The primary focus of drug and alcohol detox is to safely and comfortably rid your body of addictions. Throughout your detox program, you’ll likely experience some withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to an absence of addictive substances and all the physical changes that come along with that.
It may take anywhere from five to seven days (or longer) to complete your detox program, but once you do, you may think that your work is done and that you’re ready to live a substance-free life on your own.
For some, this may be true. But for most of us, the hard work has just begun.
In truth, drug detox is just the very beginning of a long and rewarding journey into a life of sobriety. Detox alone is not a cure for addiction, and you’ll need to continue your treatment if you want to experience lasting results. Most people who enroll in treatment and remain involved in it for an extended period of time stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity and are able to function much better on a social, occupational, and psychological level.1
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment lasting less than 90 days will have limited effectiveness and good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length.2 Treatment lasting for longer than 90 days is highly recommended for those who would like to maintain their sobriety for life.
Addiction treatment programs typically include a number of different stages of treatment, including alcohol and drug detox, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, sober living, and aftercare. If you or your loved one is currently enrolled in detox, the next natural stage of treatment for you may be residential rehab.
Benefits of Rehab After Detox
- You’ll learn how to maintain your sobriety.
Due to the chronic nature of addiction, relapse is a very real risk for all individuals in recovery. Although we’d like to think we are strong enough to resist cravings and stay sober, it’s not just a matter of willpower that keeps up sober. Long-term inpatient rehab provides the time you need to develop and practice coping strategies to manage cravings, respond to high-risk situations, address trauma, and simply get used to living a life without drugs and alcohol. All of these things take time and returning home immediately upon completing a detox program can rob you of that essential time that you still need to heal.
- You’ll have the opportunity to address the underlying issues of your addiction.
Most often, addiction is a symptom of an underlying issue that has not been resolved. Whether it’s childhood trauma or a more recent issue, long-term rehab provides evidence-based treatment facilitated by experienced staff members who utilize a trauma-informed approach. The therapeutic tools and treatment methods used in rehab will challenge you to face the deeply-buried causes of your addiction, address those issues, and learn how to cope with them in everyday situations. Learning how to modify thoughts and behaviors to change the way you feel is an essential part of life in sobriety, and although you will briefly touch on a basic foundation of this in drug detox at Briarwood, long-term rehab will help instill healthy habits that can lead to lifelong change.
- You’ll regain your physical and psychological health.
At a detox center, you will begin the process of healing your body, which has been damaged and abused by harmful substances found in the drugs and alcohol you consumed. In detox, this starts with the medically assisted process of withdrawal and ends with you functioning in a stable, sober state. Although you may be sober, your body will still need time to heal, recover, and rebuild itself. This process requires adequate nutrition, exercise, rest, psychological healing, and most of all, time. In drug and alcohol rehab, you will address all of these things on a daily basis as you develop a healthy daily routine consisting of meditation, nutritious meals, and regular exercise.
- You’ll learn how to reduce and manage the stress of everyday life.
Stress is a challenging aspect of recovery and life in general. Unfortunately, many individuals will be tempted to fall back into their old habits of relying on drugs or alcohol to cope, but there are other ways to deal with stress. In medically assisted drug and alcohol detox, you are largely shielded from the stressors of everyday life. You leave your bills, your job, and your loved ones behind for a brief period of time while you take a moment to work on yourself. At the detox center, you are able to rest, recover, and heal as you focus on your health. But after detox, the stressors of everyday life will return and you will have to make daily decisions about how you choose to manage that stress. Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab is designed to help individuals in recovery develop and implement stress management techniques and coping strategies to deal with the stress and cravings they experience—without resorting to substance abuse.
- You’ll establish a strong network of social support.
Peer support is a primary aspect of treatment and is absolutely necessary to maintain sobriety. An inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program provides countless opportunities to connect with other people in recovery and establish a network of support. These people will travel the sobriety journey alongside you and help you overcome any struggles you face along the way. Most importantly, these individuals understand what it’s like to struggle with cravings, suffer from trauma, and feel the intense weight of shame and guilt. Having a peer support group will not only provide accountability and encouragement, but it will also give you the chance to help others in their sobriety journey as well.
It’s no secret that sobriety is hard work and will require a strong commitment and multiple episodes of treatment. Drug and alcohol rehab is not a quick fix for addiction but research does show that the longer a client remains abstinent in treatment, the more likely they are to continue with a lifestyle of abstinence.3
If your goal is to remain sober after drug detox, we encourage you to strongly consider the option of enrolling in an inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program. At Briarwood, your detox treatment team will provide a professional recommendation for ongoing treatment that is suited to your individual situation and circumstances. We will even help you complete the enrollment process if you choose to enroll in rehab. We understand that every person’s recovery experience is different and we’re here to help you find the treatment plan that best meets your needs. If you’d like to learn more about your options after detox, please call (888) 857-0557 to speak to an admissions representative today.