Any addict knows that before they can begin the long road to recovery they will need to ‘dry out,’ to detoxify the body from the substances that are coursing through their veins. Sometimes detox treatment can last a few days and other times it will be an ongoing effort over the course of many weeks. It depends on the substance you are addicted to and how long your body has had to grow dependent upon that substance. An effective detox treatment plan will almost always be supervised by a medical or substance abuse professional because there are dangers involved that can be life-threatening.
Getting through Withdrawal from Physical Addiction
The most immediate concern with any addict, no matter how long they have been an active addict, is to get through the withdrawal symptoms that can be literally life threatening. Over a period of time the body has become physically dependent on the drug and to suddenly deny yourself that substance can send you into shock. Many times detoxification needs to be medically supervised at a treatment facility so that counter measures can be taken because the heart may stop or the body may convulse. These are serious symptoms that a layperson is probably not equipped to deal with.
Mental and Emotional Addiction
It may take many years of being involved in drug rehab to undo the mental and emotional addictions. There is a direct correlation between the addiction and the addict’s mental state that lead to drug abuse in the first place so this area of treatment will not immediately be resolved. Detox can help, but in a much different way than you would imagine.
Cleansing the Body from Toxins
It is said that the detoxification part of the recovery process is the most important because of all the toxic substances that have infiltrated literally every cell of the body. There is no way to fully recover as long as the toxins are still being stored. Detoxification starts with ridding the body not only of the substance the person is addicted to but also of all the toxins that resulted from repeated abuse of a substance. These are typically stored in the liver and kidneys, which is why a thorough flush is usually in order.
Treating the Wound
In order to understand just how important detoxification is to recovery, an analogy could help. When a person sustains a cut or abrasion, the first thing a doctor or nurse will do is cleanse the wound and disinfect it. Then they will take measures to ensure healing. A doctor may stitch a deep wound and will almost always apply some type of antiseptic substance. You will be advised to keep the wound clean and dry. Doesn’t that sound like recovery? This is the process in which you stay clean and dry from substances.
However, first the wound (your addiction) must be cleansed or it could fester. The process of cleansing is detoxification so you can see just how important it is to your recovery. First cleanse then stay dry. So why is detox so important to recovery? You can’t rebuild something that is still dirty so cleanse through detox and recovery follows naturally from there.