To overcome a drug addiction, a detox programme is often the very first step in the recovery process. But before the question of ‘what is a drug detox programme?’ can be answered, it is important to establish whether you actually need a detox or not.

The issue of drug addiction is one that is surrounded by stigma and shame; because of this, those affected often do not want to admit the truth of their situation. It is hard to come to terms with the fact that your use of a particular substance has reached problem levels. This is even more so when the substance involved is one that was prescribed by a medical professional for a legitimate medical problem.

It must be mentioned here that drug detox programmes are not only for those with a physical dependence on illegal substances. The reality is that prescription medication is also dangerous and addictive when abused and it is not uncommon for individuals to develop addictions to their strong painkillers, anti-depressants, or sedatives. It is also quite common for those with these issues to be reluctant when it comes to the idea of a drug detox programme.

Do You Need a Drug Detox Programme?

It is important to establish your need for professional help before going into more detail about the question of what is a drug detox programme. You may be at the stage where you believe that you do not actually require help or any type of treatment.

If this is where you are at currently, we would like you to think about your substance use, particularly if your loved ones have been raising concerns. Consider whether you have increased your consumption of drugs lately and if this was in response to the fact that you felt you were not getting the feelings you desired. If so, this is probably because you have built up a tolerance to the substance you are using.

Your body has adapted to the presence of the drugs you are using and, as such, it has started to release fewer feel-good (dopamine) chemicals. These are the chemicals responsible for the feelings of pleasure you get from the drugs you are taking. The fewer dopamine chemicals that are released, the less intense the pleasurable feelings will be. This means that you may feel the need to take more drugs, which could result in a physical dependence.

It is important to think about your substance use in order to determine if you do have a problem and if you need help. Think about how often you have been high in recent times. If this has been a regular occurrence over the past six months to a year, then it may be that you should seek treatment.

You should also consider why you are taking drugs – is it to change the way you feel or to block out painful memories? Is your drug taking starting to get in the way of daily life? If so, you should consider the possibility that you have already developed a physical dependence and that you need to do something about it now.

What is a Drug Detox Programme Like?

The idea of drug detox can make some people delay getting the help they need due to a worry of it being painful and that they will not be able to cope. So based on responses like this, the question of what is a drug detox programme like is one that we are often asked here at Oasis Recovery Communities.

The aim of a detox programme is to break the ties between the individual and the substance being abused. Although these programmes can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, they should not be intensely painful or traumatic when handled correctly.

As the risk of complications can be present for every person detoxing from chemical substances, it is advisable to consider a programme of detoxification in a special detox facility. Most experts agree that this is the safest place to withdraw from mood-altering substances.

What is a drug detox programme like? The answer to this will depend on the substance that has been abused and how long it has been abused for. In general, most people will experience a number of withdrawal symptoms as their body gets used to life without these chemicals. But not everyone will experience the same symptoms, nor the same severity of symptoms. Moreover, because it is impossible to predict symptoms or their severity, it is important that every care is taken to ensure the safety and comfort of the individual throughout the process.

When wondering what a drug detox programme is like, you should know that you are bound to feel worse before you feel better. But you should also remember that you will feel better. The unpleasant feelings you experience will last for a number of days, but they will eventually subside.

In general, a detox programme lasts for between seven and ten days, and during this time, you can expect to experience a few withdrawal symptoms. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • headaches
  • mood swings
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • shaking
  • sweating
  • rapid pulse
  • high blood pressure
  • raised temperature
  • insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • cravings
  • paranoia
  • irritability
  • hallucinations
  • seizures

Although there is a large list of withdrawal symptoms that can occur during a drug detox, you might only ever experience one or two. Your symptoms may only be mild to moderate in intensity, or you may experience some of the more severe symptoms. It is not possible to know.

What is known, however, is that most affected people will experience trouble sleeping and the vast majority will suffer mood swings. Furthermore, while most symptoms will disappear after a couple of weeks, these two can last for longer. Some individuals will struggle with mood swings and sleeping problems for many months.

Why a Dedicated Detox Facility is the Wise Option

When it comes to a drug detox, you have the option of completing the process in your own home or within the comfort and security of a dedicated facility. It is the opinion of most addiction experts that the process should take place in a dedicated facility because staff have experience and knowledge of the procedure and can ensure that the patient is safe and secure at all times.

The risk of complications from severe withdrawal symptoms is present for everyone detoxing from chemical substances and having medical professionals on hand to act in the event of an emergency is a wise move.

In a dedicated facility, there is also the option to have symptoms eased with appropriate medication. Fully qualified medical professionals can administer medication and supplements, which not only eases any discomfort but might also prevent the worst symptoms from occurring in the first place.

What Happens After Detox

It is important to remember that a detox is not the only part of the recovery process. In fact, it is just the beginning. The aim of detox is to break the cycle of addiction, but there is more to recovery than this. Once the physical addiction has been broken, it is necessary to get started on the psychological addiction, which takes place with a programme of rehabilitation.

Rehab programmes are also provided here at Oasis Recovery Communities. We offer excellent detox and rehab programmes for those who want to overcome their addictions and go on to live substance-free lives. If this is of interest to you, please get in touch with us today.

We can assess your situation to determine if you have a need for treatment. If you are then willing to get started, we can provide information and details about the options available to you. Please call our dedicated helpline to find out more about how you can get started on the road to recovery as soon as possible.