Guide to Drug & Alcohol Detox

Drug addiction is far from a minor problem in this country. Over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 are struggling with substance abuse. Within the past 20 years, the rate of people dying every day from drug use has tripled. Fortunately, our country has recognized this growing problem. Throughout the country, drug rehab centers are enabling people to overcome their addictions and build happier, healthier lives.

Often, when addicts are faced with the option of entering a rehab center, they are reluctant. Recovering from addiction can be frightening. After all, these people have become dependent on a substance—without it, they feel that they may not be able to cope with the same stresses that lead them to addiction in the first place. This thought process, while logical, could not be further from the truth—the trained professionals at drug rehab centers are there to support their patients every step of the way.

For many people confronting their addictions, the detox process is the most terrifying. Detox is the first step to recovery. It’s easy to understand why someone might be afraid of detoxing—withdrawal symptoms are certainly not pleasant. However, the benefits to successfully completing a detox should comfort anyone who might be hesitant to undergo it. After all, the alternative to detox is staying addicted, and that is far more dangerous than any potential withdrawal symptoms.

Before Detox

If you or a loved one are planning on taking the first steps towards addiction recovery, there are a few things you should do before detoxing. By making this decision, you have already acknowledged that your addiction is a problem—a huge victory in itself! Now that you know you must confront this problem, there are other things you can do to mentally prepare yourself for detox. The process of eliminating substance from your life will not be easy. You have grown dependent on this substance, and suddenly being without it will cause both your body and your mind to panic. If you can prepare yourself for these adverse reactions, you will have an easier time. Spend some time considering the pros and cons of undergoing detox. You will quickly realize that the only cons of detox are trivial, short-term discomforts, whereas the pros are a lengthy list of benefits that will brighten your entire life. Once you begin to detox, you can refer to this list when things get difficult.

During Detox

The length of time required for a full detox depends on several factors, such as the severity of the addiction and the substance involved. No matter how long detox lasts, it’s important that it is conducted under the watchful eyes of professionals. These professionals will be able to monitor progress and administer any kind of medical attention that may be needed.

During detox, it is crucial for you to remember why you are doing this. Ultimately, you are saving your own life! The symptoms of withdrawal are unpleasant, but a lot of times you can successfully distract yourself. By redirecting your energy to productive activities, you are already preparing yourself to remain substance-free for the rest of your life.

After Detox

In the grand scheme of things, completing detox is just the beginning of building a drug-free life. While many people view it as the most difficult part of rehab, they will quickly realize that they were wrong. Unfortunately, although many people are able to detox, only a portion of those people are able to remain clean. In order to avoid relapse, it is important for you to remember the struggle that you have already gone through—if you return to drugs, all of that work will have been for nothing.

One of the best ways to build a drug-free life after detox is to replace the time you used to devote to drugs with new, healthy hobbies. If you channel your energy into these new hobbies, not only will you avoid substance abuse, but you’ll cultivate a more productive, enjoyable life for yourself.


It’s understandable that detox is frightening for many people. While it may be scary, it is definitely worth it! If you choose to begin the process of recovery, detox is just the beginning. If you can successfully overcome detox, there’s nothing you can’t do!