Many rehab facilities consider detoxification and withdrawal the same. others refer to withdrawal only and then send the recovering addict on to get one-on-one counselling or other options for treatment. many times detoxification refers to medical detox, and not everyone needs a medical detox. some people, who are addicted to alcohol and opiates, and those who want to get off of methadone, need a medical detox. The symptoms of withdrawal can be extremely dangerous with these substances. a medical detox under the care of a doctor is needed so the person can be brought through safely.
Why is Drug and Alcohol Detox Necessary?
When a person has finally picked up the phone to seek help for their alcohol or drug addiction, one of the most surprising realities that they are faced with is the need to undergo a detoxification program before the actual recovery process can begin.
It can be frustrating to desperately want treatment but must wait to receive it. But, it may help ease that frustration when you understand that alcohol and/or drug detox is necessary and vital if the recovery process is to begin as safely and smoothly as possible.
The Purpose of a Detox
Contrary to what some people believe, detox does not in and of itself address addiction.
A “detoxification” is exactly that – the process by which the body rids itself of the “toxins” – the alcohol and/or drugs – that have built up over time.
The psychological aspects of drug and alcohol rehabilitation – the education, counseling, and ongoing support – have virtually no effect while a person is still physically in the grips of their addiction. Only when the body has been purged and is no longer acutely physically craving alcohol/drugs can the mind be clear enough to begin to accept the message of recovery.
A professionally-supervised detox provides an atmosphere where a person quitting alcohol or drugs can safely overcome any physical dependency they may have on their intoxicant of choice and have assistance in gaining a measure of relief from unpleasant or dangerous withdrawal symptoms that occur when the drug or alcohol is decreased or discontinued.