What You Need to Know About Drug Detox (Calgary, AB)

The word detox can sound a little scary, and the term medical detox is widely misunderstood. The reality is detox, which is short for detoxification, is the process by which toxins or toxic substances are eliminated from your system and/or removed from the body. Medical detox applies when the detoxification process is medically supervised.

Going to a detoxification program for the first time can be an unsettling idea for most. There is the fear of the unknown that can cause many people to back out of their decision to seek drug treatment in Calgary. However, there are some basic tenets to a good detox program that we can tell you about to take away some of that fear. Knowing what to expect can help someone suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol prepare for the life-changing program they are about to begin.

If you are thinking about beginning recovery, or you have a loved one who is, you probably have questions or concerns about what detox entails and how it will affect you. Here are some facts about the process and what you might expect from it.

Detoxification, or riding your body on drugs or alcohol, is the first crucial step of any recovery process. It’s so significant that you really cannot start moving forward in recovery without first having accomplished detox in Calgary. Attempting to begin private therapy, individual counselling, and/or psychiatric care while you still have drugs or alcohol in your system, isn’t just inefficient, it can also be a setup for relapse.

Detox Must Come First

Generally, detox has to be completed before drug or alcohol residential treatment or rehab in Calgary can begin. Most of the inpatient private drug rehabs include detox as the first part of their recovery programs. That means patients don’t have to attempt to detox on their own, rather they begin their treatment with the first few days to a week or more in detox before moving on to residential addiction treatment in Alberta.

Can You Do Detox at Home in Alberta?

You can detox personally at home, but should only if you have a licensed detoxification centre nearby that takes care of withdrawal symptoms or have a professional with you. This is because there is more at risk than just your comfort level. Expert detoxification is more comfortable, safer, and effective in many cases.

Detox Should Be Medically-Supervised in Calgary

medically supervised drug detox

Your comfort is a concern, but even more so is your safety. Depending on the types of substances you have used and in what amounts, detoxing without medical supervision can be dangerous. Stopping drinking alcohol cold turkey can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that can lead to seizures, coma, and even death. Abruptly quitting other drugs like benzodiazepines and opioids can also have very serious withdrawal symptoms that must be monitored by medical professionals. You may be given small doses of benzodiazepines to aid with the symptoms and then weaned off them prior to entering residential treatment in Calgary or Edmonton.

Getting Ready to Go into Therapy

The last measure of detoxification is preparing patients for medical withdrawal symptoms treatment. Right from the start, we ensure our clients are well cared for. The Interventionists, addictions specialists and physicians we work with will provide clients with options and information about what they can expect during treatment. The most likely outcome after detox is inpatient rehabilitation in Alberta or elsewhere.

Different medicines that can help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms that may be available are as follows…

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressant drugs
  • Agonists of opioids
  • Analgesic alternatives to opioids
  • Opioid Antagonists
  • Incomplete antagonists and agonists

How long to treat withdrawal symptoms depends on factors such as whether it is controlled substance abuse or if it is an outpatient treatment.

Detox Isn’t Easy

drug detox anxiety

Even though your detox will be medically supervised and you may receive some relief from medication while you get past the withdrawal phase, the process is still not easy. You will likely have to deal with overwhelming cravings and urges to use or drink. Craving your drug of choice can lead to you wanting to terminate your detox early and using again. It’s important that if that happens you talk to your counsellors or interventionist and let them know what is going on. They will be able to offer you additional support and encouragement and try to make your detox as tolerable as possible.

Alcohol and drug addiction recovery require more than getting through the physical withdrawal part of the process, it also involves healing your mind as well. The mindset that started you towards drug addiction must be replaced by a new mindset, a new way of thinking and you will need to put people around you that will support this new mindset.

Recovery is a process that needs to take place in the body, mind, heart, and soul. We will help you find the support you need to recover in Calgary. Your support system can consist of your Interventionist, family and friends, private counselling, peer support groups. Not to say that an individual could not persevere and make this journey alone because although rare it does happen but, I’m sure they would tell you, in the end, it would have been easier with support. 

