When Do I Need Detox?

Published On: May 26, 20204.3 min read858 wordsCategories: Detox

The process of addiction and recovery is different for everyone, so answering the question of “When do I need detox?” isn’t as straightforward as one might believe.

That being said, there are signs that will manifest which may indicate how far the addiction has progressed; anyone can detox from an addicted substance at any time, but those with a further advanced addiction, especially one which is interfering with daily life, should consider detox as a more urgent need.


Because detox, for some, might be the difference between recovery and overdose.

What does detox mean?

Detox is the process of cleansing your body from substances that are either not naturally found in its systems or are present in an overabundance (and therefore are making you feel ill in some way)– anyone can detox from anything, including sugar and caffeine, but detox, when referring to addiction, is ridding the body of addictive substances.

The process of detox starts naturally whenever the body has processed the drugs or alcohol and begins flushing it out; however, those battling addiction often seek to forestall this detox by consuming more of whatever substance they’re addicted to. This starts the cycle all over again and can make detox painful when it occurs.

When an individual chooses detox over addiction, they must undergo withdrawal symptoms as the body flushes out the chemicals it has relied on for so long. This process can be an uncomfortable one, mentally and physically, and often requires supervision and medical intervention.

Signs I need to detox

Again, the process of addiction is different for everyone, but certain indicators may clue you into the truth that the addiction has turned into something more than you can handle and recover from on your own.

Signs in your life telling you to consider detox may include:

  • An inability to quit using even when you want to
  • Withdrawal symptoms arising when you do stop
  • A hyper fixation on where you’ll acquire drugs/alcohol and when you’ll be able to use them next
  • Risky behavior (like stealing, driving recklessly or promiscuity) as a result of addiction
  • Needing to up the dose/level of consumption to achieve the same high as before
  • Experiencing the loss of relationships as a result of addiction
  • Not following through with other responsibilities in your life

Signs such as these indicate that addiction might be further out of your control than you realize, and may help encourage you to seek the options an addiction treatment center provides.

Types of detox

When entering treatment, your counselor will help you determine which level of care will best treat the addiction you face, but knowing the options can be helpful in easing your mind during this transitional phase.

Medically-assisted detox

Medically-assisted detox (MAT) occurs at accredited detox centers like Freedom Detox. It typically involves 24-hour care and observation, and you may be given prescription medications to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and slowly taper you off any illicit drugs.

To complete medically-assisted detox, you need both medical and mental health professionals. Medical detox is not something that can be done at home, and it is not available at all residential recovery centers. Most often, a medically-assisted detox is associated with alcoholism and opioid addiction. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be fatal, so medically supervised detox is especially important in making detox as comfortable as possible.

Clinically-managed detox

For some substances, you may be able to enroll in a clinically-managed, or “social,” detox program. While you may still face withdrawal symptoms, they won’t be as severe, and you can detox safely in any clinical or social setting. Some programs provide you with therapy while you detox in a safe space, and others allow you to share your detox with peers going through the same thing.

As with any other part of the recovery process, the level of detox you need will depend on what substance(s) you are using and how severe your addiction is.

Home/Cold turkey detox

Some people try to detox at home or use the cold turkey method of quitting all substance use at once without any tapering, medication or other assistance. While this approach may work for some, it can be incredibly painful and is never recommended. Because of the risk of potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms, it is always better to consider the pros of enrolling in a treatment facility before attempting to detox at home.

Is it time to consider detox?

If you have been struggling with substance use or desire a change, but can’t seem to achieve it on your own, it might be time to consider a detox treatment facility. With options like medically-assisted detox, mental health counseling and support groups, you might find the community and support you needed to overcome addiction and maintain sobriety long-term.

To learn more about detox, or to speak with a counselor, contact us at Freedom Detox. With the promise of a personalized treatment plan and individualized goals, you’ll be able to make your recovery process your own and get your life back in no time.

Contact Freedom Detox by visiting our website anytime or calling our offices at 800-475-2312.

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