What happens during and after detox? The detox phase can begin hours after substance use stops and may take a few days. Some symptoms of withdrawal may continue for a few weeks. During detox, a person may experience discomfort as the body works to function without drugs or alcohol. Psychologically, a person may feel depressed or have difficulty experiencing happiness or good feelings, but this is temporary, especially if he or she engages in a rehabilitation process through treatment.
When an individual suffering from addiction is being treated at a residential treatment facility, he or she will be monitored during detox. Consulting physicians may assist the individual to help alleviate physical symptoms and begin the healing process. Addiction recovery does not end with detox; that’s where it begins. The rehabilitation experience that follows is what allows an individual to process trauma, learn new healthy habits, and rediscover his or her life.
If an individual undergoes detox naturally after stopping substance use, why is treatment necessary? Treatment can be a critical part of recovery because there are many factors that contributed to a person’s substance use to begin with. Detoxing the physical body is only one part of the healing process. To sustain long-term recovery, a person needs to find emotional and mental health healing as well, discovering new ways to handle physical and psychological distress. Good treatment centers also provide psychosocial therapies alongside pharmacological treatment in order to help individuals remain on the path to recovery. According to NIDA, “Detoxification alone without subsequent treatment generally leads to resumption of drug use.”