What to do While Waiting for Detox

For many, detox (withdrawal management) is a critical step in the beginning stages of treatment for substance use disorders. While this process is no walk in the park, no one should let the fear of waiting for withdrawal management services prevent them from getting the help they may truly need. Medically monitored withdrawal management is often safer and more effective than going it alone, and the wait for such services will undoubtedly be worth it in the long run.  At LRADAC, we know that beds are not always available immediately and individuals often are placed on a waiting list. It is highly encouraged that individuals participate in LRADAC outpatient treatment services while waiting for a space to open in our Withdrawal Management Program.

In a study done by the Center for Interventions, Treatment & Addictions Research, more than half of participants (53.8%) emphasized that waiting time is a significant barrier to their subsequent treatment entry. Frustrations about these waiting time constraints were the same across the board, regardless of the participant’s substance of choice. In the study’s focus group, participants discussed various coping strategies to help manage their substance use throughout this time of waiting, some of which included:

  • Attend recovery support meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Celebrate Recovery
  • Write a detailed diary or create a scrapbook to describe efforts, struggles and successes in maintaining abstinence from one’s substance of use
  • Make sure that there is a designated person/group of people to check in with you during your waiting period, as they will be extremely helpful in ensuring that you are getting basic nutrition while maintaining your motivation toward seeking treatment
  • Prioritize your physical health during this period and throughout the rest of your treatment program

Rather than viewing this time as a negative on one’s journey toward recovery, people should use this period to their advantage. This is the perfect time to have all of your questions answered about the various treatment programs offered at LRADAC, as well as questions regarding the more specific factors that will make up your personalized treatment plan. While waiting, you can also continue to do your research on what to expect in order to be more prepared for the withdrawal management process upon your arrival.  Lastly, you can make arrangements with employers and loved ones, in order to secure the extremely important support that will be needed in your upcoming journey. The average stay is 4 to 5 days.

For more information about the Withdrawal Management Program offered at LRADAC visit https://lradac.org/treatment-programs/detoxification/ or call (803) 726-9300.

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.