Trying to end an addiction takes careful planning. After all, quitting drugs or alcohol can have serious effects on your physical and mental health if your body is dependent upon the substance. Yet, you have finally reached a point where you know that you cannot continue with your addiction any longer. In fact, you may have even tried to quit and become frustrated when you were unable to stop on your own. Or you may have suffered through frightening withdrawal symptoms that made it clear that you need professional help. However you arrived at your decision, it is the right one. It’s also normal to have many questions about detox, and you can begin to prepare for your treatment by understanding what to expect once you enter the program.
Detox programs are used to help you prepare your body and mind for the process of learning how to live without drugs or alcohol. At first, some of your symptoms may be uncomfortable. For example, you may experience headaches, anxiety and other symptoms that are all manageable with proper care. Typically, the first couple of days in detox are the hardest, but you will find that each day becomes easier as your body relearns what it feels like to live a healthy lifestyle.
Should I Go to Detox?
The first question many people ask is whether or not they should go to a treatment program that offers detox. While outpatient programs work fine for people with mild addictions, you must be aware of the serious dangers that can occur if you try to quit on your own. Some signs that you may be a good candidate for a detox program are the following:
• You use drugs or alcohol the majority of the day
• You take more of the substance than people you know
• You have other health problems such as heart disease
• You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit
• You have had an overdose in the past
• You started using again after a period of abstinence
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the signs that you can benefit from going to detox. When you speak with a counselor from your treatment program, they can help you determine whether or not a detox center is right for your needs. You should also know that detox centers provide a strong foundation on which you can begin your sobriety. For instance, the program should offer you medical and nutritional support that helps your body regain its strength after years of substance abuse.
When Should I Stop Drinking Before Detox?
Your desire to stop drinking before detox is admirable. However, going cold turkey can be seriously dangerous if you have a major dependency. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to know who will experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures since multiple factors go into your body’s reaction. For this reason, it is generally best to avoid quitting on your own before detox unless you already have medical supervision.
Although ending your addiction cold turkey may not be safe, you can take steps to prepare for detox. For instance, you could try cutting down your intake of alcohol slowly over a period of days if you have to wait a week or more to enter detox. Naturally, you may need to enter a detox program right away if you fear that you could cause yourself irreparable harm with your drinking patterns since alcohol poisoning can be deadly.
The best way to know when to stop drinking alcohol before detox is to speak with your intake counselor at the program. They can offer suggestions regarding how to cut down on your drinking so that your withdrawal symptoms might be easier. While the recommendation may be that you should continue drinking some amount of alcohol, keep in mind that this does not mean to go overboard in the days leading up to your entrance into detox. Doing so can increase the discomfort of your withdrawal period by making your body crave alcohol more than it already does.
How Do I Find the Right Treatment Center?
With so many treatment centers, you may be wondering how you will find a detox program that helps you get better. Begin your search by looking for programs that focus on giving you extra support during the detox period. For instance, having medical professionals such as licensed nurses and doctors on staff helps you feel confident that you receive the highest level of care during one of the hardest parts of your recovery.
It is also important to take a look at the other types of programs that are offered at your detox center. For instance, you will likely need to enter a residential treatment program after detox, and you should know that you will continue to receive quality care there as well. Ideally, your treatment program should offer services that ease the transition into sobriety such as recreational activities, therapeutic counseling and holistic methods for healing. You may also like to check out the after care services that are offered to prevent relapse in the future. While you will emerge from your treatment program stronger, recovery is a lifetime process. Over the course of the first year of sobriety, you will encounter new challenges and stresses that are all easier to cope with when you have a counselor and support group to lean on for help.
Going to detox is the first step toward breaking free from a pattern of alcohol abuse, and it is a big one. Remember that you can always ask questions about the program before you begin, and counselors are used to people wondering things such as when to stop drinking. In addition to scaling back on your drinking, you can also practice other healthy lifestyle habits to prepare for your treatment. For instance, you may want to start eating a more nutritious diet and exercising each day. These types of changes help to prep your mind for beginning the process of recovery.
We understand the importance of knowing how to prepare for detox. Give us a call today at 877-871-3356 to talk to one of our counselors.