The term “detox” is often used to represent the entire process of recovering from a substance abuse problem. Detox, which is short for detoxification, is only a small part of a long journey. Despite its relative brevity, though, it can be dangerous and difficult. But it needs to be done right to ensure the best possible long-term outcome.
So what is detox? How does it work? And what does it mean to do it right? Learn more about drug and alcohol detox in Stuart, FL.
What is Detox for the Body?
If we were to provide a simple answer to the question, “What is detox?”, it would be that detox is the process during which harmful chemicals and other substances leave the body. The time it takes to detox, along with the symptoms you’ll experience, are determined by the duration and intensity of your addiction and the substance to which you were addicted. The drug detox center in Stuart, FL provides individualized treatment for specific substance abuse.
There are a couple of reasons you can’t stop immediately without consequences. The first is physical. When you use a drug or drink alcohol for a sustained period, your body begins to change its idea of what’s normal. It starts to believe that the presence of whatever substance you’re using is part of what makes up “normal.” So it adjusts to accommodate it as best as it can by adjusting its natural chemistry and trying to protect itself from damage.
When the drugs or alcohol disappear from your system, the body can’t just revert to its old ways. It will recognize that something’s different and will begin adjusting itself accordingly, but that takes time, just as it took time to go from a casual substance user to an abuser.
As this is taking place, your body experiences a wide variety of symptoms, some worse than others. Physical side effects of detox can include:
- Stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting
- Sweating and chills
- Shakes and seizures
- Insomnia and exhaustion
- Variable heart rate
Some of these symptoms can be severe and even fatal if left untreated.
What is Detox for the Mind?
The sudden absence of drugs or alcohol in the bloodstream also affects your psychological state. Along with other physical changes that occur during abuse, the brain alters the balance of key neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals regulate our mood and sense of well-being.
As the addiction worsens, our brain becomes more and more dependent on the drugs or alcohol to produce the high it craves. When these chemicals are removed suddenly, the brain can’t replicate the sensation on its own, which leads to several possible issues, including:
Detoxing the Right Way
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many people who ask, “What is detox?” believe that addiction is a sign of personal weakness. For the record, addiction is a disease. However, many people are still ashamed to admit that they have a problem and will attempt to deal with it by detoxing on their own, often going cold turkey.
The above lists of potential complications should be enough to convince you that this isn’t a good idea. Addictions are treacherous and often have consequences we can’t predict until we attempt to be rid of drugs or alcohol altogether. While it’s possible to quit on one’s own, it’s far safer to do it with the help of a medical professional at a substance abuse detox center in Florida.
It’s also smarter. By going through that first step with guidance from experts, you’re in a position to plan out the rest of your recovery. Even if you do manage to endure the week’s worth of misery it takes to quit on your own, it’s almost impossible to negotiate a lifetime of sobriety without help.
Wellness Counseling & Residential Detox
If you’re asking yourself, “What is detox?”, it’s likely you’re thinking about that first step toward recovery. We want you to know that you’re not alone. Contact Wellness Counseling and Residential Detox, we’re here to provide you the best possible care, not just for detox, but for the rest of your recovery. To learn more about how we can help, please call us at 772.773.1336.