What is Detox?
To begin the recovery process, the first step is to detox from the alcohol and drugs upon which an individual is dependent. This process is when the body is purged of substances while simultaneously experiencing – and dealing with – withdrawal symptoms.
The Three Stages of Detox
The United States Department of Health and Human Services
describes three stages to the process of detox:
Stage One: Evaluation
The first step is to test a patient to find out which substances and how much of the substances are currently in their system. During this time, clinicians will also assess the patient to determine if they also have any mental issues or co-occurring disorders.
Stage Two: Stabilization
During this step, the patient’s body will undergo the process of detox, be it with medication or without. Often, though, medication is used. Beginning with explaining to the patient what will occur during detox, the forthcoming process of recovery is also explained. Depending on the situation, individuals with whom the patient is close are brought into the recovery process to help and support their loved one.
Step Three: Guiding the Patient into Treatment
The final step in the process of detox is to get the patient ready for the process of recovery ahead. The process deals only with the body’s dependency on substances; however, it does not get into the mental and emotional aspects of the disease of addiction. During this step, with the patient’s consent, they are enrolled in a rehabilitation program.
Who needs detox?
Each addictive substance is different in terms of withdrawal symptoms. Some may affect the body in a significant way while others have minimal effects. Just as these substances are different, so are the bodies of patients going through the process of detox and recovery. Be it physical or emotional, withdrawal symptoms happen to everyone and vary in degree of severity. Those who require going through a program of detoxification for drug and alcohol abuse may be abusing such substances as:
- Pain medication:
- Sleeping medication: