For the millions of individuals struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, making the decision to go to detox is both difficult and scary. Whether it is your first time entering detox or a second chance at getting clean and sober, understanding the process can help to ease your mind throughout the experience.

Detox and Rehab: the Difference

Most people do not know the difference between detox and rehab and are not quite sure of what to expect. A rehabilitation center is centered on promoting an individual’s continued sobriety, whereas, the purpose of detox is to remove drugs, alcohol and their toxins from the body. Detox is the first step to sobriety.

Use of Medication during the Process

While there are many different types of detox methods available, most patients seek the help of a medical detox treatment which uses specific medication, some proprietary to the facility, during the process. The purpose of the medication is to relieve the painful withdrawal symptoms that many patients experience when they stop taking certain drugs and alcohol. Medical detox is a medically supervised procedure.

Fear of Painful Withdrawal

Sadly, the fear of painful withdrawal is the most common reason that many people give for not entering a detox treatment facility. Perhaps they have heard stories from others regarding the lack of care given to them while they suffered excruciating withdrawal.

The fact is that withdrawal differs with each patient and no two are the same. A contributing factor to how your withdrawal will be depends on the type of substance abuse/addiction, the severity of use and how long you have been using.

Withdrawal symptoms may include both physical and psychological symptoms including:
• Nausea/vomiting
• Sweating
• Constipation/diarrhea
• Difficulty breathing
• Body/muscle/bone aches
• Rapid heart rate
• Cravings
• Insomnia
• Restlessness
• Confusion

Hydration Is Important

It is important to stay hydrated throughout the detox process. One type of detox, IV (intravenous) therapy medical detox, allows the patient to receive medication to treat the withdrawal symptoms, as well as fluids to prevent dehydration. The benefit to this method is that the medication can be adjusted for an immediate effect, rather than having to wait for oral medications to become active.

After Detox, What’s Next?

Once you have successfully completed medical detox and no longer have drugs and alcohol in your system, it is recommended that you continue treatment with a rehab program. There are a number of different programs including residential and outpatient that can help you in your continued recovery.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, HDTV, Wi-Fi and personal massage. Patient confidentiality is always protected.