Common Myths About the Drug Detox Process
January 23, 2019
January 23, 2019
There are many misconceptions about drug treatment, and these myths can prevent a struggling person from seeking the help that is needed. With the prevalence of drug abuse and dependence currently plaguing our society, it is important that these misunderstandings be dispelled. Recent data suggests that nearly 50 million Americans struggle with substance abuse and addiction, and detoxing can play a vital role in reducing this number. Some of the more common myths about drug detox are listed, below, along with the facts surrounding the process.
While many do wait until their world has fallen apart to seek treatment, there is no reason to let things go so far before seeking help. Any problem which is addressed early is more likely to reduce collateral damage. With the myriad of examples of the outcome of drug abuse surrounding us, one does not need to see the bottom, first-hand, in order to witness the effects. Early intervention techniques have a proven track record for resulting in full recovery. The overlying goal is to experience a higher quality of life, and getting help sooner, rather than later, can mean that less repair work is called for.
Modern drug detox programs are designed to be discrete, and often involve a stay of only a few days. Chances are that those closest to you are already aware that you are struggling with substance abuse issues, and are likely to be supportive of your taking a break to rid yourself of the effects. Even if this is not the case, neither social circles nor employers need be privy to why you are taking a short vacation from regular life in order to tend to yourself. HIPPA laws only allow for an employer to request a note from a doctor to excuse workplace absences, and the physician cannot disclose information – without your consent – about why the note is needed. In our current culture, some employers are even approving of openly using sick time as time for mental health maintenance, and do not ask for details.
Tabloids rarely go a week without sharing that some A-list celebrity has decided to check into a remote retreat for a month of sobriety. The truth is that most who struggle with addiction don’t have the funds – or the luxury of extended time off from work – to participate in these types of programs. Fortunately, there are resources available for finding local, short-term, detoxing treatment facilities, many of which will accept insurance. The brief, in-house, drug detox process is followed up with customized, outpatient, plans for maintaining recovery. This enables the participant to return to the routine of daily life as quickly as possible.
Medications are utilized to assist in a gentle transition toward being drug-free, however these medications are designed to wean the body off of any dependence. Unlike in cases of self-medication, qualified detox treatment center providers ensure that only the correct doses are administered, and at the correct times. Use of these specialized medications are a method to avoid the mental health consequences associated with non-monitored drug usage and self-detoxing side effects, and work to reduce any physical discomfort, as well.
While many drug treatment programs are known to provide clients with a structure which includes specific belief systems, the following of any particular doctrine is not a necessary aspect of recovery. The most important faith for recovery is that one have the belief that things can get better, and that drug detox is an important first step toward living a more peaceful and fulfilling life. Surrounding oneself with compassionate, non-judgemental, caregivers is what is vital to the process.
Most of us have watched movies where the drug addict character holes up in a room, sweating and moaning for days as the drugs leave his system. While this may be a likely scenario for those who choose to go it alone, modern drug detox treatments are designed to make the process as gentle as possible. Specific medications for reducing the side effects of withdrawal are prescribed, relative to the type and severity of the abused substance. Care is taken to ensure that participants are as comfortable as possible, both physically and psychologically.
Some believe that just getting the drugs out of the system is the key to recovery. In reality, this is only the first step on what may be a very long journey. The factors which contribute to an individual’s tendency toward drug abuse do not disappear once the chemicals are expelled. Work-related stress, family issues, and feelings of hopelessness may even seem to increase, once an individual is facing life head-on. A successful drug detox program will tend to these mental and emotional needs both during, and following, your treatment.
The process of overcoming addiction is not always a straight path up the mountain. The descent into drug addiction is sometimes referred to as a “downward spiral,” and the path back upward can be similarly winding. Even with the proper support, some will be tempted to give the drugs another try. While it bears to keep in mind that drug usage following detox can be very dangerous, it does not have to mean that the steps already taken toward recovery are worthless. Previous successes can be added to future successes, even if the previous successes were short-term.
None of us exist in a social bubble. While autonomy is a praised trait within our culture, we rarely end up accomplishing goals in complete isolation. Because our own thinking is so often involved in continued drug abuse, it can be difficult to convince ourselves that a life without substances is possible. For every story of someone who beat a drug habit on their own, there are many more which acknowledge the benefit of seeking assistance along the journey.