When most people think about “sobriety” or “recovery”, for those people who have never done it, they think about having to stop drinking or drugging. They think that sobriety or recovery equates to abstinence. They think to themselves “If I can simply stop drinking alcohol or using drugs, everything will be fine.” Unfortunately, for the many people living life in recovery from addiction, they know that simply stopping drinking or drug use is the first step in sobriety, and that to receive the freedom and blessings that come from recovery, one typically must engage in lifestyle changes that support the transformational power of recovery and not using drugs or drinking is literally step one.

Woman stopping drinking and exercising

So, for many individuals, they believe that detox is about stopping the dangerous and consequential use of drugs and alcohol, and at a very basic level, it certainly is to a degree. Detox is a process of safely and medically separating someone from their drug and alcohol use. Through the help of medications and vital oversight from medical and therapeutic professionals, detox allows someone to be comfortably and safely weened off drugs and alcohol. However, while many people entering detox for addiction believe detox is both the first and the last step in finding sobriety, the truth is that detox is a process to both help someone stop their active addiction, but it is also, as importantly, an experience to catapult someone into a life of recovery.

Therefore, what is detox really, is it is not just a short-term process to get through withdrawals and physical, mental, and emotional discomfort? Detox is certainly that, but it is also a vital intervention that puts a stop to an individual’s drinking and drug use, begin a process to introduce medical, clinical, and therapeutic processes and interventions, allows a person to become clear-headed, physical and mental stability, find clarity, and begin to engage in a treatment process that can support long-term, sustainable recovery.

How is this done? Initially, it is with medical intervention that includes rest, medications, and a stress-free environment. However, after a day or two, detox should include wrap-around clinical and recovery services and support. This includes individual therapy or counseling, group therapy, family engagement, introduction of recovery meetings and sober supports, and case management services to help ease any family, work, or life obligations and responsibilities that a patient may have, to make sure they are not pulled in multiple directions and rather focus primarily on their recovery.

Detox is also the jumping off place where a patient can slowly begin to engage in treatment services, get an accurate assessment of their needs based on their substance use disorder, mental health issues, trauma, family dynamics, and other biopsychosocial issues, and then begin to set up a supportive treatment and recovery plan post-detox. This can include moving on to an appropriate next step in the addiction treatment continuum of care, including residential treatment, long-term extended care treatment, partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment, individual therapy or counseling, family therapy or couples counseling, a sober living or recovery house, and/or recovery meetings such as 12-Step fellowships Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), SMART Recovery or Refuge Recovery. During this time, detox is also the time to get a much-needed break from the chaos of active addiction and, once stable, a place to set up all manners of one’s life so that the pieces are in place to support treatment and recovery moving forward. This can include obligations and responsibilities that include family, work, school, and social relationships.

Detox is the primary way to stop drinking and drug use, but it is also the vital first step in a treatment and recovery journey to overcome addiction and alcoholism. Detox is both the medical process of safely and comfortably getting through drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but it is also the beginning of a therapeutic process that addresses clinical issues to help find sobriety but also support long-term recovery.

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at info@innovodetox.com. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.