Many people battle an addiction to drugs and don’t realize that there is help available to make recovery easier. Attempting to recover from a drug addiction alone can be very difficult. The withdrawal symptoms are often unbearable, which causes you to relapse. Understanding what really happens when you detox from substances can make it easier to achieve sobriety. Read on to learn more about detox; the first step in addiction treatment.
About Detox: What Happens to Your Body?
People often think that once they stop feeling the high that drugs produce, they are no longer in their system. But that’s not true. Most drugs stay in your system for days after using them. Soon, your body starts to crave them. Your body goes through withdrawals as the drugs leave your system when you stop taking them.
Withdrawals consist of a variety of physical symptoms. They include nausea, headaches, shaking, insomnia and even fevers. Some of the mental symptoms that can occur include irritability and agitation. Some people become suicidal or even homicidal due to hallucinations they experience.
What’s So Hard About Detox?
Many people assume that recovering from a drug addiction is mind over matter. That isn’t the case, though. There are times when the withdrawal symptoms are unbearable. Many people report feeling like their body is shutting down as the drugs leave their system. The aches and pain become too much for them to endure. This is when relapses and overdoses are most likely.
When you abuse substances consistently, your body builds up a tolerance to the drugs. When people try to self-medicate after detoxing, they often use the same amount of the substance they were using before they detoxed. This amount is too much for their body to handle and they overdose.
Detoxing on Your Own Can Be Dangerous
As you detox from a substance, your body goes through a lot. Some people have gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting or diarrhea. This can cause dehydration if you don’t drink enough water throughout the detox. Some people experience an elevation in their blood pressure or a rapid heartbeat. This can cause a heart attack or a seizure. It’s best to detox in a safe, structured environment, so that a doctor can monitor your vital signs and comfort level.
Detoxing Takes Time
When you detox, it can feel as though the withdrawal symptoms last forever. But don’t worry, they will subside. They start to diminish over time but, fighting through them isn’t always easy to do. It helps to properly prepare for the process with the understanding that the substances must completely leave your system. Be willing to talk about your feelings and ask for help if you need it. Substances are usually out of your system within a week or two, depending on the substance. Once you’ve physically detoxed, it’s time to focus on the mental side of your addiction.