Detox: The First Step
Recovering from addiction is a long process, and taking the first step in recovery means confronting the addiction head-on. The first step is about preparing oneself for the long journey to sober, healthy living. The picture of recovery is populated with images of both group and individual therapy, constant battles against urges, and the challenge of rewiring and recontextualizing the world. Looking at recovery as a whole is daunting and can be off-putting for those seeking treatment. However, it all begins with one single step – detoxing.
Detoxing the body is not the same thing as recovering from addiction. The intensity and duration of the detox depend on the individual, the substance being abused, and the length of time it was abused. Detoxing is a purging of all traces of the abused substance from the body, whether it be alcohol, pain killers, or designer drugs. Detox itself can last about a week, and it can be the single most trying week in recovery. Withdrawal kicks in, and every neuron in one’s brain begins to scream in protest against the process. After all, the brain has to rewire itself to not rely on, and more specifically, expect the drugs or alcohol to be consumed.
Progress in recovery cannot be made while still under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Internalizing therapy, personalized programs, or completing any other part of a treatment plan requires a completely clear mind. During this time, recovering addicts contemplate fundamental questions about their recovery, like why it is essential in the first place. It is usually during this detox period that one realizes the difference between “wanting” to use drugs or alcohol and feeling like one “needs” to use drugs and alcohol. Only once this process is complete does the sober mind have a chance to reconceptualize the difference between the two terms. Thus, the process paves the road to recovery and creates a desire to stay sober long after the detox period has been completed.
While detox is the fundamental first step in recovery, it is also one of the most painful steps, and there is no getting around the trials ahead. It is here that much of the body will rebel against the mind, and recovering addicts experience nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Emotional changes can be expected, with elevated irritability, anxiety, depression, or even rapidly shifting emotions. Every single one of these aspects brings with it an urge to use once again, and thus each of these symptoms creates its trials. Knowing these trials ahead of time gives the critical advantage of planning a support system for the time ahead.
Helping During the Process
Knowing who you can trust through this time is most important. While getting professional help through recovery is optimal, setting up a system of support can create a safety net to keep you from relapsing. Detoxing requires constant monitoring of the situation and compassion for the emotional well-being of the individual in recovery. All these steps seem like a massive barrier to beginning treatment, and the information here isn’t presented to make a case against that statement. Instead, it’s to show an outline of knowledge that is only possible to acquire if some have succeeded, regardless if it was the first attempt or the hundredth. That air of community serves as a reminder of hope for those who are seeking help. The detox is easily the most challenging phase in recovery. It is still required to allow one to be genuinely receptive to the therapies and sober living strategies ahead.
For those looking in taking this kind of first step and are looking for tried and true professional help through each stage of the detox process and its myriad of symptoms that coincide with it, Alta Centers is available to help. With professional staff specializing in this particular stage of recovery, as well as setting up patients with the best groundwork possible for continuing care after the detox has been completed, Alta Centers prioritizes sober living and detox alongside society and doesn’t believe that one should have to choose between seeking help and ostracizing one’s self from their own communities.
In order to learn more about the different programs available, as well as the detox strategies employed, contact Alta Centers at (1-888-202-2583) today. While there are trials ahead, there are those willing to take this first step with you.
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