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Drug detox is the first stage on your journey to recovery. This process is necessary to get your mind and body ready, so the therapy you undergo in rehab can be most effective. If you’re concerned that your drug use is out of control, this may be the bit that puts you off the most. Withdrawal symptoms aren’t pleasant, and without medical supervision, the anxiety and discomfort can be too much.
If the thought of quitting has crossed your mind at all, you should feel incredibly proud. It takes great strength to see through the fog of addiction. This illness is all-consuming and tries hard to keep you within its grasp. At Sanctuary Lodge, we can help you get through the withdrawal symptoms with the minimum amount of stress or discomfort. Plus, with 24-hour support from a team of medical professionals, we make sure you’re safe and looked after at all times.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms
We have helped countless people to overcome their addictions. Our tranquil clinic has been designed to be soothing and welcoming, and its luxurious surroundings help to minimise stress. If you’ve been suffering from this illness, you’ve likely been through turmoil in recent months or years. We aid you in getting back on track to feeling positive and driven. Our main priority when you first come through the door is to help you to detox as comfortably and safely as possible.
In some cases, depending on which drugs you’ve been taking and how long you’ve been taking them, you’ll be prescribed a medication-assisted detox. During medical detox, you’re given medication that helps to ease withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, stress, aching muscles or muscle spasms. These sorts of symptoms can be significantly reduced by using detox medication.
If, at any time, you feel like you can’t cope with how you feel — or you ever need someone to talk to who understands — our team can provide advice and guidance and, most importantly, help you to take control over your health. Homelife can become stressful during these times, so stepping out of that and into a space full of love and support can be the best way to help you to get through your withdrawal symptoms.
Which drugs may require detox medication?
When it comes to addiction, you can’t say that one is worse than another because everyone’s experience is so different. With some drugs, however, prolonged use causes your body to adapt to having them in your system. As the body adapts, taking these drugs starts to feel as if it’s simply maintaining normal functions, and getting high becomes secondary. As such, you need more and more of the same substance to achieve the desired effects. This is called tolerance.
The process whereby your body becomes reliant on having the substance is known as a physical addiction. If you’ve been taking opiates, alcohol or benzodiazepines regularly over a prolonged amount of time, suddenly stopping them is dangerous. Your body goes into a state similar to shock, which can be a strong motivator for you to keep using the drugs or alcohol.
If you’ve been taking any of these drugs, there’s no need to feel afraid — physical addiction is reversible. With guidance from a team of experts, you can regain control and clear your body of these toxins. Our team administers medication that takes the edge off the unpleasant symptoms. Sometimes, the medication we give you emulates the effects of the drugs you’ve been taking and other times; it counteracts them. (1)
In such cases, people are taking more than one drug or using a combination of drugs and alcohol. If this is the case, there’s no need to try to hide it or feel ashamed. The more open you are about the reality of what’s happening, the better chance you have of getting better. The psychiatrist who carries out your initial assessment will assess what you’re currently taking and devise a treatment plan that takes every one of your unique needs into consideration.
If you’re taking prescription medication
If you have a prescription, make sure you bring it along with you to treatment. When the psychiatrist goes through your medical assessment, he’ll take into account any medication you’re currently taking and determine if it’s okay to take alongside detox medication. Don’t worry if you can’t continue taking it — our team of doctors, nurses and support staff has your best interests at heart. We know the best ways to help you move forward mentally and physically.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
If you’re considering going through detox, we can help you understand some of what to expect. While the effects of most drugs vary significantly, the mechanism of addiction seems to be quite similar within the two major subgroups of drugs, stimulants and depressants. As such, withdrawal symptoms within these groups tend to share similarities.
Stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamine act directly on your reward pathways and cause intense cravings, paranoia and muscle tension. Central nervous system depressants such as opioids, alcohol and benzos cause anxiety, insomnia, palpitations and stomach cramps. Still, everyone experiences withdrawal differently, and you’re not necessarily going to experience all of the symptoms listed below.
Physical withdrawal symptoms
If you’re trying to cope alone, physical withdrawal symptoms can seem as if they’re too much to go through to reach sobriety. The support of our team of addiction specialists can help you look further into the future. Everyone has dreams and plans, and addiction is usually a setback. With the right care, and in some cases, medication, you can get through the physical withdrawal symptoms with minimal discomfort.
Long-term use of opiates, benzodiazepines and alcohol can cause intense withdrawal symptoms when you quit. If you’ve ever gone a while without your drug of choice, you may have experienced this and not see a way out. Help is at hand — with detox medication, we can help you to relax. If you’re staying with us and you’re struggling to sleep or feeling particularly anxious, you can speak to your care team, who will consult with the doctors to ensure you’re comfortable as possible.
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle tension
- Aching joints and muscles
- Skin crawling sensation
Psychological withdrawal symptoms
Psychological withdrawal symptoms occur with all drugs and can be very intense. We encourage you to speak out about how you feel. The more you internalise these feelings and urges, the more likely you are to act on them. We use the 12-step framework in our daily group therapy meetings, and you’ll see how effective open communication between peers can be. We take you through a myriad of therapies, with a strong focus on resisting cravings and dealing with your emotions.
The reward pathways in your brain are believed to play a role in addiction. The more drugs you use, the more your natural supplies are depleted. This causes cravings and a loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. Some of the psychological symptoms we can minimise include:
- Social isolation
- Lack of appetite
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss
- Loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable
How Long Does a Drug Detox Last?
The duration of detox depends on several factors, including which drugs you’ve been taking, how long you’ve been taking them for, and how heavily you’ve been using them. We aim to make this time as peaceful and stress-free as it can possibly be. We’ve helped thousands of people to get through detox and can ensure your experience is tailored to your unique circumstances and needs.
Is a Drug Detox Enough for Long-Term Recovery?
Detox alone clears your body of the substance you’ve been using. While this prepares you for the next stage of recovery, it is by no means a cure. When you attend rehab, you spend quality time learning to understand your addiction and how to handle stress better. You can discover how to identify and protect yourself against the psychological pressures and negative thoughts that have led you to excessively using drugs.
What Happens After a Drug Detox?
After detox, you’ll have a fresh sense of energy and a clear mind to begin rehab. This clarity of thought is one of the most important aspects of getting better, as addiction can play tricks on your mind. Our facility has 24 spacious rooms, so the clinic is never overcrowded, but you will always be amongst a peer group. The importance of the support you receive from people who are going a similar experience can’t be underestimated. Every day, you’ll take part in 12-step meetings with your peers.
Group therapy is one of the most successful ways of treating addiction, but we don’t stop there. We offer traditional therapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT has proved to be enlightening and effective for people who suffer from compulsive disorders such as addiction. Our facility is set in the picturesque countryside, and tranquil views, a TV and recreation room and a holistic therapy room are all essential spaces for the recovery of your body, mind and spirit.
Some holistic therapies you get to take part in include art therapy, meditation, yoga, music therapy and mindfulness. These practices not only help you to stay calm but are creative and relaxing alternatives to drug use that give you a physical or mental outlet. Once your stay has come to an end, it’s not goodbye. We provide a free aftercare programme, family support programme and our ground-breaking Alumni scheme to assist you in long-term recovery. (3)
Frequently Asked Questions
Every drug that is abused requires detox. Detox is simply the body’s natural process of eliminating unnecessary and unwanted toxins, such as drugs. At Sanctuary Lodge, we can help you manage: