Medical detox is a crucial step in the recovery process from addiction. Unfortunately, many individuals who struggle with addiction are unaware that their drug use is problematic. This is especially true for individuals who have never attempted to undergo a period of abstinence from their drug of choice.
Drug detox is extremely important for individuals suffering from a substance use disorder to attend. When someone is addicted to drugs, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal when they stop using the substance. Depending on the type of substance, the symptoms of withdrawal could become life-threatening without medical attention.
Keeping this in mind, if you abuse drugs you may be unsure of whether you need to attend a drug detox. Being aware of the signs of addiction and what exactly withdrawal is will help you make an informed choice and keep you safe.
How to Tell if You Suffer From Drug Addiction
Some individuals who abuse drugs might not necessarily suffer from an addiction. To explain, your body can become dependent on a substance without you developing addiction-related behaviors.
Dependency on a drug is characterized by you experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop or cut down on your consumption of a particular substance. While this does not necessarily point to an addiction, it does mean that you need to go to a medical detox program.
However, dependency can be a sign of addiction if you display behavior such as an inability to control drug abuse despite facing consequences. If you experience dependency, whether you are addicted to the drug or not, attending a medical detox program is necessary for your safety.
Understanding the Severity of Your Addiction
If you suffer from an addiction to drugs, you may have experienced negative social, emotional, and even financial consequences of your substance abuse. Still, you may be unsure of how serious your addiction really is. It is important to understand the severity of your addiction so you can determine what kind of treatment you require. Thankfully, substance use disorders are diagnosed on a spectrum of mild, moderate, and severe.
Anyone with a moderate or severe issue with addiction should attend a drug and alcohol detox program. The following 11 criteria are outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-V) to diagnose a substance use disorder:
- Lack of control regarding substance use
- Wanting to quit using drugs but being incapable
- Spending a lot of time using and recovering from using drugs
- Experiencing cravings to use the drug
- Failing to meet responsibilities due to drug use
- Experiencing problems with relationships and in your social life
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities due to drug abuse
- Using drugs despite being put in dangerous situations
- Using larger amounts of drugs for a longer amount of time
- Having a tolerance to the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop or cut back drug use
If you meet two or three of the criteria for addiction, you are suffering from a mild substance use disorder. On the other hand, if you identify with four or five of the symptoms, you are dealing with a moderate addiction to drugs. Lastly, if you identify with six or more symptoms of addiction, you are suffering from a severe substance use disorder.
Signs that You Should Attend Drug Detox
If you have experienced significant consequences in your life and personal relationships as a result of your drug abuse, you should consider checking into detox. However, some individuals do not experience consequences for quite some time.
Because of this, you should also look for the physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal as well as whether you are experiencing cravings to use drugs. If so, attending medical detox is necessary for your health and safety.
Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms occur when you are addicted to a drug and abruptly stop using the substance or cut back on how much you use.
It is important to note that the physical symptoms of withdrawal vary depending on the type of drug you abuse. However, the broad physical symptoms of drug withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle and bone pain
- High temperature and/or chills
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Flu-like symptoms
- Vivid and unpleasant dreams
These symptoms can be severe and result in dangerous levels of dehydration or life-threatening seizures without proper medical intervention. If you experience any symptoms of drug withdrawal you should attend a medical detox program.
Mental Symptoms of Withdrawal
Like the physical symptoms of withdrawal, the mental effects will differ based on the type of drug you abuse. It is important to remember that experiencing the mental symptoms of withdrawal does indicate that you require a medical detox program.
The common psychological symptoms of drug withdrawal include:
- Panic attacks
- Irritability and agitation
- Trouble concentrating or focusing
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Short-term memory loss
- Visual or auditory hallucinations
If you experience intense cravings for a drug when you miss a dosage or attempt to stop using it, you are suffering from an addiction. This means that you need medical detox and behavioral therapies to obtain and maintain long-term sobriety.
Get Connected With a Top-Rated Drug Detox Program in California
If you or a loved one suffer from drug dependency or drug addiction, attending a drug detox program in California can help you turn your life around. The withdrawal symptoms associated with drug addiction can become extremely severe and possibly life-threatening. Drug detox programs will help you or your loved one overcome the symptoms of withdrawal through medications and support.
At Arise Treatment Center, we offer our patients a full continuum of care. This means that you or your loved one could attend detox and residential treatment within one facility, providing you with easy access to all of the tools you need to maintain lifelong sobriety. Contact us today for more information on how to get started.