Wasatch Recovery Treatment Center

What is Social Detoxing?

For someone who struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, recognizing that there’s a problem and wanting to overcome it are the first steps toward recovery. The first meaningful step toward actual change, however, is action.

Before someone can modify their behaviors and address the root cause of an addiction, they must purge their body of the substances they depend on. Detoxification is a critical early step in the addiction recovery process, and it’s one that’s best achieved with full support. 

As with all aspects of addiction treatment and recovery, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to substance detoxification. That’s why the team at Wasatch Recovery Treatment Center offers comprehensive detox support services — including social detox — at their residential location in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Substance detox explained

Substance detoxification is a highly individual process by which your body cleanses itself of drugs or alcohol. It’s monitored and facilitated by medical experts who manage withdrawal symptoms, provide emotional support, and ensure patient safety. 

Withdrawal symptoms can persist for days, weeks, or even longer depending on the duration, severity, and type of addiction that’s being treated. The method of abuse (snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing) can also affect the detox experience.  

Getting drugs or alcohol out of your system is the first “action step” in the recovery process. It’s also one of the most critical steps: detox can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that require careful medical management. Unsupervised detox, or going “cold turkey” on your own, greatly increases the risk of a subsequent overdose. 

There are two basic types of supported detox: social detox and medical detox. Each method is applied under specific circumstances, and each is tailored to individual needs.

Understanding social detox

Social detox involves the full support and careful monitoring of a patient’s detox process in a residential inpatient setting. This hands-on, 24/7 approach uses careful attention, counseling, and therapy — not medication — to help patients through withdrawal symptoms. 

Social detox is a viable option for patients whose withdrawal process is deemed manageable without medical intervention. It can be a very effective way to begin the recovery process for people who aren’t at risk of developing life-threatening withdrawal symptoms like seizures or severe dehydration.   

Because withdrawal symptoms can still be severe, the social detox method provides around-the-clock supervision, management, and support. Safety, emotional nourishment, and physical release from chemical dependency are the primary goals.

Social vs. medical detox

As the name implies, medical detox is substance detoxification combined with medical care. More specifically, it’s careful detox monitoring and management that uses medication to buffer uncomfortable symptoms and assist in the withdrawal process. 

Medical detox is the best course of action for patients at risk of experiencing severe, life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. It’s usually recommended for heavy drinkers, people who abuse heroin or prescription opioids, and people who are addicted to benzodiazepines, among others.  

Medical detox is a safe, scientific process that mitigates the pain and risks of withdrawal in a clinical setting. Like social detox, it’s an around-the-clock inpatient residential treatment that’s tailored to individual needs. 

Defining treatment needs

A social detox is only an option for people who don’t risk developing life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Suppose you’re a viable candidate for either method. In that case, the experts at Wasatch Recovery Treatment Center can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each as they pertain to your personal recovery plan. 

Remember, detox is your first significant step toward recovery, but it’s not one that you should take on your own. Professional medical assessment and treatment planning are paramount to your success — and one size does not fit all.  

Contact us today to learn about the detox services available at Wasatch Recovery Treatment Center. We have a residential location in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and an outpatient and sober living facility in East Sandy, Utah.

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