The Need for Early Detox in Effective Addiction Therapy

The Need for Early DETOX

Although it is technically correct to say that treatment for substance addiction usually starts with detox, a key question for an effective treatment journey is to ask how soon into the addiction process does that detox need to take place? Recognising the need for early interventions can often be the key to successful outcomes.

Why Prolong the Suffering? The need for an early detox

Most people and, subsequently their loved ones, often suffer needlessly and for far too long as their problems get worse and go untreated.  
Quite simply, as with many health concerns, the earlier treatment commences the more effective and long-lasting treatment will be.
Addiction is a progressive illness, in that it gets worse over time. When someone becomes dependent on alcohol, for instance, they do not think about it less and less and drink less over time. Drug addicts do not start their addiction journey on strong drugs and progressive to milder drugs. Addiction takes over the dependent person and spirals. It gets worse and worse, and, in the later stages of addiction, there is a strong sense of a total lack of control as the addiction itself, and the consequences become greater. These consequences include deteriorating physical and mental health, relationships, work, finances and home life.

We can all understand that a physical health condition and its effect on the sufferer will be more difficult to treat in the later stages of the condition than if the illness is recognised and treated early. The same is true for addiction. Early assessment and intervention, therefore, is crucial.

But how does one find professional guidance and assessment and, more practically, how does one engage a reluctant addict to consider treatment.

A professional intervention can be very effective, but these can be costly and involve a relatively large collaboration with family and friends. It should certainly be considered as an option but I would also suggest approaching a high quality treatment provider directly.

A collaboration between patient, family and professionals.

The answer, therefore, may lie within the treatment services themselves; the rehabs and behavioural health clinics.

The very best treatment providers will offer opportunities for people suffering from addictions and other behavioral health disorders to meet with members of staff and, when requested, provide assessment and guidance.
They should also be willing to offer a discreet tour of their services so that the addicted person can get a more realistic sense of treatment. This is important and effective as many people have a very misguided view of good addiction treatment, thinking that it involves just sitting around in circles talking to one another. The reality is that they are often very caring environments with a varied program of activities and rest.

You should always seek a treatment center that is open to working with those already involved in the healthcare of each person.

Individuals or family members of sufferers should always ask professionals if they are willing to co-operate with services they already know and trust. This will give you an important insight into the quality of that service itself.
Effective care is the result of professionals, individuals and family members working together at a multi-disciplinary level. The very best clinics, such as at London's Serena House are designed to maximize cooperative working practices, will be unafraid of the concept of sharing and working with others as they will be confident in their practices and unafraid of ‘competition’ from other professionals.   

Need for Long Term Care  

Another important aspect of treatment for addictions and other behavioral health problems such as Eating Disorders and depressive or anxiety disorders is that they are not acute, short-term problems, but ones that require ongoing support, sometimes over many years.
At this juncture, support ought to broaden, not only to include good aftercare and ongoing therapy, but also to embrace physical, spirtual and mental wellbeing, nutrition, occupational therapy, education and, most important of all, the building of a powerful support network. This may include mutual aid groups such as the Anonymous Fellowships, but also requires that early treatment take place under the care of professionals and services with strong aftercare programs and an appetite to continue to stay in touch with you long after residential treatment.
The attitude of professionals and services, in this context, is as important as the qualifications of the professionals themselves.

Residential and Outpatient Care  Serena House

For some people, outpatient care is simply not enough, no matter how well the providers of such treatment are co-operating at a multi-disciplinary level.
Some people simply need to to get away from it all and immerse themselves in high quality residential care. Somewhere where they can have intensive, quality treatment during the most vulnerable first few days or weeks. Somewhere safe. Somewhere where they cannot drink or take drugs or hide behind their symptoms. When this is the best or only option, the environment of the clinic itself is a key factor.
People need to feel comfortable and nurtured in a place that feels like the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of their lives. There are such organizations, such as Serena House in Central London, in response to this recognized need.
Has a sudden onset. Full medical glossary
Abbreviation for Eustachian tube. Full medical glossary
An element present in haemoglobin in the red cells. Full medical glossary
Therapy aimed at improving a person's level of independence and their management of the activities of daily living. Full medical glossary
Continuously increasing in extent or severity. Full medical glossary