If you suspect you have a drug-addiction problem, you may be aware of the dangers of “just stopping” but unsure of what professional help could really do for you. Well, professional detox treatment centers can do quite a bit:
1. Drug detox centers evaluate people physically and psychologically.
Since a high percentage of people with substance addiction also have co-occurring mental illness, and since substance abuse can cause all sorts of physical health problems, everyone in drug detox should get a thorough physical checkup and a psychological evaluation. Most detox centers provide at least basic evaluations early on, to minimize physical harm during withdrawal and to help create a long-term plan for sober living. If they suspect a more thorough examination is needed, they’ll explain these concerns and provide doctor referrals.
2. Drug detox centers have access to medical treatment.
If a drug detox center is remotely worth its license, it’ll have professional RNs and MDs on quick call, in case a medical emergency occurs during the physical-withdrawal phase. (Some detox treatment centers are even part of general hospitals.) These medical specialists will also evaluate any prescription drugs needed during detox, monitor patient conditions and provide advice if complications develop.
3. Drug detox centers provide moral support during withdrawal.
During the toughest physical stage (acute withdrawal), life-threatening medical emergencies may be less of a risk than the temptation to walk out prematurely and take another self-medicating quick fix. At such times, the presence of experienced detox professionals can be invaluable. They’ve seen the miseries of acute withdrawal often: they can assure you that it happens frequently, it won’t last forever, you’ll feel much better when you’re clean from the worst cravings, and they have your back to catch any real dangers.
4. Drug detox centers provide accountability for sticking to the program.
Experienced treatment staff may also remind you it won’t get any easier next time—it may well get harder—so it’s better to get it over with on the first try. While some patients need the gentle hand of kindly reassurance, others respond better to a little “tough love”—if hope of freedom from addiction doesn’t persuade you to stick out drug detox, knowing someone is watching you might. No drug detox center will physically force you to stay, but many people who become addicted are perfectionistic types and will endure anything rather than risk being remembered as “quitters.” (Hopefully, post-detox counseling will train you out of using that attitude for less productive purposes.)
5. Drug detox centers provide a break from substance-use triggers.
Inland Detox isn’t the only drug and alcohol detox center that’s found a location away from city bustle to be particularly conducive to patient recovery. It’s not just a matter of avoiding Not-In-My-Back-Yard-minded neighbors: most addictions are fed at least partly by the stress of everyday “busyness” and interruptions, and an atmosphere of peace and quiet will remove that pressure and give your soul a chance to catch up with you. When interviewing potential detox centers, ask if you’ll have “alone time” to sit outdoors, meditate and let your head take advantage of being clear.
6. Drug detox centers get their patients back on the road to overall physical health.
Even after drug detox is complete, you may have other good health practices to reestablish—chances are you’ve neglected nutrition, exercise and sleep in single-minded pursuit of your drug of choice. Choose a detox center that will feed you well in more than calories, provide quarters conducive to rest, and instruct you on both relaxation and active exercise (they’ll probably recommend you have a thorough physical, if it wasn’t provided onsite, to be sure the addiction hasn’t done any damage that could be aggravated by an exercise program).
7. Drug detox centers provide counseling.
Psychological as well as physical care is important to long-term sobriety. Choose a drug detox center with experienced counselors who, as soon as you’re physically able, will start helping you dig deeper into the reasons behind your addiction and what to do about them. This is vital to keep you from falling back into the same old habit once you get back into the same old environment.
8. Drug detox centers provide opportunities to meet others who are recovering from addiction.
Your post-acute-detox counseling should also include group therapy with other patients, ideally in groups of four to seven people (ask about group size in advance: more than eight may indicate the center is overcrowded and you should look elsewhere). By talking with others who’ve had similar problems and used similar toxic coping methods, you’ll feel more understood and less alone, and you’ll also experience the healing power of helping other people. If you hit it off particularly well with any fellow detoxers, you may also make some new friends to socialize with outside of meetings—and they may become long-term sobriety support partners after you leave the detox center.
9. Drug detox centers help patients plan sober futures.
Beyond reestablishing good general health habits, exploring the reasons behind addiction, and arranging for long-term support partners (both inside and outside the recovering-addicts circle), there are additional ways detox treatment centers help their patients plan futures of lasting sobriety. Ask your counselor for help connecting with your true passions and setting goals worth working for. Consider whether there were any prominent aspects of your old environment (acquaintances, living situation or home location, job) that were particularly stressful and what should be done to keep these from becoming relapse triggers. Get accountability for daily reaffirming your commitment to sobriety and avoiding risky situations.
10. Drug detox centers educate people on the facts behind addiction.
Finally, a drug detox center that’s committed to its mission will freely provide the general public, not just potential customers, with information on the facts and dangers of drug addiction. Most established detox treatment centers publish blogs or similar Web pages of articles on drug dangers and sober living. If you want to better equip yourself to help a loved one who hasn’t yet been persuaded to get treatment, or if you just want to better understand addiction problems and the people who suffer from them, browsing such articles is a great place to start.
Every person convinced to get treatment through an article like this is additional evidence of the value of detox centers!
Inland Detox, the top drug and alcohol detox center in southern California, is located in the Temecula Valley. If you or a loved one need help overcoming addiction, please call (888) 739-8296 for an interview.