How to Prepare for Detox

Many people find the help they need at a detox or rehab facility for drug and alcohol addiction. In fact, in 2015, about 3.5 million adults received substance use treatment in the last year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.1

If you, like many others, have decided to get help for your addiction, detox is a great place to start. Making the decision to enroll in a detox program is an essential part of the transition into treatment and recovery, and will serve as a solid basis for a comprehensive addiction treatment program.

Why Do I Need to Prepare?

Drug and alcohol detox can be a challenging time. In just a short period of time, your body and mind will be adjusting to some extreme changes. Your withdrawal experience will vary depending on the drugs or alcohol you’ve been using and the severity of your dependence, but this typically involves some unpleasant physical side effects.

During withdrawal, you may experience symptoms such as sweating, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, insomnia, and tremors.2 In a medically assisted detox facility, such as Briarwood, medical staff will treat your symptoms so you can be comfortable during this time. Even still, the thought of having to endure physical symptoms such as these is daunting and can be a major deterrent for many people.

Drug and alcohol detoxification also can result in a number of psychological changes, sometimes resulting in substance-induced mental disorders. This is different from co-occurring mental disorders and is often a direct result of substance abuse or withdrawal. These psychological changes may include mild anxiety, depression, and in rare cases, psychosis.3 Individual and group counseling sessions at Briarwood can help address these emotional issues as you progress through your detox program.

6 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Entry Into a Detox Program

Taking the time to prepare for detox—both mentally and physically— is the best way to begin combating the changes you will experience during this time. If you are about to begin a detoxification program at Hill Country Detox, here are six ways you can start preparing now.

1. Think Positively

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to maintain a positive attitude. If you feel yourself giving into fear or having second thoughts, refocus your thoughts on why you decided to enroll in detox and think about your motivation for getting sober. Remember that your addiction does not define you and detox treatment is just the first step in a journey to discover who you really are underneath all that substance abuse.

If you don’t have high hopes for detox or are only enrolled because the court ordered it, keep an open mind. You never know what you might discover about yourself once your mind is clear.

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    2. Make Sure Your Finances are in Order

    Before you leave home for detox treatment, you’ll want to make sure everything is squared away with your insurance company (or another method of payment for treatment). You may also want to pay any bills that are not set to auto-deduct from your account before you leave, such as your rent, mortgage or utility bill. If you have any other financial obligations, it would be wise to take care of them before you spend several days in detox. An unpaid bill is the last thing you’ll want hanging over your head while you’re trying to focus on your progress in detox.

    3. Ask Questions

    It’s natural to have questions about the facility, community rules, or medical services, even if this isn’t your first detox experience. On the other hand, if you haven’t been to detox before, asking questions about withdrawal and what you can expect will help ease any worries and fears you might have. The admissions staff at Briarwood is more than happy to answer any and all of your questions and provide as much information as necessary to make sure you feel comfortable during your time at our facility.

    4. Make Necessary Arrangements With Your Employer and Family Members

    The Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year while maintaining group health benefits during that time.4,5 This means you don’t have to worry about losing your job while you’re in detox, as long as you let your employer know that you’ll be missing work. You may also need to make plans for childcare in your absence and arrange for a pet sitter if you have a dog, cat or other animals.

    5. Pack a Bag

    Packing for your stay at our detox facility should be fairly easy, as you really only need to bring the essentials. This may include enough clothing for the duration of your stay, toiletries, a pair of tennis shoes and any recovery books you’d like to read while you’re here. The Briarwood admissions staff can also provide you with a list of things you can and cannot bring to make the packing process even easier.

    6. Arrange Transportation to and From the Facility

    If you live out of state, you may want to weigh your options for transportation. A flight may be the easiest way to get to and from Briarwood Detox Center, but if it’s not in your budget, a bus is another good option. On the other hand, if you live close by, getting a ride from a family member might be the easiest solution. If you need assistance arranging your transportation, our admissions team can help you sort out the details.

    It may be best to rely on a close family member or friend to help you complete some of these tasks before you begin your detox program. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed or anxious about any it. If you have additional questions about your detox treatment or you need to tie up a few loose ends, please contact our admissions team today.


    1. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-ServiceUseAdult-2015/NSDUH-ServiceUseAdult-2015/NSDUH-ServiceUseAdult-2015.htm
    2. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-or-drug-withdrawal
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64178/
    4. https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/fmla/10c9.aspx
    5. https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla

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