If you’ve developed a dependency on drugs or alcohol, then the first step on the road to recovery is going through a detox. Just as the name suggests, this is when you detoxify your body of any substances you have been using. After that, you can focus on counseling and other methods to avoid relapsing.
The detox process can be very difficult, depending on what substances you used and how heavily you used them. No matter what the addictive substance was, you can detox from it through the following steps.
Consult with a Doctor or Treatment Center
It’s smart to play it safe by consulting with a professional before you start your detox. They can explain what withdrawal symptoms to expect and tell you whether you’re better off going to a treatment center.
Detoxing from certain substances can be dangerous. Therefore, you should heed a doctor or counselor’s advice if they recommend a detox under medical supervision.
Even if you could handle the detox on your own, going to a treatment center is still worth considering. They have detox programs specifically designed to help you get through any difficult withdrawal, and these sometimes include medications to ease any discomfort.
Take Time Off from Any Everyday Responsibilities
There’s only one goal when you’re detoxing, and that’s getting clean. To allow yourself to focus entirely on that, you should sort out any everyday responsibilities that you have before you start your detox.
If you need to take time off from work or school, set it up, because you likely won’t feel like going in. If you have family responsibilities, make sure someone will be able to cover them for you. You can check with your doctor or counselor regarding how long you’ll need time off from your everyday routine, but taking at least a week is usually best, even if the detox itself won’t take that long.
The following steps are for if you opt for an at-home detox. At a treatment center, you simply need to show up and follow the plan they have for you.
Stock Up on Food and Water
Nausea is a common withdrawal system, and you could throw up, as well. It’s very easy to get dehydrated while you’re detoxing, which is why it’s crucial that you have plenty of water on hand. Even if you don’t feel like drinking it, force yourself to take a few sips regularly.
You may not feel like eating, but food will keep your strength up. Choose food that’s easy to digest and doesn’t require much prep. Crackers are a good snack option that can help you get some extra calories.
Prepare Activities to Entertain Yourself
Just because you’re detoxing doesn’t mean you need to wallow around in misery. In fact, you’re less likely to succeed if you have nothing to do, because all you can focus on then is your withdrawals.
Line up some things to do so that you can take your mind off your detox. Movies are a great choice here, since they’re entertaining and don’t require any physical or mental effort on your part.
Consider Asking People to Stay with You
If you have any friends or family members who wouldn’t mind staying with you, having someone around can make detox much easier. They can hold you accountable if you feel like using again, and their moral support could also keep you going strong. Just being with another person helps you stay entertained and avoid thinking too much about what you’re going through.
Now, the key here is choosing someone responsible to watch over you. This should be someone who wants to see you get better and can make sure your withdrawals don’t get out of hand.
It’d be a lie to say that detox is easy, especially when you’ve become physically dependent on a substance. But you can overcome your addiction, and what it really takes is the desire to get clean. When you have that, you can make it through detox and build a clean life for yourself.