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In a recent blog entry, we explored all three parts of French Creek Recovery Center’s approach to treating substance use disorders. Those include detoxification, rehabilitation, and our commitment to a continuum of care.

In this entry, we will focus more intently on detoxification—the essential first step in the process of getting your recovery journey underway. We will consider what detoxification is, how and why it works, and what you can expect when you go through the process at French Creek Recovery Center.

Let’s start with the most basic question of all.

Why is it Called Detoxification?

Sometimes we just accept the name of something without really pausing to understand its meaning. Maybe you have not given any thought to why the first step toward lasting sobriety is called detoxification.

You can think of the heart of the word as “toxic” or “toxin.” If something is toxic or a toxin, it is poisonous or harmful. That is an excellent description of drugs or alcohol when you have developed a substance use disorder. The substances you are taking are toxic—which means they are undermining your mental and physical health.

It perhaps goes without saying that when you discover you are being poisoned, you want to make a change right away so that you can minimize the damage. To put it another way, you want to be detoxified. You want to go through a detoxification process.

The problem is that when it comes to a substance use disorder, giving up the poisonous substances can be devilishly difficult if you try to do it on your own.

The Rigors of Withdrawal can be Hard to Withstand

It would be a wonderful thing if you could simply realize that the substances you are using are bad for you and then just quit ingesting them. Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

That is because symptoms of withdrawal—including intense cravings and much more–can be just as awful as the impacts of drugs or alcohol. Those cravings are just one of a long list of potential symptoms related to withdrawal—and combination of which might send someone back to the very substances they are trying to give up. A person struggling with a substance use disorder suddenly finds that they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They know they can’t keep using drugs or alcohol—and they know they can’t quit on their own.

The “on their own” part is, of course, where a place like French Creek Recovery Center comes in.

Forging a New Path via French Creek’s Detox Program

At French Creek Recovery Center, we provide a medically supervised detoxification program. That means that a person in detox receives care around the clock from highly trained nurses and physicians. These professionals bring a combination of empathy, experience, expertise, and evidence-based methods to the treatment of each person they serve.

Detox at French Creek is also notable for what it does not provide: access to drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal is extremely challenging in any case, but it is all the more so if you have ongoing access to the substance you have come to rely on. It is all but impossible to weather the cravings that come with withdrawal if your substance of choice is available to you. Going to a treatment center takes this temptation completely off the table—and that makes sobriety much more attainable.

Detox is Just the Beginning—But it is an Essential Start

Of course, regaining your sobriety via detoxification is just the first step on the long road of recovery. But it is hard to overstate its importance. Detox is the moment that makes ongoing sobriety a possibility. So if you are struggling with drugs or alcohol and can’t imagine a life of lasting sobriety, set your sites on a more modest—but absolutely imperative—first step. Convince yourself to get into treatment so you can benefit from an effective approach to detoxification. If you take one step at a time, you can go a long, long way.

The Time to Get Started is Right Now

Too often, a person struggling with drugs or alcohol puts off getting the help they desperately need for one reason or another. They might be embarrassed. Or they might be convinced they can quit any time they want to. Or they might think that going to treatment would be too disruptive to their life. 

At French Creek Recovery Center—located in Meadville, Pennsylvania—we get it. But we also understand that the moment to get help for a substance use disorder is always right now. Waiting just means more suffering and more problems for you and for those who care about you. So overcome your resistance so that we can help you overcome your dependency on drugs or alcohol. We can help you get sober so you can get on with living the life you want for yourself.