For many individuals, one of the barriers to getting “clean” from drugs or alcohol is the fear that detox will be painful. They wonder if they’ll be in pain while detoxing. Some convince themselves that this pain will be so intense that they won’t be able to handle it and make it through detox, so what is the point of even trying to get clean. However, this is far from the truth. A 2020 study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the CDC found that 75% of people who have an addiction eventually recover. The road to recovery is possible, and fears of a painful detox shouldn’t stop you from getting there. To calm your fears, let’s look at pain during detox a little further.
Will I Be in Pain While I Detox?
Similar to how addiction can look different in different people, the same is true for detox. How detox goes for you depends on several factors, including what drugs or alcohol (or combination) you’re detoxing from, how frequently you used, how long you’ve been addicted, and other factors.
Ultimately, most people will experience some pain or discomfort during detox (don’t worry – we discuss a solution for the pain at the end). This occurs because your body and mind have become dependent on the substance. With the sudden elimination of this substance, the body goes through withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and mental.
The substances that typically cause withdrawal symptoms during detox are:
- Stimulants (cocaine, meth, Adderall, Ritalin, etc.)
- Depressants and sedatives (benzodiazepines, barbiturates, etc.)
- Opioids (prescription and heroin)
How Long Will the Pain or Discomfort Last?
When it comes to how much pain and how long you’ll be in pain during detox, the answer depends on a range of factors, including:
- What substances you’re detoxing from
- What dosage you were using
- The frequency you were using
- How many years your addiction lasted
- Other medications and substances you’re on
- Your physical health
- Co-occurring mental health conditions
Generally speaking, withdrawal symptoms can start a few hours after the last substance use and last for a few hours to days or weeks.
Can I Do Anything to Diminish the Pain?
The good news is that when you detox with a rehabilitation center, they’ll help monitor and manage your detox. You don’t have to sit through your withdrawal symptoms without any help. Today, it’s pretty common to participate in “medication-assisted withdrawal.” Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) allows patients to receive pain medication under the supervision of healthcare staff to reduce the impact of withdrawal symptoms. According to the South Dakota Departments of Health and Social Services, “up 90% of patients who use MAT maintain sobriety at the 2-year mark.” MAT is the answer for anyone who is allowing the concern of pain during detox to stop them from starting their recovery today.
Get Detox Help With Medication-Assisted Treatment at Hickory Recovery Network
Hickory Recovery Network offers MAT detox programs so patients can remain comfortable during their withdrawal stage. Lessening the impact of withdrawal symptoms allows patients to focus on their recovery. MAT can also reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms getting to a dangerous stage, so it’s often the safer approach to detox.
Speak to us to find out more if MAT detox is right for you, and start your journey to recovery today.