There’s never a bad time to start recovery. Unfortunately, for some people, the break between getting high and not being high is virtually non-existent. For these individuals, life is a cycle of nearly non-stop use. Even short periods of abstinence lead to overwhelming withdrawal symptoms. Headaches, chills, fever, cramps, and nausea can set in within just two to three hours of abstaining. Attempting to quit a highly addictive substance “cold turkey”, even for just a matter of hours, can lead to irrational, drug-seeking behaviors and dangerous physiological changes.
For these and other reasons, many people start the detox process shortly after using. Detox and rehab centers have clear, firm rules against using drugs or alcohol while on their campuses. In fact, even having these substances in your possession is reason enough to be immediately discharged from these facilities. However, these same centers know that those who are addicted to substances are likely to continue using them right up until they enter the door. Treatment centers exist to help recovering addicts get well, not to judge them. Thus, as long as you follow the rules of the program you’re entering, what you do before starting treatment shouldn’t affect your ability to receive care. However, there are a few important things to do if you decide to use one final time before officially kicking your recovery off.
What to Do If You’ve Just Used Drugs or Alcohol Right Before Entering Detox
Medically managed detox is designed to give people the support they need to make it through withdrawal safely. Withdrawal medications are often prescribed in these environments that mimic many of the same chemical effects that alcohol and drugs produce. It’s important to note that your substance of choice may be contraindicated with the withdrawal medications that your provider has included in your detox plan. During the intake process, you’ll receive a complete medical and mental health evaluation. It’s vital to answer all of the questions that you’re asked truthfully. If you’ve recently taken a substance, offer clear and accurate information about:
- The type of substance you’ve just used
- Your manner of ingestion
- How much you used
- How often you normally use
- How you currently feel
Most detox centers are well-aware that many of their newly enrolled patients have recently gotten high. They don’t punish addicts for engaging in addictive behaviors. However, they do expect people to provide the information they need for tailoring medication plans correctly. Being forthright about getting high when checking in can prevent you from experiencing the painful side effects of receiving contraindicated medications. It also establishes a bond of trust between you and your medical team. Another very important thing to do when entering a detox facility after getting high is making sure that there are absolutely no drugs, alcohol, or drug paraphernalia on your person.
Check your pockets and bags during your intake meeting for anything that might cause trouble later on. When you let the intake specialists know that you’ve recently gotten high, they’ll likely review the rules of the facility and ask you to hand over any items that might serve as temptation for you or for anyone else in the program. Getting high just before detox treatment isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s more common than most people think. Even if you aren’t battling with the physical and psychological challenges of withdrawal, the prospect of quitting your substance of choice forever could prove triggering. Although your medical team is unlikely to turn you away, choosing to use before walking through the door may make the detox process a bit more challenging. Medical team members are less likely to offer pain-relieving interventions when people are already under the influence of other substances.
One of the major drawbacks of getting high before detox is that you won’t be able to benefit from the customized detox program that your medical team has created until you’ve officially “come down”. Getting high to make detox easier actually has the opposite effect. When you arrive to detox sober, your providers will begin leveraging medical and mental health interventions right away. Detox teams work hard to make this process as comfortable as it can possibly be from beginning to end. When you wait for the relief that they provide, this process will be safe, comfortable, and easy. To find out more about visiting a detox center or to find drug treatment near you, give us a call at 833-497-3812.