What Is Drug And Alcohol Detox?

When an addiction, be it to drugs or alcohol, arises, professional treatment must be sought.

Although several treatments need to be administered to ensure that an addiction can be overcome, it is crucial to firstly complete a drug and alcohol detox.

Overseen in a rehab setting, drug and alcohol detox programmes ensure that the physical side effects of addiction can be overcome.

Drug and alcohol detox programmes also reduce the risk of relapse when completed alongside other treatment options.

However, the thought of completing a drug and alcohol detox is understandably somewhat daunting. As a result, many defer treatment at an inpatient or outpatient rehab and even attempt to defeat their addiction alone.

To reduce any worries surrounding the first stage of addiction treatment, we answer the question “what is drug and alcohol detox?” here.


What Is A Drug and Alcohol Detox?

A drug and alcohol detox, or detoxification as it is otherwise known, is the process in which drugs and alcohol are slowly eliminated from the body to alleviate substance addictions.

As substances are removed from the body, the physical side effects of addiction reduce, enabling those in recovery to take the first step in defeating their addiction.

Like many other addiction treatments, drug and alcohol detox can be orchestrated by private and NHS rehabs. However, the treatment available greatly differs.


Detoxification Treatment for a Drug and Alcohol Addiction

When administered in a private inpatient rehab, detoxification is medically induced. This means that medication is prescribed to initiate the detoxification and withdrawal process.

Overseen by medical professionals, medically induced detoxifications reduce the overall time it takes an individual to withdraw from substances. Usually completed within as little as seven days, this particular detoxification treatment is suitable for those with mild to moderate addictions.

Whilst medically induced detoxifications are most effective, additional detox treatments are available. For example, when addiction treatment is sought via NHS outpatient rehabs, medication such as Chlordiazepoxide is prescribed.

This particular medication is orally administered and reduces withdrawal symptoms encountered throughout the detox process. Although beneficial, outpatient detox is not suitable for severe addictions. If an addiction is severe, the NHS usually refers patients to hospital to complete detox.


What Happens During Detoxification Treatment?

Before commencing a detox programme, clinical reviews are conducted to ascertain the severity of addiction and the physical and psychological side effects experienced as a result.

Not only do clinical reviews offer detox providers, such as ourselves, greater insight into an individual’s addiction, but it ensures that an appropriate amount of medication can be prescribed to guarantee that detox is safe and successful.

As detoxification is commenced, harmful toxins begin to leave the body and brain within as little as 24 hours.

Though entirely safe when conducted at our rehab centre, detoxing from drugs and alcohol can cause mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms to arise. These symptoms typically emerge a few days after detox begins and usually last for up to two weeks.

The withdrawal symptoms encountered are different for everyone. However, it is not uncommon to experience nausea, persistent headaches, anxiety, hallucinations, general aches and pains and insomnia.

During detoxification treatment, one-to-one therapy and around the clock care can also be expected. This ensures that those progressing through detox have an outlet to discuss how they feel. Many also find that one-to-one therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, helps them navigate detox and withdrawal better.


Other Treatment Options

Although drug and alcohol detox programmes play a vital role in an individual’s ability to overcome their addiction, they do not guarantee that a long-term recovery can be achieved alone. As a result, other treatment options are available via private drug and alcohol treatment centres, such as our own.

In addition to providing one-to-one therapy and around the clock care alongside the detoxification process, rehabilitation, psychological therapy, well-being therapy, group therapy, and relapse prevention support contribute to the likelihood that a long-term recovery can be achieved.

Rehabilitation, for example, combines a wealth of psychological and well-being therapies that address the psychological impact of addictions.

Conducted in one-to-one and group settings, psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behavioural therapy, encourage those in recovery to address the cause of their addiction. These particular therapies also assist individuals in adopting positive mindsets that essentially reduce the risk of relapse.

Though psychological therapy is advocated, well-being therapies, such as yoga and meditation, are incorporated into treatment programmes. These therapies help many in recovery navigate any pessimistic thoughts and feelings throughout their recovery.


Is Completing A Drug and Alcohol Detox Safe?

As you question “what is drug and alcohol detox?” and review the information shared above, it is entirely normal to question whether completing a detox is safe.

When overseen by medical professionals within a rehab setting, detox is entirely safe. Throughout the detox process, access to treatments is guaranteed, and the risk of relapse is removed.

However, without professional treatment, drug and alcohol detox can be extremely dangerous. This is because, as touched on above, detox comes hand-in-hand with many withdrawal symptoms that can be difficult to manage.

Unable to navigate withdrawal symptoms, a significant number of people that attempt to withdraw from drugs and alcohol alone sadly relapse.

Considering this, it is best to complete a detox programme within a rehab facility.


Contact Us Today

Having answered the question “what is drug and alcohol detox?” at Step One Recovery, we advise contacting us directly if you would like to find out more about drug and alcohol detox or refer yourself or a loved one for treatment.

Available for individuals from all walks of life to take advantage of, our detoxification programmes combined with other treatment options form the basis of our personalised addiction treatment programmes.

Highly effective, all of our clients go on to make a long-term recovery upon completing our programmes. We additionally offer 12-months of free aftercare support to ensure that further treatment can be sought upon completing a drug and alcohol detox.

If you are ready to reach out to us, please call us today on 0800 012 6006.