When you first recognize that you may have a drug or alcohol addiction problem, you may be dismissive of it. This is common, as most people with an addiction try to explain it away, or say that they can “quit whenever I (they) want.” When you finally do reach a point where you want to quit, it will be much harder than you might expect. You may even ask yourself, “What’s wrong with thinking I can detox myself from drugs or alcohol?”
Actually, that kind of thinking often makes the situation worse. Many addictive substances are both physically and psychologically addicting. There are components of addiction you cannot treat alone. You need professional help if you are going to go through detox for anything. Here’s why.
The Physical Aspects of Detox
Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. A person addicted to alcohol who has been drinking heavily for decades will find that they suffer from sweats, DT’s (delirium tremens, which is physical shaking during alcohol detox), pain, sleeplessness, nervousness/anxiety, and about a dozen other unpleasant symptoms. Similarly, detoxing from drugs like meth or heroine produce their own unpleasant effects.
Detoxing from heroine is about the worst because people literally feel intense pain. There’s no possible way you can detox and manage the physical effects without relapsing for your drug of choice to cope with the discomforting feelings. Under a doctor’s care, the symptoms of detox can be managed so you can focus on getting better.
Psychological Aspects of Detox
Far worse than the physical aspects of detox are the psychological aspects of detox. There’s almost always some psychological reason or reasons why people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Even when you have physically detoxed, you still have to address the psychological reasons for your drug or drugs of choice. This is where the work gets really difficult. Group and individual therapy helps you feel as though there are others who understand what you are going through.
The therapist or psychiatrist leading the therapy knows how to get people to talk about the source of their problems and what led them to drugs and/or alcohol. It’s important to address the psychological issues at the core of an addiction so that you don’t immediately reach for drugs or alcohol when stressed or triggered after you have worked so hard to detox. Therapy also helps you determine what your triggers are. Triggers are any events, sounds, or stimuli that cause you to look for a way to shut down. Knowing what your triggers are and how to avoid them, or better yet, how to cope with the triggers in a healthier way, is part of the detox and treatment process.
Why Trying to Treat an Addiction by Yourself Ultimately Fails
An addiction is a habit. It’s something you have done for a very long time. Habits are extremely hard to break. Even people who want to lose weight need the support of others around them to be successful. That is also true of a drug or alcohol addiction. To help you avoid drugs and alcohol, you need people who can support you. You need people to support the changes in your life you want to make, in a way that is positive and not defeating. You may also realize that you need new friends, especially if your old friends are still heavy users and abusers of drugs and alcohol.
Others who use and abuse drugs will try to convince you to use again. Being around people who use, especially right after you have gone through detox and treatment, almost always results in a relapse. You must first learn how to take care of yourself to avoid a relapse. Then it might be possible to be around some of your old friends, but it is highly unusual. That is why a treatment program almost always supplies former addicts with added support via a sponsor. The sponsor is the one you call when you feel the urge to use.
The sponsor can help by talking you out of using, and/or showing up to help you out of a potentially troublesome situation. Ergo, there’s no way you can detox yourself from drugs or alcohol because you need help to get clean and you need help to stay sober. Ready to change your life for good? Call us today at 833-364-0736 to set up a consultation. Our counselors are working around the clock to help people just like you.