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Why Is a Medical Drug Detox Necessary?

Detox, also known as detoxification, is the first stage in the recovery process for most drug and alcohol addictions where the body is cleansed of the substances that are polluting it.

One of the biggest obstacles to recovery is the fear of the withdrawal process. Many drug and alcohol addicts will continue their addictive behavior long after they want to quit, simply to avoid the detox process and painful symptoms that accompany the withdrawal. Some even try to detox from their addictions at home, suffering through days of discomfort and violent withdrawal only to go back to abusing drugs and alcohol to relieve the pain. This is where a Medical Drug Detox is necessary.

Why Is a Medical Drug Detox Necessary

What is a Medical Drug Detox?

A medical detox facility is a treatment center that is staffed with doctors and nurses trained in helping patients cope with the withdrawal symptoms of early drug or alcohol abstinence. Without medical care, these withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant, dangerous, and even life-threatening.

During detox, the patient stops using the substance or substances to which they’re addicted completely. This results in their body experiencing withdrawal, a painful, uncomfortable, and often terrifying series of symptoms ranging from cravings to hallucinations. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms such as seizures can even cause death, meaning that proper medical supervision, such as, at a medical detox is critical. This is especially true for alcohol and opioid detox. During withdrawal, medical intervention is often necessary to keep the patient safe and comfortable.  Some of the most common interventions include medication and therapy.

Patients are significantly more likely to complete a supervised medical drug detox than an unsupervised detox. There are a number of reasons for this, including increased comfort, better safety, having a support system, the love and connection provided by treatment professionals, and increased motivation. Once a patient gets through detox, their eventual likelihood of successfully obtaining sobriety goes up dramatically.

Is Medical Drug Detox Needed?

Detox is needed when someone is abusing alcohol, heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, pills, or other addictive substances. When someone consumes large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, they can become dependent on it. This is the same with heroin and opiate pain medications, which also may require detox. Other pills such as benzodiazepines, known as benzos, (Valium, Xanax, etc.), barbiturates or barbs, Soma, and Ultram also cause withdrawal symptoms and may require detoxification.

But not every person needs medical detox. People who need medical detox are those who have a physical addiction to certain drugs:

  • Heroin
  • Prescription pain pill
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine/Methamphetamine
  • Benzodiazepines (Benzos)
  • Barbiturates (Barbs)
  • Others depending on the situation and diagnosis
  • Would experience great discomfort withdrawing without assistance
  • Would risk their health withdrawing without medical supervision

How Long Does Medical Detox Take?

There is no set time for medical detox. It could be from a few days up to 2 weeks depending on the situation and the severity.

Is Medical Drug Detox Enough?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) states:

Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. However, medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. Although detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.

Although patients will often leave a medical detox facility feeling better than they have in years, those that do not transition from detox to continuing addiction treatment are almost certain to relapse.

While the main priority of every detox program is to ensure safe withdrawal in a medically supervised setting, at Garden State Detox we also believe that every effective detox program should set a solid foundation for long-term sobriety, and prepare each individual client for a seamless transition to the next appropriate level of clinical care.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Sponsor

Many of us addicted to alcohol and drugs struggle to cope with life when we get our of treatment and into “real life.” Many of us feel overwhelmed. This is because living life on life’s terms without our drugs and alcohol takes some practice and experience. We lack these skills because we have been dealing with abusing drugs. When this happens it is best to have someone guide you through these tough times that have experienced it before and have come out on the other side.

After you come out of inpatient treatment and start going to outside meetings and outside therapy, you will most likely want to start the 12-step program as soon as possible. You will hear the word sponsor many times and maybe at a loss as to the exact meaning. However, as you begin to attend more and more meetings, the idea of having a sponsor will make more and more sense. Eventually, you will have to choose a sponsor so you can continue your path to a successful recovery. Although it may take some time, finding the right sponsor can make the difference in getting the best out of your recovery because, in order to share your thoughts and feelings with someone, you have to be comfortable and trust them.

Finding a sponsor is somewhat like dating. You meet people and learn about them and if they don’t mesh well if you don’t click, you move on to the next. And you can try out more than one at a time. This is your journey and so whatever feels right to you.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Sponsor

How Do I Find the Perfect Sponsor for Me?

As said above this is your journey and these are just guidelines, tips to finding a sponsor that is right for you. When you know you’ll know.

  1. Describe your perfect sponsor

Make a list in a notepad or just in your head, of the qualities that would describe your perfect sponsor. It is suggested that the sponsor be the same sex so there is no romantic stuff that might happen. Also, it is recommended you select somebody who has been in recovery for at least twelve months, if not longer. This means this person is fairly established in his or her recovery. This is also an indication that this person is ‘working a program’ that works and that’s effective.

We also urge you to be honest with yourself as to what type of person you need, that you would listen too. Maybe you need a strict individual or maybe a gentle indirect person. Consider this early to avoid the situation where you chose someone that didn’t work out.

  1. Court before you commit

Before asking somebody to be your sponsor, it is recommended to get to know the person first. You may want to tell them your intentions to see if they are even able to sponsor at that time, but once you make that known, it’s then safe to start “dating”.

Some sponsors even do a trial run for a couple of weeks where you call each other on the phone to have conversations to get to know each other. When this goes well you can then maybe meet for coffee or lunch to continue the see if they are right for you and if not it will be easy to end the “courtship.”

  1. Interview with questions

Ask potential sponsors questions that you have about their own experiences in recovery. This is where you can find those who you may have common interests with so you can maybe have a connection and talk about things other than recovery. You need to balance with life activities and recovery. It can’t be recovery 100% of the time. If you feel this potential sponsor isn’t being truthful when answering your questions, then they probably aren’t right for you. Trust your gut feeling.

  1. Find out what’s expected from you

Getting a sponsor shouldn’t be a one-way relationship where the sponsor does all the work and you receive all the benefits. It is exactly the opposite. You take the suggestions and do the work and reap the benefits. The sponsor is just there to give suggestions and their experience on how they did the 12-steps and guide you along.

Some sponsors may expect you to contact them every day. This is probably because the sponsor knows this formula works. Other sponsors may require that you contact them only if needed. It’s important that you do not violate each other’s expectations, so work out what your sponsor expects from you early on in the relationship. This will ensure the relationship does not turn sour.

None of these are set in stone. Like said in the beginning, these are guidelines for finding a sponsor. There will be ups and downs, trial and error, and however you go about it, if your intentions are good, it will work out.

Addiction can rob someone of their life. At Garden State Detox, our mission is the consistent comfort of each individual client. We take a unique approach to medical detox in the sense that the services we provide go far beyond physical stabilization. We believe that quality detoxification not only actively treats all symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal but focuses on setting a stable, unwavering foundation for long-term sobriety.

How to Stay Positive in Recovery

Negative moments can play a substantial role in the development of substance use disorders and they can come at you almost every day. Navigating negative situations in recovery can be hard. We most likely have previously turned to drugs and alcohol to try to escape a slump, but that is no longer an option now that we have to start on this path of recovery. Developing new ways of coping with negative situations and emotions is critical to successful sobriety.

Stress regularly is encountered in everyday life. It can be the downfall in someone’s recovery and interfere with a person’s success. It is important for those in recovery to develop the life skills to support a sober lifestyle, which may include developing new coping mechanisms to deal with stressors. While some of these coping mechanisms may be physical acts such as working out, playing music, making artwork, or writing, there are other exercises a person can engage in to encourage positive thinking and release negative feelings.

Tips for Staying Positive in Recovery

While In recovery, it is very important not to let negative thoughts get you down. Often in treatment, you hear that “this too shall pass” in order to help others stay in the present. It is easy to dwell on negative experiences and focus on the wrong things, but positive thinking can help improve the outcome of treatment.

There are simple ways you can increase positive thinking and improve your outlook. Some skills are acquired through the recovery process naturally. Some ways to increase positivity are:

  1. Eat a Healthy Diet and Exercise After years of abuse on your body from drugs and alcohol, your body was most likely lacking proper nutrient physical strength. With a proper balanced diet and exercise not only will you reverse the damage you’ve caused but it will also help you better your mood and behavior. Eat antioxidant-rich foods and be sure to fill up on fiber and high-quality lean proteins and daily walks can help boost your endorphins
  2. Stick to a Sleep Schedule While we were using drugs and alcohol we most likely weren’t getting sufficient sleep. It is a known fact that drugs and alcohol mess with people’s circadian rhythms. Lack of sleep definitely does not put anyone in a good mood.
  3. Surround Yourself with Positive People – Still hanging around those you used with is a sure way to end up relapsing. You don’t just have to hang around sober people either. Whomever you hang out with just make sure they support your sobriety and will hold you accountable for your actions. A true friend will tell you when you are wrong.
  4. Practice Self Love – Drugs and alcohol had brought you to a point where you thought of yourself as a loser, a disappointment and probably couldn’t even look at yourself in the mirror. In order to stay happy and healthy in sobriety, it’s important to be diligent about practicing self-love. Create positive daily affirmations, Start journaling, Read inspirational books And, most importantly, treat yourself with compassion and kindness.
  5. Find a New Hobby – After freeing yourself from the chains of drugs and alcohol you find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands. The time you used to spend using and finding ways to use is now free for exploring new hobbies and interests. When you fill your schedule with positive activities where you create or learn new skills you feel accomplished and proud of yourself. This is not only healthy mentally but physically too.
  6. Give Back – In active addiction, you only thought about yourself. Addiction can make people selfish and unforgiving. In recovery, people you don’t even know give you love and kindness and in return, you do the same for the next newcomer. When giving back and doing service you improve your self-confidence and also bring a sense of meaning and purpose back to your life and others.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, the first step is detox and most likely you will require a medical detox to ensure the most efficient and comfortable start to your new life of recovery.

Our Medical Detox Program

While the main priority of every detox program is to ensure safe withdrawal in a medically supervised setting, at Garden State Detox we also believe that every effective detox program should set a solid foundation for long-term sobriety, and prepare each individual client for a seamless transition to the next appropriate level of clinical care. We are here for your next step.