All About Drug Detox in Bellevue

Many times, the first step of drug rehab is the most important step - drug detoxification. If the decision to go to rehab is the most important decision you'll ever make, going to detox first may just be the most important part of that decision.

So why is it called "detox?" Well, your body isn't equipped to handle substance abuse. Drugs that change your body chemistry, deteriorate your health, and resist being filtered out by the organs tasked with doing that are "toxic." Your body can filter out small amounts of toxins at a time, but then your body builds up a tolerance to them. Usually that's a good thing - your body also builds up tolerance to illnesses and germs, and you'd be in real trouble if it didn't.

Drugs are different. They punish you with withdrawals if you don't feed the impulse. They build up that "tolerance," and then demand that you push it further. Drug detox is about ridding you of these chemically-induced impulses and helping you through the period when these symptoms are at their strongest. This initial period of withdrawal symptoms can be potentially dangerous without proper medical attention, and that's what detox is here for.

But what actually is detox? Do you need it before you start a rehab program? Where and how can you get it? Let's get into answering those questions first.

What's the Big Deal About Withdrawal Symptoms?

The way addiction works, your body adapts to the presence of drugs by building up that aforementioned tolerance. What tolerance does is it shifts your body's perception of what's normal.

Your body adapts to having drugs in your system so that you can feel normal while you're on them. And the other side of that is you feel abnormal when you're not on drugs. Since your brain chemistry has been altered to feel like your drug-induced state is normal, you find yourself reacting to not having drugs in your system - since your body has created this resistance, it needs to use it.

There are a number of withdrawal symptoms, and they very from one drug to another. Some drugs have severe withdrawal symptoms, some have relatively mild ones. However, it's also important to note the most serious withdrawal symptom: Death.

We're not trying to be alarmist here, but the fact is, leaving severe withdrawal symptoms untreated can sometimes be too much for your body to handle. Certain substances (like marijuana) have almost no risk of death as a direct result of withdrawal symptoms, but others (like benzodiazepines, methadone, and alcohol), can absolutely kill, and do so at dangerously high rate.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has a whole section of their website devoted to medical complications related to drug use. It's a very long section.

How Does Drug Detox Help With Recovery?

A big part of the detox process is medical detox, which is basically administering drugs and medicine that counteracts the drug in the system and limits withdrawals until the body has time to flush out the influence of the drug.

It's an important part of the rehab process, because those withdrawal symptoms are usually otherwise alleviated simply by going back to the drug. Detox is a period of time in which recovering addicts get over the proverbial "hump." There is no set time frame for detox - it just depends on how long your withdrawals last - but generally it will last from a few days to a couple weeks.

Medical detox might seem like the best approach, and it is still an important part of the best drug detox treatments. However, medical detox can also create problems for patients in the long term. The medications that are generally used for detoxification carry their own withdrawal risks. One such drug is suboxone, which is typically used in opiate detox. Many times, patients merely slide the focus of their addiction to the detox drug, which puts the process back to square one.

For that reason, holistic detoxification methods have become more popular recently. Holistic detox is a method that utilizes diet and physical fitness as a major component of the program.

Holistic Detox? What's That Like?

Holistic detox is about promoting an overall healthy lifestyle (something that isn't practiced by a majority of those suffering from addiction severe enough to need detox). And it may sound more like the kind of treatment you'd get at a health club, but it is effective. By focusing on nutrition, exercise, and hydration, you get a jump-start on your body's natural ability to deal with the things you've been doing to it.

Talking with a nutritionist about your addiction history and your diet will help both them and you to understand what vitamins and minerals your body is lacking, and then those things can be added into your daily food intake. Addiction also frequently causes dehydration, so a healthy supply of water will be involved as well.

Exercise is also a major component of detox, for much the same reason as nutrition is - improving your overall health and your natural healing factor. This approach makes you healthier overall, reduces the length and severity of your withdrawal symptoms, and helps reduce the chances you'll become dependent on detox medications.

Where Can You Go for Drug Detox in Bellevue?

As much as we would love to help you with your detox, Evergreen is an outpatient facility, and we don't handle detox in-house. However, that doesn't mean we can't incorporate detox into your overall treatment plan here.

Talk to us about what you're going through. We'll help you come up with some options for treatment, and if we agree that detox is the best option for you, we'll refer you to some of the best detox clinics in King County. When your treatment there is finished, we'll pick up where they left off, helping you beat addiction for good, both physically and emotionally.

Making the decision to get treatment is tough by itself. Deciding on detox is potentially even more difficult. But this isn't a decision you have to make alone. Let us help.

Our goal is to help you successfully stop using drugs without worrying about relapsing. We will make sure you get whatever treatment you need - even if we're not the ones to provide it. When you beat addiction, it's a win for all of us.