Do I need Detox?
The first thing to consider when thinking about detoxification, or detox, is dependency and tolerance. Dependency will result in withdrawal symptoms if a person stops using drugs and/or alcohol or decreases the amount/frequency of use. Tolerance happens when a person no longer responds to a drug in the way they did when they first started using. Therefore it takes higher doses of the drugs to get the “high” they use to achieve when they first started.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Withdrawal is the physical and mental effects that someone goes through after they stop or reduce the amount of drugs or alcohol they were using. There are several different types of withdrawals and they can vary depending on what type of substance was being taken. Some common symptoms of withdrawal include:
• Change in appetite
• Change in mood
• Muscle aches/pains
While physical symptoms may only last up to a week, the mental withdrawal, such as depression, can last much longer.
Addiction Versus Dependency
Addiction is classified as a disease. Dependency is being physically dependent on a substance. Addiction is rooted in your brain. Dependency occurs when your body is used to the effects of the drug you’re taking and then goes into withdrawal if you reduce or stop using that substance.
Does My Drug and/or Alcohol Use Qualify As Addiction?
Determining when substance abuse has turned to addiction can be complicated especially if you are trying to self evaluate. There are questions that are part of a “self test” to help you see if you need professional help to overcome addiction . A few of the questions you can ask yourself are:
• Do you drink/use drugs because you are uncomfortable in social situations?
• Is drinking/drug use affecting your relationships with friends?
• Do you drink/use drugs alone?
• Do you feel guilty or depressed after drinking alcohol/using drugs?
• Do you get into financial troubles over buying alcohol/drugs?
• Do you make sure you have a steady supply of alcohol/drugs on hand?
These are just a few of the questions used to help determine if you are addicted and need to seek help. Professionals state if you can answer yes to three or more questions on the list then you need to seek professional help.
How Does Medical Detox Work?
Detox is the process of removing drugs and/or alcohol from your body. Medical detox provides a safe environment to withdrawal under medical supervision. Medical detox will not help you avoid all of the withdrawal symptoms that may occur, but it can reduce the severity and allow you to detox comfortably.
Do I Need Medical Detox?
If you have a physical addiction to drugs or alcohol, then you need medical detox. If you have withdrawals after reducing or trying to quit on your own, you need medical detox.
People suffering from dependency and addiction can benefit from detox. Just remember, detox is the first step in the recovery process. After you are clean, the next step will be to enter a rehab program to help achieve long term sobriety and help avoid relapse.