A vital step to recovery.
Alcohol and drug addiction are chronic diseases that can creep up on individuals over several years or ambush them after just a few short months of heavy drinking. Regardless, most addicts require a complete cessation of drug or alcohol intake to achieve sobriety and live a life unfettered by addiction.
Detoxification is one of the initial steps necessary to launch a patient into the long process of recovery.
What is Detox?
Usually referred to as detox, detoxification is the medical process used to effectively and safely reset the body as alcohol, drugs, and toxins are removed from the system. Sometimes medication is also used to ease withdrawal symptoms.
What should I expect?
Withdrawal can lead to deadly delirium tremens (DTs) and must be medically monitored. You may receive substitution medications, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, which help ease withdrawal symptoms by simulating the effects of alcohol until your body recovers. Vitamins, especially B1, may also be administered to offset the vitamin deficiencies accrued throughout your addiction.
Ranging from mild to severe, possible withdrawal symptoms you might experience include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety and agitation
- Convulsions and seizures
Why should I get help?
A hidden killer lurks within drug and alcohol addiction, and it’s heightened during the do-it-yourself detox process. When an addict tries to quit on their own without medical attention, the result may end in hospitalization, or even death.
What makes it so risky?
When you abruptly stop using, the brain overloads on the chemicals and hormones it usually produces in excess to compensate for the depressive effect of drugs or alcohol, leading to the severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms discussed above. In less severe cases, some people may handle withdrawal on their own without much difficulty, but it’s never worth the risk.
Getting help isn’t something to be embarrassed about, and it doesn’t mean you’ve been defeated. It means you’re bravely stepping up to grab a new lease on your life.
Detox is only the beginning.
Without motivation and support, cravings can take over again. An ample supply of help from treatment medication and therapy is essential to not having a relapse.
What medications will I need?
Medications commonly prescribed to deter cravings include acamprosate, naltrexone, disulfiram, or the lesser-used baclofen. You may also continue taking vitamins to maintain a healthy system.
How do I return to “normal” life?
Staying sober usually involves spending time in an outpatient or inpatient rehab program as you learn tools and gain support to cope with living an abstinent life.
During individual therapy sessions, you are provided with personalized, one-on-one care with a therapist. This therapist will play a crucial role in your recovery process by providing you with the courage, support, and motivation you need to push forward. Your conversations will focus mainly on your past and mental health. Some pros and cons of individual therapy are:
Pros of individual therapy
- It provides an increased sense of privacy.
- You can work at your own pace.
- It is individualized and directly supports your unique needs and issues.
- You can choose your therapist.
- You can decide how often you meet.
Cons of individual therapy
- It doesn’t allow you to learn from others who are also suffering.
- You must be self-motivated.
- It won’t encourage you to interact with others.
- You may feel alone in your fight.
- There is only one person to hold you accountable, not several.
Group therapy involves meeting with a therapist and others who are struggling with addiction as well. The group is able to openly and honestly discuss their issues and concerns to one another without judgement while the therapist facilitates. Many people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction feel alone, and group counseling strives to provide them with the support they need. Some pros and cons of group therapy are:
Pros of group therapy
- It provides interaction with others who are dealing with the same issues.
- It incites progress through the observation of others achieving success.
- It abates common issues like depression, isolation, and shame.
- You can practice new behaviors in a safe environment.
- It improves social and communication skills in a group environment.
Cons of group therapy
- Confidentiality can’t be completely protected.
- Some people may be uncomfortable speaking in a group.
- The flow of conversation depends on its participants.
- It has a set schedule with sessions you are required to attend.
- You’re not able to choose your therapist.
It’s a family affair.
As loving family members of someone who is struggling with addiction, you naturally want to help and support your loved one any way you can. That help will be vital to their road to recovery, but if you don’t say, do, or encourage exactly the right things, then you could unknowingly become a detriment to their healing process.
What is family counseling?
Family counseling (or therapy) is the building up of the family as an integral part of the recovery process. It encourages family members to learn how the addiction has affected the unit as a whole and on an individual level. It investigates issues in the family that have arisen due to the addiction and that existed before drugs or alcohol became a factor (maybe issues that created the need to use in the first place).
What are the benefits?
Significantly fewer addicts suffer from relapse when they have the support of their educated family members to back them up. That is due to the solid support system that is built up during each session and the mutual understanding between you and your family.
You are able to better understand your loved one’s struggles, and your loved one is able to see what affects his addiction has had on you. By resolving underlying issues, he is able to remove the stresses that initially drove him to use and greatly reduce the desire or need to use again.
What should I expect?
During family counseling sessions, a professional counselor talks to you and your family to determine the best possible rehab strategy. She also teaches you how to encourage positive behavior, be supportive, and deal with your emotions in a healthy, productive way.
It is often a very difficult and confusing time for family members, and this is a safe place to ask the questions that have been nagging you. Uncertainty, concern, and confusion are very common and understandable feelings, and counseling gives you a platform in which to seek answers.
Let the healing process begin.
Family counselors have the best possible experience and know-how to be able to answer your questions and hold your hand during the long road ahead. We have an extensive network of resources and would be happy to provide you with a list of experienced therapists and counselors in your area that would love to talk to you. We can also walk you through the process and explain what to expect during your first session and beyond. We’d love to help you heal your family and begin living your life again.
What people are saying about the National Assessment Foundation
“I cannot say enough about National Addiction Foundation — the services they offer are invaluable. They didn’t just find any program for my son, they took the time to find the right one. I will always remember what they have done to help my son and our family. I can’t express how grateful I am for their services and will recommend them to all that are in need. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“I am so thankful and blessed to have National Addiction Foundation as part of [my life]. They made this happen for my father, and I will forever be in debt to them for their help during this difficult time. I truly appreciate the work that you all do.”
“National Assessment Foundation was the miracle I prayed for. They went above and beyond in reaching out to make sure my son was on the plane and on his way to safety and treatment. I have been able to sleep at night knowing he is in good care and on his way to a change in behavior and choices. They are helping him win the battle of addiction, and I will forever be grateful to them for saving his life.”
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