Drug and alcohol addiction affects millions of people all over the world. In the US, addiction and substance abuse have hit epic proportions. The problem affects all races, age ranges, and people from all social backgrounds.

As difficult as addiction may be, there are thousands of treatment centers, rehab centers, and outreach programs available to help attain and maintain sobriety. Although these programs exist, many who suffer from addiction are afraid to start on the path to recovery due to the difficulty that comes with the first step – detox.

Detoxing From Drugs Or Alcohol: Why Do Users Fear It?

Detox is the first step along the path to sobriety. It is the process of removing drugs or alcohol from the body before dealing with other aspects of addiction. Depending on the level of dependence, type of substance abused, and the severity of a person’s addiction, this can be an extremely difficult process.

Detoxing from certain substances such as opioids require medically assisted care. Severe alcohol dependence also requires medically assisted detox. In both situations, it is to help the body avoid going into shock when the chemicals it has come to depend on are no longer available. Most detox is performed in a controlled setting such as a rehab center or an addiction treatment center. Those seeking to recover will be restricted from obtaining their drug or drink of choice while their body slowly works the substance out of its system.

Why is Detox So Difficult?

Going through detox, regardless of a person’s level of addiction, is a difficult and often painful process. During the detox process, fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, sleeplessness, and other side effects can occur. All of this is a normal part of the body ridding itself of toxins, and also the body trying to trigger the use of the addictive substances at the same time.

Certain drugs can cause different withdrawal side effects such as hallucinations, psychosis, depression, violence, or even the urge to self-harm. All of these factors come into play when a person struggling with addiction is faced with the option of getting sober. It is natural for the mind to want to avoid the traumatic experience of going through withdrawal, and knowing what’s in store causes many substance users to actively avoid the process.

Common Fears of Detox

Again, many people are afraid of the detox process. We’ve already addressed how harsh withdrawal symptoms can be. Often, people feel afraid of this. Here are some other things that people may fear:

  • Failure – What if it doesn’t work. Many individuals experience feelings of doubt when they are thinking about going through detox. They wonder what will happen if they don’t succeed. This can make people feel very concerned about going through drug and alcohol detox.
  • Success – Life changes when drug or alcohol use ends. You have to end harmful relationships, and your overall way of living drastically changes. This kind of transition makes people feel uncomfortable.
  • Loss of identity – Certainly, you’ve gotten used to who you are. But, when you live a life of sobriety, your life isn’t centered around substance use anymore. So, many people are afraid of feeling a little lost after detox.

Physical and Emotional Consequences

Different drugs have different withdrawal timelines and symptoms. While some can produce visible physical withdrawal symptoms (such as alcohol), others can produce more of an emotional effect (such as cocaine or marijuana). It’s important to point out that just because you don’t experience intense physical or emotional symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re not addicted. After all, each drug carries its own unique set of challenges, withdrawal-wise.

Navigating The Detox Process

Over the years more research has brought new information to light about addiction and its effects on the brain. As a result, there are several different methods and medications that can be used to help those seeking to get sober to manage the side effects of withdrawal. It is important to select a quality treatment or detox center that has experience with each specific addiction before attempting to start the detox process.

These centers will be able to administer medications and therapies that can reduce the pain and mental stress that comes with the detox process. In many cases, these medications may even speed up the detox process which will allow a person to start on their journey to sobriety much quicker.


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Our recovery program helps you do it for good.

This is a real-deal program designed for people that are truly, deeply ready to change. First, it medically frees you from those uncontrollable urges and cravings to drink or use opioids, while blocking their pleasure effects as well. That ‘obsession’ that rules our lives completely loses its grip. Now, we work together to uncover and discover the causes that led to this madness, and more importantly, what it takes to live a happy, fulfilling life free and clear of alcohol and drugs…for good.

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