If you’re looking to change your life and participate in a detox program, you may be wondering if it’s really worth it. You may have your doubts about the process and if you can be successful throughout. Of course, detoxing can be a difficult experience and the painful symptoms of withdrawal are often what keep many people from getting clean. But detox does not need to be excruciating or overwhelming. With the help of trained professionals, detox can be easily managed so that you will be as comfortable as possible and prepared for next steps. Plus, the sooner you stop abusing drugs or alcohol, the less likely you are to suffer irreversible damage.
The Effects of Continuing Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Although detoxification and the symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal can be painful, the damages that these substances can do to your body may be permanent. Detoxification is only temporary, while the lasting effects of drug or alcohol addiction can be fatal. Weighing the benefits versus risks of detoxing can help you make the most appropriate decision for yourself.
Continuing to abuse drugs and alcohol can lead to the following effects:
- Vital organ damage or failure
- Development of certain types of cancers
- Cardiovascular complications, including risk for heart attack or stroke
- Pulmonary complications (depending on the method of use)
- Neurological damage
- Sustained pain associated with physical injury caused by accidents
- Causing harm or death to another person as a result of being under the influence
Even though these effects are frightening and anxiety-provoking, the good news is that they can be prevented by ending substance abuse as quickly as possible. For many, stopping use begins in detox.
The Risk and Benefits of Detox
It’s important to examine the risks and benefits of a detox program. Understanding the struggles you may face will help you be prepared and stay in the program. Knowing the benefits that await you after recovery can also help keep you motivated when things get tough.
- Withdrawal symptoms — Withdrawal can be incredibly unpleasant and may often lead to avoiding getting treatment for an addiction. When detoxing from drugs and alcohol, you will likely experience a number of symptoms, some of which may include nausea, headaches, mood swings and difficulty sleeping. The type of symptoms you experience will depend on the substance you were abusing, how long you were abusing it for, and how much you were abusing at one time. Thankfully, withdrawal symptoms can be managed as best as possible when in a detox program.
- Less barrier to emotional pain — If what lead you to seek out drugs or alcohol was the desire to use these substances to help cope with a trauma or an emotionally painful circumstance, you may find yourself having to face those things after detoxing. This is not easy for anyone, but it is something that nearly all individuals going through treatment experience at one point or another. This means it will be extra important for you to develop healthy tools and coping skills to improve the pain you bear so that it no longer dictates your life.
- A new lease on life — If you have felt your life is over, you may find that the battle against addiction does not have to be a losing one. You can regain your courage, confidence, and ambition for leading a life you want to live. There are many individuals who have struggled with addiction who then go on to lead successful and meaningful lives, many of them going on to help others who have also struggled with addiction. Clearing your mind and body of addictive substances and working to implement healthy behaviors and practices can give you the desire to continue building your new life.
- Healthiness — While struggling with an addiction, managing your health can be an uphill battle. The deteriorating effects of drug and alcohol abuse damage many of your major organs and can prevent you from thriving. Plus, being hooked on drugs or alcohol creates physical distress that occurs over and over again (think headaches, stomachaches) Once you get clean, however, you may find your health improving. For example, you may begin breathing better with less coughing. You might notice a sense of calm throughout your body if your heart rate is within a normal range. You may even notice your skin clearing up or that you have lost some weight. The better you take care of yourself, the better you will feel.
- Better relationships — When you are struggling with an addiction, family, and friends may not be able to reach you. They may try everything within their power but never fully break through. But, if your life is being consumed with this ongoing battle of addiction, it’s hard to make space to connect and build your relationships. It even becomes difficult to nurture the relationships you already have. After recovery, many people find they’re able to pick up relationships that had been set aside during their abuse and begin restoring them. Without a clear head, this would be extremely difficult to do, if not impossible.
- A bright future — Once you have dealt with the troubles of addiction and have been able to move beyond it, you may feel a renewed sense of confidence that if you can get through this, you can get through anything. That is a well-deserved feeling to possess, especially after going through a dark period in your life. With this mentality, doors can open. You may begin getting new opportunities you never had a chance at before. You may even find out things about yourself that lead you down a happily unexpected path. If you have had any dreams in life, you can now revisit them and begin to work towards that brighter future.
Planning For a Successful Detox Program
Detoxing can be tough, but it can bring so many benefits to your life. To help you set yourself up for success, be sure to carefully develop a plan for recovery. Utilizing multiple means of support can help negate some of the difficult symptoms and improve the benefits you experience after detoxing.
Tips to Help Detoxing
- Seek the help of a qualified and supportive counselor — Ongoing counseling can be life-changing for many people. Finding someone to work with who you can trust can help you build a refuge where you can share the struggles and pains you are going through.
- Enter into a quality detox program — Finding somewhere that understands the specific drug you are detoxing from and has the facilities that can help you will help to improve their ability to help you detox. Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is no minor undertaking, which is why doing so in the hands of experienced professionals is vital.
- Seek the support of loved ones and family — Celebrate your big and small accomplishments with those who love you. Reach out to friends and family when you need a shoulder to lean on. Share your progress, both positive and negative, and welcome the kind words of others.
- Find a nearby support group — Begin building a network that will help establish and continually develop your recovery. Your network might start out within local community meetings like AA or NA. They may even come from friends in town. Make sure that you are not trying to take your recovery on by yourself. Allow the support from others to help carry you through.
If you’re ready to get help, reach out to one of our counselors today and we can begin building a recovery plan for you. Contact us any time at 844-903-2111