Almost every addict has had the following types of thoughts cross their mind at least once:
“I want to get clean but...I’m so afraid of the withdrawal…”
“What will the side effects be like? Will it be uncomfortable?”
“I’ve heard stories about how hard it is…”
The truth is, withdrawal from drugs and alcohol is uncomfortable. We’ve all heard about how tough it can be to quit drugs or alcohol cold turkey, but withdrawing from certain substances like prescription medicines and alcohol is recommended to be done under a doctor’s supervision. With the help of proper medication, certain narcotic drugs such as heroin have physical side effects that can be lessened to almost zero, allowing the individual to get the much-needed physical and mental rest that is required to heal.
Heroin withdrawal is a famously painful experience. Many people have heard stories about agonizing leg twitching or "restless leg" syndrome, violent nausea, an inability to sleep, severe depression and other distressing physical ailments that go on for days. Although the symptoms of heroin withdrawal can differ from person to person, the mental and physical struggle is the same. Withdrawal or quitting cold turkey can bring on night after night of awful sleeplessness, leg pain, debilitating depression and weakness of both body and spirit. The symptoms alone are enough to make any addict terrified to even think about shutting themselves up in a detox center.
The stigma that some addicts place around detox centers can also be a deterrent. With no way of knowing what’s ahead of them combined with a fear of physical side effects, detox centers can seem like a place where they have no way out and nothing but long nights of insomnia to look forward to.
The reality is, a detox center provides an experience that is far from awful. Detox from drugs and alcohol is exactly what the addict's body needs after the long days of abuse it has suffered. Inside a detox center, patients will find a warm bed, a quiet environment and medication that helps them feel as physically normal as possible. Medications are administered individually and tailored to the addict’s particular habit and level of drug use, ensuring that they are made as comfortable as possible without any of the vicious side effects they so fear.
And with most drugs, withdrawal symptoms only last for a couple of days. On average, physical withdrawal from drugs such as heroin last around 3 to 5 days. Inside a detox center, patients will have access to medications they would not normally be able to get on their own. These medications are used in a strictly controlled manner so as to wean the patient more comfortably off the drug over a period of a couple of days.
As well as receiving medication, the drug or alcohol user will have access to care around the clock. In a detox center, there is always someone on staff 24/7, awake and ready to help the patient when needed. This can be a lifesaver when the user is unable to sleep, craving drugs, or if they just need an ear. It’s also a benefit to be able to receive immediate medical care for any particularly troublesome side effects that may arise.
Entering a detox center to detox off drugs or alcohol in a safe environment is the best choice a drug or alcohol user can make for themselves. The combination of physical comfort, care and attention they will receive is unbeatable, and will provide a strong and stable beginning to a person’s recovery.