As the old saying goes, “no two stones are alike,” and the same is true of the detoxification process. Each individual’s experience of detox from alcohol is unique. That said, if you’ve heard some detox stories that make you raise a brow–can that really happen to me or my loved one?–we are here to answer your questions and hopefully debunk some detox myths that may have you second-guessing the treatment process.
Myth 1: Alcohol detox is easier to do at home without medical supervision or treatment.
This is a serious misconception, which is why it ranks at the top of our list! The alcohol detoxification process can be potentially life-threatening if not done safely under the supervision of trained professionals. Detox initially sends the body into a precarious withdrawal state that can begin as soon as a few hours after the last drink. Admitting yourself to a professional detox program will ensure that any physical or emotional side effects of withdrawal are mediated by 24/7 medical support.
Myth 2: The detox process is extremely painful.
Alcohol detox symptoms range from mild to severe. They can include shakiness, anxiety, headaches, nausea, increased heart rate, and, less often, seizures and hallucinations. These symptoms will certainly feel uncomfortable and maybe at times painful. However, in a professional detox program, the medical and therapeutic staff will be able to assess your individual risk factors and provide intervention to alleviate the severity of your experience. At Great Oaks, we also provide a therapist to help you work through the emotional anxiety or depression you may experience during withdrawal.
Myth 3: After going through the detox process, you are now considered sober.
Detox is a great first step in achieving your sobriety goals, but it is only the beginning. Longer-term professional treatment, such as residential treatment, will provide the extra support you need to keep your physical and emotional health stable as you learn to live without alcohol. Treatment will teach you how to address the many other hurdles standing in the way of long-term sobriety, including emotional needs, associated traumas, and damaged relationships. Treatment will help you understand and deal with your personal triggers so you can minimize the potential for relapse.
Myth 4: If detox didn’t work the first time, there’s no point in trying again.
There is no such thing as a failed detox process. Now that you are familiar with detox and know you can get through the discomfort, you can get more out of your second (or third) time through it. You can evaluate what went wrong the first time and work with your therapist to make adjustments to your treatment.
Myth 5: Detoxing from alcohol will eliminate all physical symptoms.
The alcohol detoxification process, for most, uses a huge amount of energy to expel toxins from every cell while trying to re-balance hormones, neurotransmitters, and other vital chemicals throughout the body. This is a monumental task for our bodies to undertake and can put a lot of stress on the brain and heart. It’s essential to support the body with adequate nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to help it overcome the damage alcohol has done.
We Are Always Here to Help
The detoxification process is the first step toward a sober lifestyle, filled with new opportunities and much more room to grow. It is crucial to consider what type of support is best for you and your loved one during these times. Great Oaks is open and accepting new patients, even during the COVID-19 crisis, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.