When you are newly sober, one of the most intimidating steps you must take is detoxing from drugs or alcohol. This can seem terrifying to some people, as they wonder what symptoms they might experience and how long it will last. When you’re trying to get clean and sober, it can be hard to find reliable information about detoxing from alcohol or drugs on the internet, so let’s take a look at some common myths about drug detox and provide the facts so that you can make the most informed decision possible about your recovery.
Myth 1: I need to go through opioid detox
If you are using opiates like heroin or prescription pain medication (like hydrocodone or oxycodone), you do need to detox. But if you’re taking a drug other than an opioid, such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine or a club drug, that’s not true. In fact, some club drugs and alcohol make withdrawal worse.
Myth 2: I will withdraw right away if I stop using drugs
You won’t hit bottom on day one. Depending on your substance of choice, it can take weeks to months for your body to rid itself of any residual drugs. This is why it is so important to have a medical drug detox plan in place: while you are withdrawing, they can help you manage any physical symptoms that arise.
Myth 3: I should see my doctor before stopping drugs
No. The first step in stopping is to make a commitment to stop — and that decision should be made by you, not your doctor. While doctors are trained to help people who are having problems with drugs or alcohol, they may end up slowing down your recovery process because they have no vested interest in helping you stay clean and sober. You should not tell them about your decision to detox until after you’ve completed it, unless there is an immediate medical problem involved.
Myth 4: The only way out is to go cold turkey
If you’re suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may be under a lot of pressure from family and friends to quit cold turkey. The trouble is that quitting cold turkey doesn’t always work. This is because your brain becomes used to receiving a certain level of chemical in your system.
Myth 5: There’s nothing else I can do but go through detox
You’re not alone in wanting to rid your body of all traces of drugs. But if you feel like there is no other option besides detox, it’s time to get connected with a team of treatment professionals who can help you explore options that may fit better into your recovery plan and lifestyle. A drug rehab centre has an expert staff available to walk you through what is known as medically-assisted detox, or MAT.
Myth 6: Once you finish drug detox, your addiction is over
The physical symptoms of detox are just one part of addiction. Behavioural and psychological patterns will continue to plague your loved one after he or she has finished drug detox. During rehab, your loved one will develop a plan for maintaining sobriety once he or she leaves rehab and returns home, but even then, relapse is possible. Keep communicating with your loved one while in treatment, stay active in his or her recovery and be supportive so that you can continue supporting him or her upon their release from treatment.