Many people underestimate not only the importance of detox, but also the difficulty of it. Drug detox is one of the hardest things you are likely to ever go through, both physically and psychologically. It is nearly impossible to succeed if you go it alone. This is why services like the Orange County Detox Center exist: To provide critical support to help people successfully get to the other side.

Detox is physically hard. You will likely be in a lot of pain or have a general sense of misery. You may may be sensitive to light and noise. You may be lethargic and need to sleep more than usual. It can also be dangerous, both because the physical stress can be a medical crisis in its own right and because the way it impacts your nervous system may make you more likely to fall down or have other accidents.

Therefore, especially if you quit cold turkey and do not have someone to keep an eye on you, it can potentially land you in the Emergency Room. It is far better to plan ahead and make sure someone is keeping tabs on you than to wait until something goes wrong with the process and be forced to seek care.

A good detox center can not only help ensure your safety, it can also significantly ease the process. While you are there, experienced professionals can check on you and make sure you are okay. In some cases, they may prescribe and administer medications that will reduce your physical pain and suffering as the drugs clear your system. They can also make sure you eat, drink and generally take care of yourself at a time when you simply will not feel like it.

Perhaps more critically, detox is psychologically hard. Even if you are well equipped to get through it alone physically, the mental stress is a journey you should not take alone. You may lose track of time. It may feel like the misery will just never end. You may have auditory hallucinations. You will almost certainly have more vivid dreams than usual. Many drugs suppress dreams, so the vivid dreams are just an indicator that you are actually sleeping better. However, the combination of vivid dreams plus physical misery typically leads to nightmares, thereby adding to the stress.

During this psychologically difficult time, checking into a detox center can give you much needed structure and feedback on what is normal, how long the process will take, and how well you are holding up. The trained staff can help you understand the process, give you information, encouragement and support.

The value of having outside structure imposed cannot be overstated. While going through detox, it will be nearly impossible to provide this structure for yourself. Not only is your mind under stress, you reality is changing and your routines and habits need to change. Establishing healthy new habits is challenging under the best of circumstances. This will be far from the best of circumstances. Trained, experienced staff can help you get a jump start on developing the healthy new habits essential to creating a healthy new lifestyle after you are clean and sober.

Such a facility makes sure you sleep in a clean bed, makes sure your living space is kept adequately clean and makes sure you attend to basic hygiene needs, such as showering. This is critical to successfully getting through the process. Many drugs will be sweated out. Not showering not only puts your health at risk, it actually slows the withdrawal process down and drags it out unnecessarily. Furthermore, eating well, having good sleep habits and hygiene habits, like showering, is part of rejoining the rest of society so you can leave your addiction behind for good.

Breaking a bad habit is hard. If you do not replace it with healthy new habits, it is nearly impossible to avoid relapsing into old patterns of behavior. One of the most valuable things you will get out of going to a center is a leg up on establishing healthy new habits. These new habits are a stronger defense against addiction than just vowing to never use again. They help crowd out bad habits and give you not only a reason to live, but a means to live well.

Instead of focusing on the negative — the thing you no longer wish to do — a center helps you focus on the positive. This lays the foundation for building the life you want.