We frequently hear the question when someone addicted to alcohol or drugs is faced with a lengthy drug rehab program: Why can’t I just do drug detox? The answer is painfully simple: to find and solve the problems that drew you into addiction in the first place, and learn how to avoid those pitfalls in the future, you must do a drug rehab program.
If the first real step towards recovery is the decision to handle your addiction once and for all, then drug detox is the second vital step. Almost all drug rehab programs begin with drug detox, when the addict goes through withdrawal. After that, they won’t feel such a burning physical need for their next drink or drug fix, and they won’t collapse or have seizures from the withdrawal symptoms.
To many addicts, this sounds like all they need – after detox, they’ll be cured! No need for three or four or more months of drug rehab!
It’s true that a drug detox can help relieve the often terrible withdrawal symptoms caused by coming off alcohol or drugs. The damage done to your brain and body by alcohol or drugs can be significant, and is usually, if not always, accompanied by some degree of malnutrition and dehydration. A good drug detox includes nutritional work to help boost the effectiveness of your detox. And finally, because detox can be quite an emotional experience, counselors should be there to provide needed support.
All these needs are addressed during a proper drug detox, which can take on average a week or so depending on the person and their addiction. After drug detox you can continue on your road to recovery in drug rehab without the addictive substances that brought you there. Your mind is clearer than it’s been in a long time. Your emotions are freed up, and your reactions to people and life begin to make sense again, rather than being drug-centered. A great drug detox even before drug rehab can provide a big boost to one’s self-worth, vitality and hope for the future.
Drug detox is far from the cure – but it’s a great preview of how life can eventually be. However, nothing has been done yet to address the psychological and emotional factors that led you into your addiction and kept it alive like an evil twin, like a dark shadow on your life. That will be your voyage of discovery in drug rehab – and as you can imagine, it can take a while.
A good drug rehab program will provide new understanding about yourself and your relationships with others and your environment. It will offer you the tools you need to repair the damage your addiction has caused, and prevent it from happening again.
We read recently where someone said that alcohol and drugs don’t make anyone happy, they simply mask the problems that make you unhappy. The road to full self-recovery only begins with drug detox: it ends with however much time it takes later with a successful drug rehab program.
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