Detox Takes Time

Just how long it takes to complete the physical aspect of detox varies by individual. There are factors that contribute to how long it will take such as the types of drugs used, amounts and frequency used, patient’s age, and his or her overall health. Generally speaking, detox in Alberta takes anywhere from 3-14 days but there is no hard and fast rule.

Detox Must Only Be the Beginning

Detox isn’t sufficient treatment for those with serious substance abuse issues to gain long-term sobriety. In order to have the best chances for lasting recovery, you have to have an established program of recovery that starts with it and continues with inpatient treatment in Calgary. During the detox process, the goal is to rid your body of drugs or alcohol while being made as comfortable as possible until withdrawal symptoms subside. True recovery requires additional education, therapy, psychiatric care, learning coping and life skills, and relapse prevention. These are just some of the tools you will receive in residential treatment in Calgary or Edmonton.

Co-occurring Disorders are Common in Calgary

Addiction can cause ongoing physical damage to a body. A consultation with a physician for an assessment is essential for detox. If the person also deals with a co-occurring diagnosis, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, an evaluation of any necessary medications can occur with either a physician or psychiatrist. Many people experiencing addiction also have co-occurring diagnoses, making a full treatment plan essential for physical and mental health medication needs.

Many people who experience addiction in Alberta also have co-occurring diagnoses. Many residential addiction treatment centres also offer help for these disorders. These diagnoses can include mental health conditions such as…

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Autism
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What Happens After Detox?

Many people struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs have some idea of what happens when they go to a detoxification treatment facility. What many do not know is what happens after detox. While the detox process is imperative for beginning a new sober life, detox is only the first step of the recovery process. The treatment following detox depends on the individual’s needs and what options they choose whether in Alberta or elsewhere.

Some people do opt to leave detox and return home to Calgary right after but many treatment professionals recommend they enter a residential program to help them adjust to their newfound sobriety and gain additional tools for dealing with life on life’s terms or past traumas. Returning to the same home environment without accumulating much time in supervised treatment decreases the odds that a person will stay in recovery.

We are there to help arrange a patient’s transition to a residential program after their detox has been completed. The centres we work with typically offer in-house detox that involves medical supervision and therapeutic support in Calgary. We also offer guidance to help a person deal with the reality of their new emotions and create plans for what to do when they return home to Calgary or Edmonton.

Sometimes Once Isn’t Enough

For some people in Alberta living with addiction, it takes more than one attempt to make it through the detox process let alone the residential treatment process. Not everyone is able to stick it out and make it through the first time. If you are one of these people, don’t despair! If you have made a commitment to changing your life, you have to keep trying until you make it and are able to go on to the next steps in the recovery process.

Relapsing or Using After Detox

drug use relapse

It is important to keep in mind that if you do go back to using after you have gone through detox, your tolerance and your dependence will likely pick up just where you left off. Ridding your body of drugs and alcohol isn’t starting over. You may even have increased tolerance and greater dependence if you start drinking or using again.

Looking for Help for You or a Loved One in Calgary?

The detox process isn’t easy, comfortable, or quick but it’s necessary in order to truly get on the path to recovery. At Andy Bhatti Interventions and Addiction Specialists, we understand that you may be anxious or nervous about starting this process, but there isn’t a good reason to put it off. It is a fear you need to confront but you don’t have to do it alone or cold turkey. The sooner you call the sooner we can get you or your loved one into treatment in Calgary and the sooner you can begin a new chapter in life.

We are here to take away the confusion and help you and your family choose the right private detox treatment centre in Alberta or anywhere in Canada. We’re standing by to answer any questions that you might have and to aid you in finding the tools, courage, and support that you need to begin walking on your journey towards sobriety, happiness, and health. Call us today and one of our professional Interventionists or Addiction Specialists can meet with you or your family in Edmonton, Calgary or Red Deer within 24 hours.

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