Do I need Detox?


Drug detoxification is when a person undergoes a process of withdrawal to allow the body to adjust and discard any remnants of a drug. This is a great, but difficult, intervention for someone who has a very strong dependence to a drug. Detox is can result in severe complications and some should only be done while being supervised by a medical professional.


Every withdrawal will be different and they all depend on the person, type of drug, and how strong their dependency on the drug. Some drugs will produce significant physical withdrawal, while some produce little physical, but more of an emotional withdrawal. Physical withdrawal may cause the person to sweat, increase heart rate, muscle tension, difficulty in breathing, tremor/shakes, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Emotional withdrawals may have symptoms of anxiety, irritability, insomnia, depression, and isolation.

Some drug physical withdrawals could be very dangerous and that is why it is advisable to be supervised by a medical professional. Suddenly quitting a drug could lead to someone having seizures, strokes, heart attacks, or even death. The person may also experience hallucinations or delirium tremens.


Do I need Detox?

When you starting to feel that you are physically and emotionally dependent on a drug is the time to pursue help. Addiction specialists are able to aid in deciding if someone needs to undergo a drug detox. A family doctor, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical psychologist are able to screen for drug dependency. A medical doctor is the best to determine the extent of dependency and the safest to plan a detox procedure.

When do I need Detox?

You will a drug detox anytime you become so dependent on the drug that it affects your emotional and physical activities or before enter a drug treatment facility. Specialist will use a manual to diagnosis the substance use disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-V. If you meet two or three of the following criteria you have a moderate substance disorder and if you meet four or more you may have a severe substance use disorder:

  • Drug use has interfered with work or family responsibilities.
  • Using drugs while participating in potentially dangerous activities, such as driving.
  • Developed a tolerance to the drug and increasing the intake in order to feel the effects.
  • Strong and unbearable crave to use the drug.
  • Experienced withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug for a length of time and the symptoms are relieved when using the drug.
  • Increasing the amounts of drug or spending more time than intended to use the drug.
  • Increasing the time using, trying to obtain, or recovering from the effects.
  • Neglecting social activities and/or responsibilities to use drugs.
  • If you are unable to decrease or quit using the drug.
  • Continuing to use the drug, even if it has or will cause physical or psychological problems.
  • Continuing to use even if it has negatively impacted social, interpersonal, and/or legal issues.


Three Steps of Detox

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has address the three steps in a drug detox process:

  1. Evaluation: Patient is tested to determine what substances are in the bloodstream and the amount. Medical professional will evaluate the patient for co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis, and mental/behavioral problems.
  2. Stabilization: Patient undergoes the process of detoxing and may use medications. The patient will be briefed on what to expect during treatment and recovery process. Relatives, friends, and closes can be brought in to become involved and give support.
  3. Guiding Patient into Treatment: The last step is to get the patient prepared for the actual recovery process. Detox is only associated with the physical dependency of the addiction, but does not deal with the psychological aspects. The final step is obtaining an agreement with patient to enroll in a drug recovery program.


Why do I need Detox?

It is a necessary step for your road to recovery. It helps you and the people working to treat you to find out what the best plans to get you clean and how to deal with life situations to not turn back to drugs. The plan after the detox is what will get you on the way to recovery, not the detox itself.


A drug detox is most of the time not a hop skip through the park, it may be uncomfortable and difficult. If you choose to undergo a detox in a medical setting, you may experience withdrawal symptoms and you will have someone monitoring and offering assistance when you may need it. You may choose to have those who are close to you to support and be there with you to get through it. If you are seeking help for recovery, please contact Bridgeway Behavioral Health 866-758-1152 or online

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