Why Participation in an Addiction Treatment Program Is Necessary Following Detoxification

Achieving lasting recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction requires participation in a professional addiction treatment program. Before an individual with SUD can participate in treatment effectively, however, they must first rid their bodies of the remnants of toxic substances through detoxification services. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that detox is a standalone treatment. Therefore, people assume a detox process is a sufficient intervention for an individual to establish and secure sobriety. The truth is, however, that detox is not substance abuse treatment. Instead, it is considered a form of pre-treatment. After detox, it is essential for individuals to participate in an addiction treatment program to achieve lasting sobriety.

At 12 South Recovery, we do not offer detoxification services at this time. Instead, we primarily offer outpatient addiction treatment programs. Our outpatient programs are tailored to provide continuing support for those who have already completed detoxification. Moreover, our general outpatient program, intensive outpatient program (IOP), and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) can be customized to meet the unique needs and recovery goals of each client.

The Role of Detoxification in Recovery

Detoxification is defined in the publication Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45. by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “Detoxification is a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal.” Those who engage in chronic substance abuse or experience substance dependence are likely to endure withdrawal symptoms when alcohol or other drug use is ceased. The type and severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • An individual’s unique biological makeup
  • The type of substance(s) used
  • Frequency of substance use
  • Duration of substance use
  • The intensity of substance use
  • The presence of a mental health disorder or dual diagnosis

For those engaging in mild to moderate substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms may appear manageable. Common withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and fatigue. For those engaging in moderate to severe substance abuse, however, withdrawal symptoms may be life-threatening and potentially fatal.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms and Cravings

It is important to remember that addiction impairs an individual’s brain and body, causing ongoing susceptibility to substance use. When a person attempts to abstain from chronic substance use, their brain and body will exhibit withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This happens because the brain and body are attempting to motivate the individual to use substances again. Detoxification programs can provide the medical and psychological support that individuals need to establish initial sobriety without feeling overruled by their body’s substance use cravings and withdrawals.

SAMHSA explains that detoxification is “a broad process with three essential components that may take place concurrently or as a series of steps.” These components include evaluation, stabilization, and fostering the client’s entry into treatment. Evaluation involves a comprehensive assessment of the client’s condition(s) to determine the most appropriate level of care for them following detox. Stabilization consists of medical and psychosocial support provided to clients to ensure they remain medically stable and psychologically safe. Oftentimes, this component of detox involves the use of various medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

The last component of detox, fostering the client’s entry into treatment, emphasizes the necessity of treatment in securing lasting recovery. Without participation in an addiction treatment program following detox, detoxification is for nothing.

Moving From Detoxification to an Addiction Treatment Program

As mentioned previously, detoxification is not considered addiction treatment. This is because detoxification is aimed at helping individuals effectively manage initial cravings and withdrawals. Detox is also aimed at ensuring that complications do not arise throughout the process. Additionally, the detoxification process only takes about a week, which is certainly not enough time for an individual to achieve lasting sobriety.

Oftentimes, quality addiction treatment programs last a minimum of 30 days; however, most programs last much longer. Treatment programs are typically offered as either inpatient or outpatient. Outpatient programs offer greater flexibility, enabling a client to attend work and school during the day while they participate in therapeutic programming at night. On the other hand, inpatient programs require individuals to reside at the treatment facility as they participate in intensive treatment.

Regardless of the type of treatment program an individual chooses, there are many reasons why participating in an addiction treatment program is beneficial following detoxification. For instance, a treatment program will individualize client care. This individualization allows each client to uncover and overcome the root causes of their substance use. They will learn various strategies for navigating cravings and temptations through a combination of individual and group therapy interventions. In other words, an addiction treatment program will provide the tools and resources that an individual needs to prevent relapse throughout long-term sobriety.

Addiction Treatment Programs at 12 South Recovery

At 12 South, our outpatient treatment programs provide a number of benefits to clients. These programs allow clients to actively incorporate the new skills they are learning into their everyday lives outside of our treatment facility. This facilitates an easier transition from detoxification back to daily life while still working to prioritize sobriety to the best of one’s ability. In each program, treatment plans consist of group therapy, case management, and one-on-one support, with individualized care at the center of treatment.

We all wish that sobriety could be successfully achieved in a week. However, it’s not possible. The lessons and skills learned during a long-term addiction treatment program are essential for lasting recovery.

Like many others, you may be under the impression that detoxification is a form of addiction treatment. While detox is a necessary step in the pre-treatment process, it is not considered addiction treatment. Participation in an addiction treatment program following detox is necessary for lasting sobriety. This type of participation allows an individual to lean into peer and professional support while overcoming temptations, cravings, and triggers. Moreover, recovery is a lifelong process. An addiction treatment program can equip individuals with the accountability they need to keep their sobriety a priority. At 12 South Recovery, we offer several outpatient treatment programs to help individuals establish and maintain lasting sobriety in their lives. Learn more by calling (888) 830-8374 today.

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