Young woman struggling with addiction

Overcoming addiction is no easy feat, but it’s the best choice to make when substance abuse has become a concern. One of the most challenging parts of achieving sobriety is the detox period after your last substance use. With painful side effects that can be life-threatening in severe cases, withdrawals during detox are difficult to navigate alone.

Understanding the process of detox takes an understanding of how certain substances interact with the mind and body. When drugs or alcohol are abused over long periods of time, the central nervous system adapts to their presence and alters how it functions. As a substance triggers neurotransmitters in the brain, the central nervous system stops doing so as there’s no need.

Tolerance Leads to Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Unfortunately, the brain “forgets” how to activate these transmitters during substance abuse which is what leads to withdrawal symptoms during detox. The pain, discomfort and psychological effects of withdrawal stem from the body learning how to operate on its own once again. Medical detox is an approach to detox that helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms in even the most severe cases of withdrawal.

Medical detox happens under the supervision of physicians as well as mental health professionals to administer medication and therapy respectively. Withdrawal symptoms reduced by medication include:

  • Muscles aches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

These symptoms are the most concerning with the ability to grow to a fatal strength in patients that have heavily drunk or used drugs across multiple months or years. Less severe but still difficult to manage are psychological effects such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Fear
  • Panic attacks
  • Inability to regulate emotions
  • Hallucinations

Part of the withdrawal symptoms felt can include those shared with an underlying mental illness such as PTSD or chronic anxiety. While substance abuse can mask the symptoms of mental illness, sobriety reintroduces them at a more severe level.

Detox Drastically Improves Success Rates

Depending on the substance at the root of detox, symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to multiple weeks. Some cases of substance abuse end with lasting damage to the mind and body that can slowly be undone over multiple years. The silver lining is that medical detox can help stop the progression of damage before it becomes permanent.

An often misconstrued part of detox is that it’s about more than having the willpower to stop using drugs or alcohol. Addiction quickly starts taking control of what’s important to an individual, skewing their priorities to revolve around drinking or using drugs. Quitting in the midst of an addiction isn’t even on the radar of the addicted individual. Even if it is, the fear of withdrawal mixed in with the familiarity of being under the influence can stop recovery attempts before they even start.

Start Your Detox Today at ARC

America’s Rehab Campus has spent the last five years bringing addiction treatment to our Arizona residents. Part of the world-class treatment programs offered is medical detox set in luxury medical quarters to promote safety and comfort during withdrawals.

ARC takes medical detox a step further by helping to educate patients on what’s happening to remove the fear of the unknown. Educating patients, their loved ones and even the general public about addiction and rehab changes public perception from negative to positive. The knowledge gained is also used to prevent relapse after treatment has concluded.

Take a moment to reach out to the ARC team with any questions or concerns you may have. We work with multiple insurance providers to help cover the cost of treatment and even offer insurance verification online. Don’t let addiction hold you back any longer, get started on treatment today.