Your First Day of Drug & Alcohol Detox: What to Expect
Checking into a drug and alcohol detox facility is a huge decision. Sadly, many people delay going to detox because they are scared of the withdrawal symptoms they’re likely to face and they don’t think a detox center can really help them.
Giving up drugs or alcohol can be scary, but detox programs exist to keep you safe and comfortable. From when you arrive to when you are discharged, your comfort and safety are the top priority.
If you are thinking about going to an addiction detox center near you, you may also be wondering what to expect when you check in and what your first day of detox will look like. Understanding what to expect can help lessen your fears about going to detox.
Your First Day at a Drug and Alcohol Detox Center: What to Expect
Ideally, you will speak with an admissions counselor before arriving at the detox facility to arrange a date and time for your arrival. Once you arrive, you’ll immediately begin the intake process.
Intake allows you to be admitted to the detox facility. You will be asked to sign paperwork consenting to mental and psychiatric care as well as medical disclosure forms. A team member may also go over the basic rules they have at the facility, such as no cell phones or profanity.
You will be asked to turn over your bags, luggage, cell phone, and personal items. Your belongings will be searched to ensure you aren’t bringing in anything that isn’t allowed, such as drugs or alcohol, weapons, or electronics. Any items that are confiscated will be stored in a safe place to be returned to you upon discharge. This process is for your safety as well as the safety of staff and other patients.
Intake should take less than an hour. Once you are fully admitted to the facility, you’ll move on to the assessment.
Every patient has their own unique needs, and you can’t be treated properly if the clinical team doesn’t have a comprehensive understanding of your situation. You will meet with various clinical professionals for medical and psychiatric examinations.
Assessment may involve:
- Your medical history
- Your family’s medical history
- A list of any prescription medications you are taking
- Your substance abuse history
- Urinalysis (drug testing)
- Physical examination
- Mental health evaluation
This information is used to create a comprehensive, individually-tailored treatment plan based on your needs. Your treatment plan will typically involve medications for comfort and symptom relief, behavioral therapy, and a referral to an inpatient or outpatient rehab program where you can continue your care after completing detox.
If the doctor wants you to start taking medication for your withdrawal symptoms, a nurse may administer medications. You will be shown to your private or shared room where you can keep your belongings, rest during the day, and sleep at night. A team member may give you a brief tour of the facility if needed, showing you where restrooms, therapy rooms, and other areas are located.
On your first day in detox, you may be tired, unwell, and wanting to rest, so there isn’t much pressure on you to engage in therapy sessions. However, group therapy sessions, relaxing activities, or educational workshops may be available to you at various times during the day.
Drug and alcohol detox centers offer 24-hour care and support. Nurses will monitor your vitals to prevent complications or medical emergencies and support staff will be available to facilitate therapy groups. From the minute you check in until the minute you check out, 24-hour supervision is there for you.
Early Withdrawal Symptoms
While medications can be prescribed to reduce discomfort and cravings, you may still experience some symptoms. The exact set of withdrawal symptoms you are likely to have will vary depending on what substance you are detoxing from, but common symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes
- Muscle and body aches
If any of your symptoms are bothersome, let the medical staff know. They can take steps toward alleviating your discomfort.
Find a Trusted Drug and Alcohol Detox Center in Charlotte, North Carolina
At Charlotte Detox Center, our compassionate staff does everything in their power to make your first day of detox painless and simple.
We capture all the comforts of home in our elegant and amenity-rich campus in Charlotte, North Carolina. Each client has their own beautifully appointed private room in which to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Clients can mingle in the common areas of our facility and enjoy nutritious meals crafted by our chef.
Dedicated addiction-medicine-trained Nursing and Psychiatric staff monitor each client around the clock to ensure their comfort and safety while detoxing with us. Our compassionate and skilled clinical staff blend clinically dynamic, evidence-based therapies and complementary modalities with AA’s Twelve Step Program to build a solid foundation of recovery and lasting change.
Take the first step toward recovery by contacting us today. An admissions coordinator is available now.
Medically Reviewed: April 25, 2022
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.