The addiction recovery process is a very personal journey. Regardless of how an individual chooses to build a sober life, the first step in recovery is always the detox process, which can be intimidating when unsure what to expect. Preparing for detox takes many forms, from understanding the expectations and the duration of the program to learning to communicate with supports. Nothing about the addiction recovery process is easy. Yet, overcoming the first hurdle of detox can be more manageable with the proper preparation.
The Expectations of Detox
Addiction recovery is a process not only tied to the cessation of one’s use of addictive substances. Effective recoveries also address how various stressors and influences impact one’s attitudes surrounding substance use. It is also important to explore the physical, emotional, and mental symptoms of addiction. Expecting one’s life to look exactly the same except without the use of drugs or alcohol can be a dangerous expectation. It is important to be open to the various changes necessary during detox.
Preparing for detox also means understanding that addiction has impacted one’s life in a myriad of ways. It is important to prepare to confront how addiction impacts one’s personal health, employment, and relationships. Although, individuals are not expected to know how to address and overcome these difficult things during detox, or have already established coping strategies.
Rather, mentally preparing oneself to face difficult truths in sobriety is the first step toward overcoming them. Detox is a time where an individual is empowered to view how the use of addictive substances has affected their life and create an honest plan for their future.
Detox is also the time when withdrawal symptoms are most common. Every person’s withdrawal symptoms will be unique, and professionals are necessary to help each individual navigate their intense symptoms. For some, physical and emotional support can help an individual through these times. Others may need the support of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to process the intense physical symptoms, emotional strains, urges, cravings, and more while establishing a sober baseline.
It is normal to feel stressed or anxious about one’s sober future. Experiencing urges and cravings to reengage with addictive substances is common. Recovery is a battle, and detox is only the first step. By expecting themselves to process any number of unforeseen stresses and emotions, individuals can create an unhealthy attitude about recovery. Instead, it is more impactful to emotionally prepare to learn new coping strategies and practice them, rather than expect oneself to already be able to navigate withdrawal or the stresses of a newly sober life.
How Long Does Detox Last?
Most detox programs last between one and two weeks. The beginning of this time is when withdrawal symptoms are most prevalent, but symptoms will lighten toward the end of the detox program. Exactly how long one will stay in a dedicated detox program before moving to the next phase of recovery will vary from person to person based on a number of factors. Some may need extra time to process intense withdrawal symptoms. A personalized approach to a detox program can accommodate each person’s unique needs during this time.
Preparing With Supports
Detox programs provide an array of trained, caring professionals to help individuals navigate the beginning of their recovery. Preparing with supports is also essential when taking this first step. There can be many reservations about committing to such a profound life change. Talking through doubts or concerns with supports and professionals alike can provide the necessary reinforcement.
Supports can help an individual motivate themselves on the home front while feeling supported by family and friends. For some, having meetings with supports can provide this feeling of safety and support, while others may write letters, send emails, or call those for their support before embarking on this journey. This can help individuals feel as if they are part of a team helping to combat feelings of isolation throughout the recovery process.
Starting Off Strong
Detox can be intimidating, and jumping into the unknowns of recovery can be a difficult step to take. Taking the time to set reasonable expectations during this time is essential, and spending time with supports can reinforce one’s sober decisions. Detox and recovery are only as effective as a person makes them. Having an open mind in detox and managing these expectations can create the healthiest approach to this first phase of recovery.
Detox is the beginning of one’s recovery journey, not the end. Each person will use detox as a launching point for further transformation in residential treatment and outpatient therapy. Starting one’s journey off right can set the tone for all of one’s recovery to come. A healthy approach to detox makes a huge difference in one’s attitude and ability to see recovery through.
Detox is the first and most important part of the recovery process. However, it can be incredibly dangerous to attempt to detox in your home without professional supervision. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we are prepared to help you overcome the barriers of detox and create a healthy expectation of your time with us. We will help you and your support system to ensure your success. Professionals are available at all times to help you process withdrawal symptoms and as you cease the use of addictive substances, all while creating a new, sober beginning to a new lifestyle. Your time with us is personalized, and your detox program can be adapted to fit your unique needs and goals for the recovery process. For more information on how we can help you, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (714) 492-1119).