If you’ve been struggling with substance abuse, treatment can help you break the destructive cycle of addiction. The treatment process begins with detox, which is where the substance is withheld and your body rids itself of the last traces of drugs or alcohol, allowing the healing process to begin.
There are many benefits associated with detox. Some are apparent right away, while others reveal themselves once you’re further along in your recovery journey. This article provides some basic information about the addiction detox process and some of the significant benefits.
It’s important to understand how detox works in order to appreciate the benefits of the process. In a drug or alcohol detox program, your withdrawal from a substance will be handled safely to ensure you remain as comfortable as possible throughout the process. In some cases, certain replacement medications can be provided to keep cravings at bay and stave off withdrawal symptoms.
Addiction places the body under tremendous stress, affecting the heart, liver, lungs and other major organs. 1 This physical strain often leads to a pale, gaunt appearance. Once the substance of abuse has been removed from your system, the body can begin the healing process.
The risk of long-term complications related to substance abuse start to decrease as soon as you stop using the substance. When you complete a detoxication program, you’ll find your body returning to normal in many ways—you’ll get your appetite back, you’ll begin to have more natural energy and look healthier.
Emotional and Material Benefits
Detox improves your physical condition, but it also provides emotional, spiritual and material benefits:
- Emotional: Substance abuse is damaging to a person’s mental state. Substance abuse can trigger the development of mental health disorders, and it can exacerbate existing mental issues. Going through treatment allows you to deal with any mental health disorders in a safe and structured environment; it also forces you to confront any underlying issues that led to the initial decision to use and can fuel the negative cycle of addiction.
- Spiritual: Addiction can take over your mind, leaving little room to connect with other people or to feel a sense of inner peace. When you complete detox and rehab, you’ll find you can focus more easily on your body and mind.
- Material: Most people who struggle with addiction have a hard time financially supporting their substance abuse problem. Overcoming an addiction offers important material benefits—when you’re not spending all your money on alcohol or drugs, you’ll have more money to save or spend on other things.
Completing the addiction detox process is a critical first step on the road to recovery, but detox alone won’t help you overcome an addiction. Once you overcome your physical dependence on a substance, it’s important to follow up with a rehab program that will address the psychological components of addiction. 2 In rehab, you’ll learn the coping skills you’ll need to stay on track after you leave the treatment center. With a combination of detox and rehab, you can take back control of your life and conquer your addiction.
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