Do I Need Detox Before Starting a Treatment Program?

Most rehabilitation programs require that you are sober and stabilized before being admitted. This means that you have to go through the detox process and remove the drugs and toxins from your body before you can focus your efforts on the recovery process. You may find that you’re confused by this step though. Should you go through the detox process at home? Should you have medical assistance? Or should you look for a treatment program that offers detox too?

Detox in the Home vs Detox in a Residential Facility

While some people do choose to detox on their own, it’s not the recommended way. First off, at home detox is more stressful than if it were done in a facility. You’re essentially on your own, aside from family or friends that are there to support you. At a detox facility, you get personalized attention and care from a team of doctors that can manage your discomfort with a variety of conventional and holistic medications.

For example, at The River Source, we offer patients vitamin IV therapy, amino acids, acupuncture, massage therapy and sauna treatments. Using these medications and treatments, we hope to eliminate the “bad” from the body and replenish the “good.” All patients also receive a personalized treatment plan, medical and naturopathic evaluations and a full assessment, something that is not possible when detoxing on your own.

Second, doing a detox on your own is dangerous. The withdrawal from drugs and alcohol is one of the toughest parts of early recovery, and the side effects can be life-threatening. Many addicts who try detoxing on their own relapse right away. They have such a hard time dealing with the withdrawal that they resort back to using drugs or alcohol almost immediately. This comes with its own risks, particularly the risk of overdose.

If you are going to detox on your own, we highly recommend having medical assistance on hand. If you are making the commitment to get better, you surely don’t want to compromise your health or safety by detoxing without the proper protocol in place. The recommended way to detox is in a safe, medically supervised rehabilitation center like The River Source. It’s the safest, most comfortable and most effective way to detox, and the process typically takes 5-10 days. You are then on your way to recovery!

Why is Detox So Important Before Seeking Treatment?

You are probably wondering why it’s so important to be fully detoxed before starting a recovery program. Does a few days in detox really make a difference? Indeed it does.

Detox is critical for a few reasons. First, if you are still on drugs, you are intoxicated and unable to think clearly or rationally. The drugs and alcohol will cloud your brain and interfere with your ability to learn new skills. You can probably imagine how wasteful it would be to attempt treatment and sort through your feelings when confused or agitated. When the drugs are out of your body, you have a clean slate to work with and a mind that is capable of participating in treatment.

Additionally, detox builds the body up, replacing it with essential vitamins and minerals. You will feel better physically, and a physical body is better able to focus on recovery. You won’t be fatigued, nauseous or irritable, and the surge of energy you’ll feel from the physical restoration can drive the will to recover.

Second, if you are under acute intoxication, you will require more medical care and observation. This is more than most treatment programs can provide. Treatment is instead designed to help addicts work through their struggles and learn new life skills; the resources to treat an intoxicated person are not there. And just imagine how much this behavior would affect other patients who are sober. It would make cohesive, supportive and structured treatment impossible.

A final consideration is the fact that being on drugs or alcohol can mimic signs of mental illness. It’s very important for treatment centers to make a thorough diagnosis upon arrival, and they can only do this when you are clean and sober. You may have an underlying condition such as anxiety or depression, but if you’re drunk or high, it will be difficult to tell if it’s the illness or the drugs making you act that way.

Detox is the stepping stone to addiction treatment. You cannot have without the other. For more information about a comprehensive treatment program, contact The River Source at 866-294-9331.

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Welcome to The River Source, the place where new beginnings are created. We commend you for taking the first step in your recovery, and we want you to know that we are here for you.