4 Ways Detox is Like an Inaugural Address

January 19, 2017

Dreaded Detox

mormons in sobriety

Many people are afraid of rehab – but not always for the reasons they should be.

As a “first-timer” thinks about entering treatment, he or she may fear the detox process and the dreaded withdrawals caused by giving up an addictive substance. The truth is that while detox can be a trying experience, it has a reasonably predictable – and relatively short – duration.

By the time addiction has dragged us through a relapse or two (or four), we’re less likely to dread detox than our own shortcomings.


We begin to think of treatment as a way to gain tools against the pitfalls of recovery, those things we experienced after detox – because after is a much longer time.


Basically, it’s best not to think of the detox process as some death defying Rubicon, after which life changes forever.  It’s true that life changes – and one hopes forever – but that process, full of hazards, triggers, cravings, and just plain life without our “go-to friend” (insert drug of choice) is open ended. Detox is just the beginning.

Inauguration Day

Like inauguration day, detox can bring change. In treatment, we learn about ourselves, our triggers; just after treatment we find and cultivate support systems. If we have done our homework, then over time we come to feel that maybe we, and not our substances, preside over our lives. We only begin to be presidents of our new lives in the doing of them.

Here are a few more reasons why detox is like an inaugural address:

  1. Detox signals the plan, but it doesn’t execute the plan. There is still work to be done.
  2. Detox is cleaning house, clearing; recovery is getting your hands dirty.
  3. Detox is hopeful; recovery is hard work.
  4. Detox attests to your better angels. In recovery, the devil is in the details.
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