Tens of millions of people suffer from drug or alcohol addiction in the US alone. At some point, many of them will go through drug detox as a necessary first step in the recovery process. Yet, while many people know the term detox, the process itself is sometimes mysterious. We’ll explore what the detox definition is to help those with addictions and their families understand what to expect.
Drug Detox Definition
At its core, drug detox refers to ridding the body of toxins left over from drug or alcohol use. The process taxes the body, mind, and emotions.
Because of how difficult it can be, most drug detox takes place in a controlled environment, such as a detox center. This prevents people from seeking drugs to end their very real discomfort. It also lets medical staff check and treat a client’s condition during withdrawal.
It’s important to note that drug detox plays out in some everyday situations. Someone who quits smoking or gives up a serious coffee habit often goes through a detox phase, even if it’s an unsupervised one. The person will experience withdrawal symptoms but probably not life-threatening ones.
No detox definition is complete without talking about some details of withdrawal. As the drugs leave your system, your body reacts badly to the loss.
The brain expects drugs to trigger its reward system. Remove the drugs and the reward system goes into low drive, which throws brain chemistry out of whack. That imbalance throws off mood, emotional control and a person’s sense of well-being.
Some common physical symptoms include insomnia, vomiting, and even seizures. The exact withdrawal symptoms depend on the specific drug and how long someone took it.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms, for example, often include:
- Heart palpitations
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
Therapy isn’t normally included in the detox definition, but it plays a role sometimes. Addiction isn’t just physical dependence on a drug or alcohol. There are mental-emotional components that a person must address in rehab. To help prepare clients, some detox centers include therapies such as:
The inclusion of therapy during detox depends on the severity of a person’s withdrawal and the rules of the detox center.
The detox process aims to clear away the toxins left from abusing drugs and alcohol. Medical professionals often manage the process because withdrawal symptoms are hard on a person’s body. In some cases, the symptoms prove dangerous. Removing those toxins and getting through withdrawal helps prepare a person for the mental work in a rehab program.
Don’t let addiction control you or your loved one’s lives. Crestview Recovery will help you overcome your addiction. Call us at 866.262.0531, and we’ll help you on your path to recovery.