Different Stages of Detox

When a person decides to break their addiction, professional detox is the safest method for managing withdrawal symptoms.  It is important to note that detox, or the different stages of detox, is just the first step in addiction recovery.  The body must be cleansed of all traces of the substance of abuse to eliminate cravings.  Once this is accomplished, the next step in recovery is rehab.  Rehab addresses the emotional or psychological aspects of the addiction.

Outline of the Stages of Detox

When an addictive substance is withheld, the person’s body reacts by creating a variety of physical symptoms and cravings.  Depending on the substance involved and the severity of the addiction, these symptoms can be intense and some can become life-threatening.  For these reasons, we strongly recommend professional detox.

To help you understand the importance of professional detox we offer this outline of the various stages of detox and withdrawal:

Acute Withdrawal Stage:  This is the first stage of withdrawal and it can begin within a few hours after the last dosage and last up to two weeks.  Some of the symptoms experienced during this stage can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Anxiety, irritability
  • Depression, social isolation
  • Restlessness, insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Poor concentration
  • Rapid heart rate, palpitations
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Tremors, muscle tension
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Post-Acute Withdrawal Stage:  This stage of withdrawal produces fewer physical symptoms, however, the emotional symptoms intensify.  These symptoms can seem to change from minute to minute, or hour to hour.  It’s like being on a roller-coaster.  Some of the symptoms you will experience in the stage include, but are not limited to:

  • Tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety, irritability
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Sleep problems
  • Trouble concentrating

The post-acute withdrawal stage can last up to two years or more.  The symptoms will come and go and will vary in intensity.

The important thing to remember about professional detox is that you will not be alone during these uncomfortable withdrawals.  Also, you will be less likely to relapse if you are in a secure environment.  All in all, your best option for dealing with withdrawals is a facility where you are monitored by skilled addiction specialists and medical personnel.  In this setting, your safety and comfort are a priority.

What To Do After Detox

The first thing to do after detox is to enter a rehabilitation program.  Your best choice is an inpatient facility.  In this type of facility, you remain on the premises while undergoing treatment.  In this way, you are removed from the environment that contributed to your desire to use drugs or alcohol.  Each aspect of an inpatient program is directed toward helping you become stronger mentally and physically.  The program also helps you gain confidence and acquire coping skills that will serve you well after leaving rehab.

After completing rehab, you will still need support and guidance from time to time.  For this reason, an aftercare program is a good option.  Additionally, there are some things you can do to make your transition into sober living easier.  For example:

  • Be patient.  Take things one day at a time.
  • Expect good days and bad days.  Stay focused on your recovery.
  • Be good to yourself.  Don’t try to do too much all at once time.
  • Don’t get caught off guard.   Expect mood swings and prepare ahead of time.
  • Try to relax often.  Stress is a major trigger for relapse.  Give yourself breaks.

If you would like more information on the stages of detox or on rehabilitation programs, give us call now.

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