Is Medical Detox Right For Me?
Getting into recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is not an easy feat. You have to go through many phases and then you have to maintain your sobriety. Even once you have gotten sober, you have to live with the fact that you are always in recovery and never cured from addiction. These are big hurdles to clear. One of the earliest barriers to getting sober is going through detox. This is the process of eliminating a drug or alcohol from your body. It can take several days and can be very uncomfortable. Many people fail at this stage and start using again. Medical detox is one solution, but it isn’t always the answer.
What Is Medical Detox?
Before you decide if medical detox is right for you, you should learn more about what it means. When you detox, you stop using and your body goes through withdrawal as the substance leaves your body. Withdrawal can be a terrible experience, especially if you have been using for a long period of time. Certain drugs, like heroin, cause the most intense withdrawal symptoms.
To get through detox more comfortably, you can opt for a medical detox. This means that a doctor or nurse will supervise your detox to keep you safe and also to administer medications and other treatments that will relieve your withdrawal symptoms, at least to some extent. This could mean giving you an intravenous drip to keep you hydrated, but it can also mean more extreme measures like being completely anesthetized for the duration of the detox period.
What Happens During A Medical Detox?
What will happen in your particular detox depends on how you plan it with your caregivers. You may stay at home and have a nurse stay with you to care for you or you could choose to stay in a medical facility that specializes in assisted detox. You should make a plan ahead of time so that your caregiver knows which treatments you are comfortable receiving. If you are going to undergo a rapid detox, you will be knocked out and you will sleep through the whole thing and wake up sober. If you want to be more conservative, you will experience your withdrawal, but to a lesser degree.
Is Medical Detox Safe?
Most instances of medical detox are safe because of the supervision of a medical professional. If anything goes wrong, this person can intervene and help you. On the other hand, some types of rapid or anesthesia detox can be a bit risky. Using general anesthesia is never totally risk-free. Some people react badly to it. You should discuss it carefully with your caregiver before deciding if this is what you want to do.
What happens in detox can be scary. There is fear of the unknown, but also genuine concern for how bad the withdrawal will be and how dangerous. Detoxing can make you very sick. The important thing is that you do it. It is the only way to get sober and to start down the road to true recovery. Whether or not you choose medical detox, you have to stop using.
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