Five Reasons Why Drug and Alcohol Detox Can Create a Healthier You

Drug or alcohol detox is a necessary precursor to substance abuse treatment once people enter programs for alcoholics. However, you may not understand fully how it can help promote a sober, healthier you, particularly if this is your first time receiving addiction treatment.

The safest and most successful way to detox is by receiving medical supervision from trained doctors at a rehab’s detox center. Here, medical professionals will monitor you throughout the entire process as your body rids itself of the chemicals and toxins from drug or alcohol use.

These pollutants are detrimental to the brain as well as the body’s digestive, metabolic, lymphatic, endocrinal, immune, and nervous systems. With this in mind, here are five ways drug and alcohol detox can create a healthier you.

#1. Detox Helps You End Physical Dependence

Chronic drug or alcohol use causes both physical and psychological dependence. In other words, these substances rewire the brain (psychoactive changes) to make people believe they cannot function without the euphoria they provide.

This belief is reinforced by uncontrollable cravings that force people to compulsively seek and use their substances of choice. But when the psychoactive chemicals are removed from the body during detox, it reduces or ceases those cravings and the desire to use.

Detox processes start naturally once people stop using addictive substances. In some instances, doctors may give clients prescription drugs to treat withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and help taper them off substances. For example, drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine are used in opioid detox while disulfiram and acamprosate are used in alcohol detox.

#2. Detox Prepares You to Receive Addiction Therapy

Uncomfortable physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms often occur during detox. They include nausea, vomiting, sweating, increased heart rate, overpowering cravings, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Doctors and therapists can help people manage these symptoms as they stabilize. Being stabilized might make it easier for people to stop using substances or control their cravings. They may be able to recognize that addiction is a problem and have a strong desire to quit.

However, detox alone is not enough and is only the first step to sobriety. It is necessary to follow up with some type of behavioral therapy or other types of treatment to increase the chances of sustained recovery.

Addiction is a complex brain disorder that requires detox, therapy, counseling, and treatment for co-occurring disorders that may cause or reinforce addiction. Therapy helps people find positive ways to cope with substance use triggers instead of turning to drugs or alcohol.

#3. Detox Helps Improve Brain and Body Functions

Drugs and alcohol use interferes with physical, cognitive, and psychological functions. Detox helps the brain to normalize.

The brain becomes accustomed to reduced dopamine levels and diminished euphoric effects. This means that detox helps the brain get used to life without alcohol and drugs. Additionally, alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and heroin can weaken the immune system and make people more prone to infection and illnesses.

Alcohol damages the liver and kidneys and smoking destroys the lungs. Moreover, cocaine is known to damage the heart, impair heart functions, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and trigger heart attacks.

There is no doubt that flushing poisonous toxins out of the body can disengage its relationship with psychoactive substances. Undergoing detox allows the body and brain to heal and recover.

#4. Detox Helps Improve Your Thinking and Behavior

Addiction can create problems with memory, thinking, and decision-making. These effects can occur when the chemicals from alcohol, opioids, sedatives, stimulants, and other drugs enter the brain and make people lose control over their impulses.

Once these substances hijack people’s brains, they may become impulsive, reckless, aggressive, or get into trouble with the law.

These changes also explain why people compulsively seek and use drugs or alcohol despite the consequences they can create for their health, job, and relationships.

But after undergoing detox, people are no longer captive to foreign substances because the chemicals are no longer in their bodies. They’ll be able to think and reason better, they’ll make better decisions, and they might be more willing to become sober.

#5. Detox Reduces Your Risk of Relapse

Trouble controlling cravings is a primary reason why it is so difficult to quit alcohol and drugs. But detox helps stop cravings and helps prevent people from going back to the substances.

Of course, detox alone does not constitute comprehensive addiction treatment. But it does go a far way in helping people sustain their sobriety. The longer they’re able to manage cravings and other substance use triggers, the longer they can stay healthy and perform the functions of daily living.

Drug and alcohol detox typically lasts a few days to weeks, but the end result is a healthier you. You’ll feel like yourself again and have a better chance of living a productive, drug-free or alcohol-free life. You can also rebuild and enjoy your relationship with family and loved ones. Consider starting your sobriety journey by connecting with a treatment center near you.

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. 

Sources – Behavioral Therapies for Drug Abuse – Detoxification of Drug and Substance Abuse – The Impact of Substance Use on the Developing Brain

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