The road to recovery from substance abuse can be a long one. You didn’t develop an addiction overnight, and you won’t find your way out of it instantly. Recovery involves several different stages, starting with detox and going through to aftercare. But you may face an important question: how to choose between at-home vs. medical detox?
The purpose of detox is to help patients with withdrawal symptoms. This can be done on either an inpatient or outpatient basis. This is a decision you need to make with your doctor. Milder addictions are the ones that can be handled at an outpatient level.
Detox is the first step in overcoming addiction and starting your journey to recovery.
What Happens During Medical Detox?
Medical detox is a process where someone with a substance use disorder is supervised as he or she stops using drugs or alcohol. Drug and alcohol detox is necessary in most cases as continued substance abuse can interfere with subsequent stages of rehab. The idea behind medical detox programs are to ease withdrawal symptoms. Substance abuse fools your body into thinking it needs drugs and alcohol to survive.
When you stop using drugs or alcohol, your body reacts negatively and you experience symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Medical detox is a process where healthcare professionals monitor your condition and respond to withdrawal symptoms.
How to Choose Between At-Home vs. Medical Detox
Substance abuse can cause lasting damage to your health, relationships, and finances. It’s important to begin recovery with a strong foundation. It is theoretically possible to go through detox alone at home to ease withdrawal symptoms. However, this option is rarely recommended by professionals. Having doctors nearby can keep your recovery on track as you experience symptoms of withdrawal. A medical detox program gives you access to:
- A support system — people who are rooting for you
- Professionals experienced in addiction medicine
- Prescriptions that ease withdrawal symptoms
- Established procedures in case your withdrawal symptoms lead to emergencies
At-home detox might be appropriate for patients with milder substance abuse problems. The biggest advantage is being able to handle problems with withdrawal in a comfortable location: at home with people you love.
The Next Steps of Rehab
Detox is only the first step in your recovery journey. Just because you stop drinking or using drugs doesn’t mean that your addiction is cured. Remember that addiction is a serious psychological disorder. Use and abuse of drugs and alcohol alter the chemical components of your brain.
After detox, the steps for the rest of addiction treatment include:
- Counseling – You will work with trained therapists in individual and group sessions to explore your life’s dynamics and build coping skills to resist backsliding. You may also be asked to participate in family therapy.
- Aftercare – Graduating from treatment isn’t the end of the road, either. In the aftercare stage, you will be provided access to resources aimed at reducing the risk of relapse. This may involve ongoing counseling or participation in a 12-step anonymous program.
Medical detox sets the stage for these steps to be successful.
Explore Medical Detox Options with Wellness Counseling Vida Entera
Finding your way out of substance abuse. Drugs or alcohol have powerful effects on your mind, leading to unnecessary risk-taking and poor judgment. While you can try to detox on your own, you’re much better off considering medical detox. In medical detox, you remain under the careful supervision of doctors and counselors as you experience issues with withdrawal.
At Wellness Counseling Vida Entera, we know that graduating from rehab is an enormous accomplishment and have built programs to allow you to do that safely, comfortably, and confidentially. Our center offers programs with evidence-based addiction treatment to help you with drug and alcohol abuse. We also treat mental health disorders in our center.