Detox: A Beginner’s Guide

Addiction Detox: A Beginner's Guide from Purpose Healing

A Brief Rundown on the Essential Details of Detox

Providing effective addiction treatment means being able to offer a comprehensive, step-down model of consistent support to the clients we treat. At Purpose Healing Center, this often starts with our Detox program.

Here, with our Detox: A Beginner’s Guide, we explain what detox means and what new clients should expect when they prepare to undergo this phase in their recovery journey.

What Is Detox?

Detox is the period of recovery where a the presence of drugs and alcohol are removed from your system so you can begin to build a stable foundation for long-term sobriety. As such, it’s often looked at as one of the most important phases of recovery as well as one of the most challenging.

Can You Detox on Your Own?

Because the first step of detox is simply stopping your use of an addictive substance, many people are confident that they’ll be able to do it at home without professional help. This is not as easy — or as safe — as it may seem.

A process called withdrawal begins as soon as a substance is not present in the body at high enough levels. This comes with uncomfortable symptoms and powerful cravings for the substance in question. Many people are unable to resist the urge to start using again when they aren’t in a controlled environment, and the symptoms of withdrawal can put their health at extreme risk.

During and immediately after withdrawal are high-risk times for a person in recovery. Cravings are heightened during these phases, but since the body has already begun cleaning itself, tolerance for substances will be lower, increasing the likelihood of experiencing a potentially deadly overdose.

Withdrawal Side Effects

The side effects of withdrawal vary between different substances, but commonly include headaches, fever, increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and depression.

Sudden, uncontrolled withdrawal can put people at risk of severe, sometimes fatal, conditions, which is why many detox programs choose to gradually decrease levels of the substance in the body — called a “tapering” program — instead of stopping it all at once.

How Long Does Detox Take?

Like with all of our programming, we take a customized approach to detox, because no two clients are exactly the same. It’s also true that different substances take a longer time to be removed from the body completely.

For most clients, detox will take an average of 1-2 weeks to complete. After that, withdrawal symptoms are significantly easier to manage, but they may persist for a few weeks longer.

Detox: A Beginner’s Guide (and the Stages of Detox)

The first stage of detox at Purpose Healing Center is called evaluation. This usually happens when a client is entering and enrolling in our facility. We ask a series of questions to identify the specific type and severity of their substance use disorder, check the status of vital signs, examine a client’s health history, and develop a targeted treatment plan.

Next is supervised detox treatment. In this phase, we help clients get clean, monitoring their health and using a variety of therapies to make them as comfortable as possible as they withdraw from addictive substances.

Finally, we prepare them to enter treatment in full. Most clients move directly into our inpatient programming, but this depends on a few factors, including the severity of the case, and their responsibilities outside of treatment.

What to Expect in Detox at Purpose Healing Center

While we are an addiction treatment center in Arizona, the treatment can’t start until detox is complete.

However, detox is an excellent opportunity for clients to start getting into the rhythm of Residential Inpatient Treatment, attending group meetings, talking to their counselor, and practicing positive life skills that bring critical balance to their lives once they move down into less engaged programs like Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP).

Is Detox the Right First Step for You?

Some treatment centers offer only detox, but this isn’t the stage where the real work is done. As a result, detox-only treatment is rarely effective. At Purpose Healing Center, we offer detox as the first step in a full continuum of care.

This allows us to make sure our clients are clean, sober, and ready to start the work required to make those changes last a lifetime.

If you or a loved one are experiencing active addiction to drugs, alcohol, or both, it’s time to get help. Contact Purpose Healing Center today to take your first step toward a better life.