(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // New Jersey // Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC | Chief Operating Officer
Entering a detox facility for addiction treatment is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your family. Addiction is a progressive condition that only gets worse when left untreated, so going to detox may just be a life-saving endeavor. In detox, you are monitored by medical professionals around the clock, so that your withdrawal symptoms are managed, and you are made as comfortable as possible. You will also get the support and encouragement that you need during your detox.
Unfortunately, even with the many benefits of receiving the help that detox offers, many people still relapse during or right after detox. But there are some mistakes that you can do your best to avoid during detox that will help you lay the foundation for long-lasting recovery.
Don’t Think That Detox is Enough
The purpose of detox is to safely rid your system of the substance to which you are addicted. It is to help you get started being sober, but there will still be a lot more for you to do. In reality, stopping your drug or alcohol use is the easy part, it’s staying stopped that is challenging. There are likely many reasons that you became addicted in the first place, and those reasons will likely still be there when you stop. That is why it will not be beneficial to you to go into detox believing that it alone will provide you with long-lasting recovery. You should follow up with additional treatment, like inpatient rehab to obtain the best results.
Don’t Be Overly Concerned with Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol fear the withdrawal symptoms that they will have when they stop using. In fact, many people who try to detox from substances on their own fail because they want to feel better, so they use again. But the truth is, most people who stop using drugs or alcohol don’t suffer withdrawal symptoms that are any worse than having a case of the flu. Of course, the symptoms will feel worse when you are overly attentive to them. One of the benefits of attending an addiction treatment facility and detoxing there is that there are things to keep you distracted. Detox doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience, if you choose to participate in the activities and interact with other patients, you may even have a good experience despite some physical aches and pains.
Don’t Have a Bad Attitude
There is something to be said for the old expression, “the power of positive thinking.” If you go into detox thinking that it is going to be terrible, then chances are good that your experience will be just that. The expectations that you have going in can color the experience that you actually have. That means that if you approach detox as a positive thing, an opportunity to change the way your life is going and to finally be able to rid your body of drugs and alcohol, then the chances of the experience being positive for you greatly increase.
It may be easy for you to separate yourself from others while in detox – especially if you are an introvert by nature. That, combined with the fact that isolating is a common trait of individuals who have an addiction, may make you feel like you just want to be by yourself. Try to avoid that as much as you can. When you are able to interact with others in detox, you will get the support and camaraderie you need. That can make all the difference in your experience and the outcome of your stay in detox.
Don’t Dismiss Things Immediately
In detox and rehab, you will encounter a lot of suggestions from the staff, therapists, and doctors that you may be hesitant to try. For example, you may want to isolate while the staff suggests that you participate in activities. You will get much more out of detox when you are open-minded and willing to take suggestions instead of dismissing them right away.
Don’t Be Complacent
It’s quite possible that you will find that detox is easier than you thought it would be. It will likely go smoothly, which may make you think that staying sober will be easy as well. Thinking this way may put you at risk because it may lead to you not being willing to do the things you need to do to remain sober – like continuing with treatment after detox. Be mindful that recovery is a process and you are only in the very beginning stages while you’re in detox. Complacency at this stage doesn’t bode well for your long-term recovery.
Don’t Give Up
You can’t give up, no matter what. Deciding to go to detox in the first place was a huge step in the right direction. The time you spend in treatment, even if you go to residential rehab after detox, is a very small amount of time in the grand scheme of things. You can make it through the treatment, and you will find that with a clear mind and a head full of addiction recovery education and coping skills, you will have a great chance at recovery.
The above are just a few things to remember as you embark on your journey toward recovery by starting out in detox. If you keep these things in mind as you make your way through the detox process, you will have a much easier time and you will gain the knowledge that you need to stay sober. AT Serenity at Summit we can offer you the support you need as you go through detox and begin your new life in recovery.