These early beginnings of recovery can be challenging for many clients. Typically, recovery starts with a detoxification process. During that process, clients may encounter withdrawal symptoms or cravings. This is completely normal and there are steps clients can take to curb their cravings and persist through withdrawal symptoms. Moving past this difficult and sometimes overwhelming point in recovery is usually best done at a facility.
At First Steps Recovery, the staff helps clients move past the detoxification process in a supportive and progressive way. This is prioritized because moving past cravings and withdrawal symptoms is the first step to a long-lasting recovery journey.
The Detoxification Process at First Steps Recovery
At First Steps Recovery, the detoxification process is the first step of treatment and lasts about seven days. A specialist guides clients through this process, which is separate from the bulk of treatment and treated as a precursor to the treatment and recovery journey.
Detoxification is initiated to help clients overcome their physical dependency on alcohol or substances. This process improves their concentration and ability to engage with therapies and treatments down the line. It is crucial for clients to devote themselves to the recovery journey fully, and detoxification is the first step in that process. Curbing the physical dependence on substances or alcohol is the precursor to curbing psychological dependency.
With the detoxification process, however, clients often experience withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings. As these symptoms can be intense, it is important for clients to go through this initial step in a guided manner.
What Are Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal symptoms differ and are unique for each client. Symptoms also differ depending on the substance that is being removed from the system.
Those recovering from alcohol addiction may experience the following mild to severe symptoms:
- Overactive reflexes
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Rapid pulse rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Withdrawal seizures
Those recovering from a drug dependency can experience the following symptoms depending on which substance they are recovering from:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Insomnia or restlessness
- Hot and cold flashes, perspiration
- Muscle cramps or aches
- Watery discharge from the eyes and nose
- Agitation and irritability
- Poor concentration and memory
- Increased sleep or appetite
- Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
More severe withdrawal symptoms from substances include seizures, hallucinations, or delirium. Again, each client is different and can experience different symptoms depending on the severity of their addiction and the substance they are addicted to. Additionally, all clients may experience cravings as they go through the process of detoxification.
How Can I Overcome Withdrawal Symptoms and Cravings?
Overcoming withdrawal symptoms and cravings is key to progressive success early on in the recovery journey. As mentioned earlier, detoxification is most successful when it is guided. Some clients may also require monitored medication to successfully curb their withdrawal symptoms, especially if symptoms are moderate to severe.
Alongside a potentially monitored medication option, clients should learn how to engage in different activities to keep their focus off of their symptoms. During detoxification, clients learn how to relax, sleep, and monitor their moods and behaviors as they experience withdrawal symptoms. In doing so, clients learn early on how to engage in their daily lives without addictive substances.
Since withdrawal symptoms and cravings can last anywhere from a week to potentially months, having healthy outlets to rely on while facing these difficult feelings and symptoms is crucial. An addiction specialist can guide someone to practice a variety of self-care measures during this time.
How Does First Steps Recovery Help Clients With Their Withdrawal Symptoms and Cravings?
At First Steps Recovery, the detoxification process is especially closely monitored during the first 24 hours at the facility, when clients are checked on every 20 minutes. Clients’ vitals and comfort levels are checked to ensure safety, security, and health while going through the first day of the process. Medicinal interventions are also offered. Even after the first 24 hours, clients are monitored consistently until they are ready to begin their treatment program.
The staff at First Steps Recovery prioritizes comfort while in this first stage of recovery. When clients are faced with withdrawal symptoms or cravings, it is important for them to feel comfortable enough to turn to the staff and receive help. Creating this comforting, secure environment is key to long-lasting sobriety.
Clients are also monitored on a personal level. While checking vitals and comfort levels, the specialist and the client develop a stronger bond to build upon while they are in the facility. This bond will be strengthened further during the next stage of treatment. At First Steps Recovery, clinicians use a variety of therapies to help clients heal, develop self-awareness, and learn skills that will help them maintain abstinence for a lifetime.
Here at First Steps Recovery, we offer a detoxification process as a precursor to addiction treatment. Clients in recovery often experience withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings, especially at the start of their journeys. It is important to learn healthy coping mechanisms, be in a safe environment, and feel comfortable while facing these difficult, often overwhelming feelings. A specialist at the facility checks in with clients every 20 minutes for the first 24 hours of their detox, monitoring vitals and comfort levels. This week-long process puts clients in a position where they can start to heal from their addiction. Moving beyond the physical dependency on substances or alcohol is the first step in the journey. To learn more, please call (844) 489-0836.