After realizing you may need help to recover from substance use disorder (SUD), you may worry about what happens next. Not knowing what the process looks like can be scary.

Detoxification or “detox” is one of the first steps of addiction treatment. Learning about this process may alleviate some of the concerns you may have about beginning your recovery journey.

What Is Detoxification?

In addiction recovery context, detoxification is described as “a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal.” In other words, detox is a process that removes the toxins within the body to provide a clean slate for recovery. Although this is a necessary step in addiction recovery, detox should never be attempted at home. Detoxing at a qualified treatment center ensures the process is safe and makes it more comfortable.

The following three components of the detoxification stage ensure it fulfills its purpose of getting people ready for the rest of treatment.

#1 Evaluation

The first step in the detoxification process is patient evaluation. A team of professionals will work with you to evaluate your situation and discover which detox approaches will be best for you. For example, they may recommend a medication-assisted detox.

#2 Stabilization

The next step in the detox process is stabilization. In this step, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Although these will likely be uncomfortable, the support of your detox staff can ensure your safety and make you more comfortable. Going through withdrawals in a monitored and controlled environment allows your team to use their resources and expertise to help you get through this stage as safely and comfortably as possible. Your family and other supportive individuals may be involved in this process if you would like.

#3 Fostering Patient Readiness for Treatment Entry

During the final stage of detoxification, you and your treatment team will assess how many ready you are to begin the treatment process. Your readiness to participate fully in lifelong recovery may help determine which treatment route is the best path for you.

It may also be helpful to take into account the severity of your addiction and other aspects of your unique situation, such as your living arrangements and outside responsibilities. With these factors in mind, your treatment team might recommend a specific treatment form, such as an outpatient program for you or an inpatient facility. Other options are partial day programs and intensive outpatient treatment.

There are often various concerns that arise during this stage. Your team will be there to answer any questions you have and help you feel comfortable with the next steps.

Preparing for Detoxification

There are various things you can do to prepare yourself for detoxification and the beginning of your recovery journey. Use these tips to get ready.

#1 Ask Questions

It is okay to have questions regarding the treatment process. Many individuals fear asking questions. However, asking questions and getting answers can help you form accurate expectations for the treatment process. This can decrease treatment anxiety. At Dream Recovery, we are more than happy to answer any questions you have and promote the feeling of comfort when you are engaging in the recovery process. Change can be scary, especially when you don’t understand it. Don’t be afraid to share your concerns.

You will need to pack a bag when attending treatment. Many people feel high levels of stress when packing because they are unsure of what to bring. Discussing this beforehand and learning what is allowed can ease the stress of packing for treatment.

#2 Make Arrangements

When planning on attending treatment, you may find it necessary to make arrangements in your life outside of treatment. You may need to inform your work or school, as these will likely be put on a temporary pause. Discuss the situation with your employer or teachers to set up a plan moving forward. These conversations may be intimidating, but they can enable you to recover without losing employment.

You may also need to make financial arrangements to ensure you are not burdening yourself with a great deal of debt. While you may not be extremely comfortable with your financial situation, attempt to set a plan to move forward and get yourself on track financially. It is possible to manage debt in recovery; however, if you can set yourself up for financial success beforehand, we would recommend it. Have a plan for how you will manage your finances in recovery. If you are unsure how to do this, discuss your concerns with your prospective treatment team.

#3 Maintain a Positive Mindset

It can be easy to blame others and establish negative opinions about the treatment process. While many of these emotions are normal to feel, they can hinder your ability to succeed. Negative emotions often set people up for failure in recovery. As hard as it may be to maintain a positive state of mind, a healthy mindset can greatly influence your recovery success and ability to adapt to upcoming changes.

#4 Eat Healthily

A great way to prepare yourself for the detoxification process is to begin detoxing your physical body of toxins beforehand. There are various foods you can eat to help clear out your system and keep your body healthy. While eating healthy will not eliminate cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur, it can help to minimize their effects.

Beginning recovery through detox can provoke the fear of the unknown. To prepare for treatment and minimize your anxiety, you can learn about the processes that are about to occur. Detoxification is the initial process of recovery. Learning what to expect from this process and how to properly prepare for it can set you up for success through the remainder of your recovery journey. You will engage in the three stages of detoxification: evaluation, stabilization, and fostering patient readiness for entry before being admitted into the treatment program that best fits your situation. Utilize the resources available to help you prepare for this journey ahead of you. Make financial arrangements if you can. Eat healthily. Most importantly, keep a positive mindset when beginning this process. To learn more about the detoxification process, what it entails, and how to prepare for it, contact Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.

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