When it comes to detoxing, not everyone handles it the same. Some people don’t even define it the same. Many programs do only detox, detox and rehab, or only rehab. Knowing exactly what you’re getting is important to your recovery, so knowing the definition of detox will help.
Definition of Detox According to the Dictionary
In the dictionary, detox can be a noun or a verb. You can end up in detox (n) for a few months, or you can go to a hospital to detox (v). In either case, it’s where you abstain from something to help rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. This means that people can detox from caffeine or cocaine. You can even detox from sex addiction, and yes, you can detox from sugary foods, too.
Definition of Detox in the Real World
When you’ve abused drugs or alcohol for an extended period, your body develops a dependency on those substances. Now, you may feel like you need drugs or alcohol to get through the day, which makes quitting even harder. If you try and quit, you’ll begin to experience withdrawal, which can make you feel pretty crummy. This begins the process of your detox, where your body works to clear out the toxins from all the drugs or alcohol. Detox is essentially designed to help you during the hard withdrawal period of coming off of drugs so that you can move on to the next step in your recovery, rehab. Medical substance detox means detoxing with the help of medical professionals.
How Long Does Detox Take?
The process of detox can take a varied amount of time. It depends on the person and the following factors:
- The substance that was abused
- How many substances were abused
- How often the substance was abused
- How much was used
- Any underlying co-occurring conditions
- Your age and gender
- Your medical history
On average, the first phase of detox takes from three to seven days, but this does not include any cravings that may happen for months afterward, which is sometimes called the second phase of detox.
What Comes Next?
Detox itself doesn’t fix the problem of addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that it merely cleanses the body of the source of the problem so that you can begin to work on the behavioral changes necessary for recovery. Because of this, rehab programs or therapy following your detox is crucial to your recovery.
While it’s not necessarily recommended that you only detox and not enter some type of rehab, it does happen in cases where someone can’t take the 30 to 90 days needed to complete rehab. This can be hard for those with specific responsibilities, such as being the primary breadwinner or having kids to care for. The price may also inhibit some from attending the rehab portion of the recovery. There are short detox programs to quicken the process, although there are potential downsides to those as well.
After detox, there are several options. Everyone needs – and will benefit from – continued support. Whether it’s counseling, medication, or some other means, getting help is important. A good in-between option for those that can’t do full rehab but need the benefit of therapy to help them recover is outpatient therapy. You can also choose to transition to a halfway house after detox. The most comprehensive solution for your recovery needs is entering rehab. Not only will you be able to detox, but you’ll find the support you need to deal with the underlying reasons for your addiction.
Why Medical Detox is Important
Withdrawal from substance abuse isn’t easy. It can also be life-threatening. This is where detox centers come in. The definition of detox sheds light on how important it is to get help from medical professionals so that you can treat the side effects of withdrawal in a safe environment. If you need to detox, call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 so that we can get you on the road to recovery.