a Detox Program?

Every drug addiction is unique, and each person has a different body chemistry. Depending on your unique body characteristics, the biology of your addiction and the drugs that you use, your withdrawal symptoms may vary. Withdrawal symptoms also come in various forms. People may experience emotional and mental symptoms, including: 

  • Social isolation
  • Restlessness
  • Poor concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression 
  • Irritability

Physically, individuals may experience symptoms like:

  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Chest tightness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathing trouble
  • Muscle tension
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

While many withdrawal symptoms aren’t life-threatening, some serious side effects could occur during the withdrawal phase. In more severe cases, individuals may suffer strokes, delirium tremens, grand mal seizures, heart attacks, or hallucinations.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE DETOX PROCESS

When it comes to drug and alcohol use, people who suffer from these problems often have trouble ending their substance use habits. This is because of the emotional, physical, and mental effects of withdrawal. In many cases, those who desire to stop using alcohol or drugs struggle to do so, resulting in addiction relapse in order to avoid the discomfort of withdrawal.

But, if an individual truly wants to become free from substance abuse, it’s important to get the guidance and help necessary in order to truly overcome these challenges. This is where addiction detox programs come in.

The detox process involves various components, all working to help individuals end alcohol or drug use before they begin their addiction treatment and rehab. 

The first step of the detox process is an evaluation. The rehab center’s team of medical professionals first perform an evaluation, determining the exact needs of each client. This evaluation is both physical and psychiatric in nature, meaning that it focuses on determining the individual’s physical and mental states. The medical team will find out the type of substances in the patient’s system, look at medical history and physical health, and review the mental health of the individual in order to establish the best route of detox and, eventually, treatment.

Stabilization is the next part of the detox process. During this phase, individuals go through therapy and receive medications that can help them to comfortably withdraw from substance use. Therapy helps individuals to become more mentally and emotionally stable as they end alcohol or drug use, which can help to prevent relapse from occurring. Through medications prescribed by the medical professionals at the rehab center, individuals can work through the detox process, avoiding the intensity and discomfort of withdrawal.

Finally, those enrolled in a detox program receive more information about the process and what they should expect as they detox from alcohol or drug use. This phase is called “detox preparation”. Individuals will also receive guidance about the next steps they should take once the detox process is over. In many cases, further treatment will be suggested; inpatient addiction treatment is often the next step after addiction detox.

THE BENEFITS OF DETOXING FROM DRUGS OR ALCOHOL

A detox program is designed to remove a physical dependency on drugs or alcohol. This natural process takes place whenever you stop using drugs. While it can be accomplished at home, it’s considerably safer and more comfortable to go through detox at a professional treatment facility. Some patients can detox alone, but medical facilities can help prevent serious side effects and ensure the patient’s safety.

Many treatment programs require patients to go through detox before they start rehab. If patients try to start rehab before they have detoxed, they may have problems focusing during therapy and may not receive the same benefits from treatment. Ideally, detox should occur in a medically-supervised program. Medical staff members can monitor detox 24/7 and manage symptoms. In addition, a treatment center can make sure that patients are nourished and hydrated as they complete detox.

Often, people believe that detoxification programs are unnecessary. In truth, each person is different and will have an individual journey to recovery, either with or without a professional detox program. But, in many cases, those who detox from substance use before beginning the rehab and treatment processes succeed in treatment because they took that first step. 

Going through a detox program gives individuals the opportunity to safely end drug or alcohol use without the fear of becoming severely ill or suffering from life-threatening effects. People who choose to end substance use in their lives with the help of a professional detox program have the advantage of withdrawing in a safe, comfortable environment, surrounded by people who understand and can guide them through the entire process. 

DO I NEED TO GO THROUGH A DETOX PROGRAM?

Now that you know more about detox programs, the process of ending substance use, and the benefits of going through a professional detox process, you may be wondering if you should consider detoxing at a treatment facility. 

Since every patient is unique, there’s no simple answer to this question. If you are thinking about attending a detox center, you can talk to a rehabilitation facility to learn more about their options. Rehab facilities are experienced at handling drug detox and rehab, so they are able to help you decide which options work best in your case.

WILL I NEED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE AFTER DETOX?

Many times, people simply detox from substance abuse and then return to normal life. But, this is not always the best choice. For some people, this can actually lead to addiction relapse because of the lack of therapy and support. After detox, individuals may need to go through treatment, receiving counseling and gaining the skills they need in order to avoid relapse.

During inpatient therapy, individuals attend group and individual therapy sessions while living at a treatment facility. Inpatient treatment allows people to end substance abuse in a safe environment that is free from alcohol or drugs. This may be very helpful for those who live in a place where they have little to no support and may be influenced to use alcohol or drugs after they’ve detoxed. 

There are various types of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), art therapy, and music therapy. Individuals may also engage in holistic therapies, such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture. Through these various therapy approaches, individuals can gain many of the skills and tools they will need in order to remain free from addiction, even after their treatment is over.

In outpatient treatment, which is often the next step after an inpatient program, people can work their way back into life outside of treatment. They may be able to return to work, continue school, and live at home while still getting professional guidance and therapy. For many, this kind of treatment program is extremely helpful because it provides the support they need as they transition from inpatient treatment to “normal” life.

If you are unsure about whether or not you need to go through an inpatient or outpatient program after completing your detox program, it might be helpful to speak with the professional team at your rehab facility. Since they are aware of your emotional, mental, and physical needs, they can help you to develop the right approach to treatment and determine what you will need as you continue to overcome substance abuse in your life. 

DETOXING AT 1st STEP BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Here at 1st Step Behavioral Health, we are committed to making sure each of our clients receive the care and help they need in order to successfully gain their freedom from substance abuse. We know that each individual has unique and specific needs. So, our mission is to develop the best approach to treatment for all of the individuals who come to us for help.

If you do, in fact, need to go through a detox process, our staff will work with you to begin your safe and medically-supervised road to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. We know that you may be facing a lot of uncertainties and dealing with countless questions as you pursue this new way of life. It can be challenging to take a step in a new direction, even if you know it’s for the best. That’s why we are here, offering you the opportunity to find freedom in a way that fits your needs and makes you feel comfortable.

Whether you plan on going through the detoxification process at home or at a treatment facility, there are addiction specialists who can help you. Professional drug rehab is the key to successfully treating your addiction. To find out how rehab can help your recovery process, call 1st Step Behavioral Health today at (866) 319-6126.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.