Do I Need to Go to a Detox Facility?
How do you know if you need to go to detox?
If you have come to a point in your life where you are ready to ask for help with a drinking or drug abuse problem, there are likely many questions going through your mind. Treading the path of sobriety is a challenging task, take heart in the fact that there are many millions of people living successfully in recovery. (reference)
There are likely a great many questions you’re asking yourself, such as where will I hang out instead of the bar? How can I attend parties and events without drinking? What will I do when I’m alone and craving a drink? The answer is to remember this: First things first. And the question to answer soon is whether you need medical detoxification. It is important to safely detoxify from whatever substances you were using in order to be able to comfortably live sober.
Now how do you know if you need to go to a detox facility? Even mild drinkers who are alcoholics can experience some symptoms of detoxification. Some of those less severe symptoms are:
- Fast heart rate
People feeling these mild symptoms may not need medical detoxification, but still should get the advice of a doctor.
Some people get to the point of chronic alcoholism where they are consuming alcohol very frequently and their body becomes so dependent on it that they go through severe withdrawal, sometimes referred to as delirium tremens. These symptoms of severe withdrawal can be very dangerous on occasion, and people experiencing these may need to be medically assisted while they detox.
Symptoms of DTs, or delirium tremens include:
- severe tremors
- elevated blood pressure
- hallucinations, usually visual
- extreme disorientation
- raised body temperature
There are also wide and varied symptoms of withdrawal from various drugs if someone seeking treatment has used drugs as well as alcohol. Specifically, opioid withdrawal can be very debilitating and require medical detoxification. Opioid and other narcotic withdrawal can often look like severe flu symptoms but can be very dangerous. Those symptoms include:
- muscle aches
- lacrimation (teary eyes)
- runny nose
- excessive sweating
- excessive yawning
- abdominal cramping
- goosebumps on the skin
- nausea and vomiting
- dilated pupils and possibly blurry vision
- rapid heartbeat
- high blood pressure
There is also a case for medically assisted detoxification for people with co-occurring mental disorders such as depression, bipolar anxiety disorders, and the like. Someone with a co-occurring mental disorder may act more favorably toward sobriety if they detox in a controlled environment with doctors and other medical staff to assist them. This way they can also get on any medication that may be needed to help treat other disorders.
Like so many things in recovery, each journey is unique and whether you need detox treatment or not may vary from the next person.
The most important thing that we can say is that if you have a medical emergency, dial 911!! Do not wait to get into a detox facility!! Once you’re at an emergency room, the hospital staff will be able to assist you with getting into a treatment center after you are medically discharged.
If there are any other questions we can answer for you or if you are ready for some help, please do not hesitate to contact us.