Someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Together, you’ve decided it’s time to get professional help. The first phase of recovery normally involves a process of drug and alcohol detox. If you’ve reached this point, it’s time to learn how to support a loved one during detox.
Detox is a challenging period that requires courage, patience, preparation, and faith — that a better day is just ahead. You can best answer the call to support a loved one during detox by providing support and being by their side, working hard to understand what they are going through and why.
Why Is Detox Necessary?
In some ways, the common meaning of the word “detox” probably falls short as a descriptive term. Detoxification is an ongoing and normal process of the body. The liver works continuously to eliminate toxins from the blood, whether natural, from prescription drugs or other sources.
Once an individual stops drinking or using drugs, the body enters a period of withdrawal. It’s looking for and even craving its fix. Withdrawal symptoms may be mild or severe and can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tremors and shakes
- Anxiety and depression
The part of detox that people usually don’t think about is what happens when the withdrawal symptoms begin. The drug or alcohol detox center team provides the medical and psychological support to help your loved one get through these withdrawal periods safely.
How to Support a Loved One During Detox
Going through detox is the hardest part of recovery. Your body will be sending signals that can only be addressed by taking more drugs or drinking more alcohol. But you can’t do that.
In addition to medical oversight, people in detox need all the love and support you can muster. You have taken the first and most important step by learning everything you can about addiction and the process of withdrawal. Use the knowledge with compassion.
One exceptionally important step in how to support a loved one during detox is to envision what will happen after residential addiction treatment. You need to begin making your home safe. Some ways you can improve the environment include:
- Remove any drugs or alcohol
- Don’t buy alcohol and don’t consume it
- Secure prescription drugs
- Be open to family counseling
- Create and maintain supportive, fun activities to enjoy
- Stay positive
Once you learn how to support a loved one during detox, learn about what comes after detox.
What Comes After Detox
Detox represents the beginning and not the end of the recovery journey. Treatment starts with a thorough medical assessment, which gets turned into a specific, actionable treatment plan.
Once detox flushes the drugs or alcohol out of the system, then the addiction counseling phase begins. Counseling is designed to help your loved one get to the bottom of how they ended up in this position and helps them build better coping skills.
After counseling, your loved one moves into after-care support, which is designed to help curb the risk of relapse. Aftercare is where they will get their first experience with 12-step programs.
In some ways, one of the most important things to learn about how to support a loved one during detox is that your support does not end with the conclusion of detox. Your loved one will need your help consistently.
A Brighter Future
If you know someone with a substance abuse problem, it’s perfectly normal to wonder how to support a loved one during detox. It’s a chaotic time all around filled with uncertainties. Rest assured that your support for your loved one is crucial — but also know that the support we provide at Midwest Detox Center will help you to a better day.
Our center is made up of caring and concerned specialists, educated in the latest techniques of addiction medicine. We can guide your loved one through detox and transition them to continuing care. Our team can also help you through the next stages of recovery through services such as our addiction treatment therapies.