For most people suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs, detox is the first step on the journey to long-term recovery. Deciding to detox is a crucial step towards recovery, and for most people suffering from addiction, it can be the most important decision they’ve ever made.
Detoxing from alcohol and drugs can be a dangerous and uncomfortable process. Withdrawals from addictive substances wreak havoc on the body, mind, and spirit, causing a variety of awful side effects. Shakes and tremors, cold sweats, nausea, and nightmares are common, and without proper medical care, delirium tremens, hallucinations, seizures, and even death may occur during detox.
There are a variety of medical treatment options for detox patients, but the most popular and well-known is inpatient detox in a dedicated facility. Detoxing in an inpatient facility is safe and effective, and the most popular option for safely detoxing. Unfortunately, due to the growing opiate epidemic and the ever-increasing number of people choosing recovery, inpatient detox facilities are often crowded, uncomfortable, and lacking in personal, one-on-one attention to an individual patient’s needs. Luckily, for people suffering from chemical dependence who want a more personalized, private, comfortable detox experience, there is at-home detox.
At-home detox combines the expertise of medical professionals, addiction medicine specialists, and recovery professionals like a certified recovery coach, all in the comfort and privacy of the patient’s home. At-home detox offers patients all the safety and health benefits of inpatient detox, without the embarrassment and frustration of checking into a clinical facility. But once an at-home patient has safely detoxed, what comes next?
Addiction and chemical dependence are not the same thing. Detox is designed to safely treat the effects of acute physical chemical dependence. Addiction is a deeper malady, affecting not only a sufferer’s physical well-being, but also their mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Treating acute chemical dependence with a medical detox is not enough. Aftercare that addresses addiction as a disease of the mind, body, and soul is a crucial step in long-term recovery. Patients who detox but do not seek an aftercare option often continue the vicious cycle of addiction, dependence, and temporary detox. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and chemical dependence, please consider one of the aftercare options below.
30+ day inpatient rehabs and treatment centers
The most popular and well-known form of addiction treatment is the 30-day inpatient program, commonly referred to as rehab. Inpatient treatment programs are a great option for aftercare because being in an inpatient facility removes the patient from their everyday environment and totally immerses them in recovery. Rehabs and treatment facilities often have groups and “classroom” type exercises that teach useful recovery techniques. Inpatient rehabs teach new behaviors, recovery philosophies, addiction terminology, and healthy habits, while keeping temptation and triggers to a minimum.
IOP: Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP’s) offer similar programming to inpatient rehab, but instead of living on-site in a full-time rehabilitative environment, patients live at home, attending classes and groups on a schedule. IOP’s may schedule patients for groups once a week, three times a week, or even daily, depending on that patient’s needs. IOP’s are a favorite among people with family or work responsibilities, because IOP classes often can be scheduled in the evening to accommodate work and family schedules.
One-on-one support from a Certified Recovery Coach
Rehabs and IOP’s aren’t right for everyone. For people suffering from addiction who want a more personalized approach to recovery, there is the Certified Recovery Coach. Recovery coaches offer support and guidance in all things recovery related. Recovery Coaches help clients explore the world of recovery fellowships and meetings, making it a little easier to find a sober support network like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery meetings. Recovery Coaches also help their clients learn new daily routines, improve spiritual and emotional well-being, healthy exercise and eating habits, employment and career issues, resolving legal issues, self-care techniques, and other habits that are crucial to building a healthy, happy, sober lifestyle. For more information about Certified Recovery Coaches, contact Life Assurance Recovery.
Addiction usually causes its sufferers to isolate, hiding in shame, afraid to ask for help. But because of the serious, life-threatening nature of detoxing from alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines and other substances, no one should ever detox alone. If you or a loved one is suffering from chemical dependence or addiction and don’t know what to do about it, contact an addiction recovery professional, go to a hospital, or dial 911.
For more information about At-Home Detox, Certified Recovery Coaches, Sober Companions, or any questions about recovery in general, please contact Life Assurance Recovery.
-- John Roesch for Life Assurance Recovery, 2018