Drug addiction is one of the most serious problems in our society today. With the widespread availability of dozens of different illicit drugs, along with the issue of overprescription of certain medications, today nearly 20 million Americans are battling a drug addiction. This is equal to 10 percent of the total number of adults living in the U.S. today.
Addiction is a serious, chronic disease that leaves people with mental and physical issues. If addiction is left untreated, it can lead to lifelong health issues – as well as a higher risk of experiencing an overdose. If you or someone you know has a drug addiction, it is important to seek help before the damages of addiction become permanent.
No matter why or when you started using drugs in the first place, you certainly did not have the intention of becoming addicted. The line between recreational use and addiction can be very thin, especially for drugs that are highly addictive. Certain opioids like heroin, for instance, can leave a person addicted after just one or two uses.
Drug detox is the process of flushing all of the drugs and built-up toxins out of your system. Because detox often involves unpleasant and potentially life-threatening side effects, called withdrawal, detox is best done at an addiction treatment facility. These facilities are able to treat withdrawal symptoms, and in some cases even regulate cravings, with appropriate medications and other treatment methods. While withdrawal symptoms are different depending on what drug you are addicted to, and how long you have been using it.
The most common include:
Drug detox is necessary because of how drug abuse and addiction affects the way that your brain works. These changes to your brain mean that, when you stop using drugs, you are likely to go through withdrawal. Drugs also impact your brain’s ability to regulate your emotions when drugs are not in your system.This often means people in detox feel a range of negative emotions or mental states, including:
At a drug detox facility, you will be given the support you need for both the mental and physical side effects of withdrawal. Medically-supervised detox programs don’t just make detoxing easier and safer, they also make it more likely that you will be able to avoid relapsing.
A dual diagnosis, also called a co-occurring disorder, is when a person has both a drug addiction and a mental health disorder. The most common mental illnesses seen in dual diagnosis are anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. An estimated half of all people with a drug addiction have at least one mental health disorder as well, making dual diagnosis fairly common in addiction treatment.
If you have a mental health condition, it is extremely important that you are not only diagnosed before or during drug detox, but also that you receive appropriate treatment for it. Mental health conditions make drug addiction, and getting sober, a more complicated process. If your mental health symptoms are not properly treated, you are less likely to complete detox, and more likely to end up using drugs once again.
The most important thing to take into account when it comes to drug detox is that it is just the first step in the addiction recovery journey. After you complete detox, it is extremely important that you move onto addiction treatment. This will help to address the underlying causes for your addiction, as well as help you to learn ways to cope with and avoid your drug use triggers. Some of the most common addiction treatments include behavioral therapy and medication-assisted therapy, both of which are extremely effective at helping people to find and maintain sobriety.
No matter what drug you are addicted to, or how long you have been using, you can get back to living a normal life once again.