We have come to understand addiction to alcohol and drugs as a disease characterized by altered brain structure and functioning. Those who suffer from addiction are unable to control the impulse to indulge in harmful, addictive behaviors, making them prone to continuous relapsing. The development of addiction has been attributed to the confluence of genetic, developmental, and environmental factors, making it a very complicated disease. Moreover, it’s also a complicated disease to treat. However, individuals who have developed addictions can overcome their dependencies through programs that offer targeted, evidence-based treatments.
An effective, successful recovery from addiction consists of several important steps. Although the actual treatments and therapies used to help individuals overcome physiological dependency on alcohol and drugs are central to recovery, there’s an important precursor to treatment that allows individuals to be able to focus on their rehabilitation rather than being fixated on withdrawal and cravings. Detoxification—or detox for short—is used to describe the period during which the body of an individual beginning addiction treatment is cleansed of chemical substances and toxins, returning him or her to a state of physical health. Perhaps more important that the cleansing of the body, a detox from alcohol and drugs is a means of returning the individual to the state prior to his or her physical dependency. In short, after detoxing the body is no longer physically dependent on chemical substances.
After deciding to begin the process of recovery, most addicts will begin a detox program prior to beginning the actual treatment phase of rehabilitation. The experience of withdrawal from chemical substances would make it difficult for individuals to participate in and concentrate on the therapies and treatments offered as part of a recovery program, which is why the detox process is typically a separate precursor to treatment. This effectively allows individuals to overcome physical dependency—and the associated withdrawal symptoms—so that they can devote themselves to overcoming the psychological components of alcohol and drug addiction.
When an addict ends his or her intake of chemical substances, withdrawal symptoms will begin to manifest in a matter of hours. Mild withdrawal symptoms include sweating, hold flashes and chills, feelings of uneasiness or anxiety, shaking and trembling, and nausea. If withdrawal is more severe, symptoms can include confusion, emotional volatility, hallucinations, and more pronounced trembling. In instances when withdrawal becomes very severe, individuals can experience seizures or, in the case of alcoholic withdrawal, a life-threatening condition called delirium tremens. Withdrawal typically peaks after two to three days and subsides after a week. However, due to the potential severity and risk associated with withdrawal, it’s recommended that individuals in recovery complete drug or alcohol detox in a supervised environment in which they can receive medical care to ensure their safety.
At First Step Recovery in Fresno County, our expert detox specialists guide each patient through the detox and recovery process, beginning with the first contact on the phone and concluding with initiation, of aftercare. Upon arrival, individuals are provided accommodations and welcomed to use any of the on-site amenities, which include multiple televisions, board games and recreation, and outdoor space. During the critical first 24 hours, residents are monitored by one of our detox specialists every 20 minutes, which allows us to monitor individuals progress by checking vitals and comfort levels. Moreover, First Step Recovery can help make residents more comfortable during the detox process by offering medicinal interventions when needed. It’s our goal to alleviate as much of the discomfort of detox as possible, which we accomplish with medications that specifically treat opiate withdrawal, help residents to relax or sleep, and even treat mood disorders and other, more specific symptoms.
As withdrawal symptoms subside, residents are invited to continue relaxing, take advantage of our amenities, and socialize with other residents. First Step Recovery offers comprehensive medical care throughout the detox process along with a very calming, mellow atmosphere. Our detox specialists continue to monitor each resident until completion of detoxification when they become ready to begin their treatments. At all times, residents’ safety and comfort are our priorities. We believe that making detox and recovery as smooth and comfortable as possible with optimize each resident’s success in achieving lasting, long-term sobriety.
Overcoming addiction to alcohol and drugs isn’t something that one achieves in a day, but rather is a continuous, cumulative process that takes hard work and strength of conviction. However, we know that anyone suffering from chemical dependency has the potential to achieve sobriety with quality care and effective treatments. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction and would like to learn more about Fresno County drug detox or addiction treatments, First Step Recovery can help. Our recovery specialists are available to help match individuals to the programming that best addresses each person’s recovery needs, allowing them to achieve lasting sobriety.