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Health & BeautyWhat Is a Medical Detox and How Does It Work?

What Is a Medical Detox and How Does It Work?

It’s estimated that 20 million Americas today remain vulnerable to substance dependence. However, not every addict receives treatment or counseling for their addiction. But how does the process of recovery start? The primary procedure in addiction rehabilitation involves detoxification. As its name indicates, this process seeks to remove toxins from an addict’s body and help them manage withdrawal symptoms. Professionals utilize organic methods to stabilize patients, diminish withdrawal symptoms, and transition them successfully to rehabilitation.

That’s why some experts have called it “medically managed withdrawal” as well. Moreover, detox helped many patients overcome their addiction and walk the road to recovery from drug abuse.

What do we mean by detox?

Addictions are difficult to overcome since they cause immense mental and physical anguish among patients. When addicts attempt to treat substance dependence, they experience agonizing withdrawal symptoms during recovery. On the other hand, medical detox provides a comfortable environment where toxins are removed from an addict’s body while natural methods minimize the symptoms. This process ascertains that every trace of drugs/alcohol has been removed from your body, thereby making therapy safer and easier.

Today, health facilities offer medically-assisted detoxification supported by qualified specialists. It prepares patients to recover from their addiction effectively under professional observation. You may contact Delphi Health Group to receive individualized treatment for every level of addiction. With centers located nationwide, addicts can now receive quality detox services.

So, what happens during medical detox? It’s a carefully-created procedure that helps specialists realize the nature of medical attention an addict needs to recover.

What happens in medical detox?

There are three steps involved in medical detox: evaluation, stabilization, and preparation. While addicts undergo detoxification, they can attend support groups or therapy sessions to learn more about their addiction. Thus, here’s a breakdown of what happens during medical detox and its three steps:

  • Evaluation: This stage involves experts thoroughly evaluating a patient’s medical history and psychological condition. Specialists prepare a questionnaire while screening patients for mental health disorders. Therapists make sure that the person’s support system can tolerate detoxification. This information helps them evaluate the addict’s needs for creating a treatment strategy catered to these needs. Now, we can move on to the second stage in this procedure.
  • Stabilization: The detox center implements this personalized treatment strategy for helping the patient remove toxins from their body. The patient stops using drugs, thereby becoming a victim of withdrawal symptoms. Specialists utilize therapies and medication to help the addict bear the severity of these symptoms while trying to stabilize the patient. The addict achieves sobriety and a medically stable condition in the end. This process lasts for one to three weeks.
  • Preparation: Finally, experts take the patient to a healthcare facility to treat their addiction since detox alone can’t help an addict recover wholly from their cravings. But it does make the rehabilitation procedure simpler for patients. Statistics show that 85% of addicts return to substance dependence one year after treatment. Therefore, detox ensures that addicts are strong enough to combat their cravings during and after treatment.

Again, it’s important to remember that medical detox isn’t a solution to addiction. Detox only increases the chances of patients sustaining rehabilitation and avoiding post-treatment relapse. And detox doesn’t address the behavioral reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place.

How long does medical detox last?

“How long do I have to stay in a detox center?” Patients are often worried about how long it takes for a medical detox to conclude. It varies from person to person because of different reasons, including the length/recency of your addiction, co-occurring mental disorders, or the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, it depends on several other factors, such as your age and family history. It seems that the average medical detoxification finishes in 7-10 days. But it would help if you didn’t terminate medical detox without being fully cured.

We suggest you spend as long as it takes curing yourself while removing all toxins from your body. Now, let’s discuss the side effects of detox some patients may experience.

Are there any side effects of detox?

A 2018 survey shows that almost 22 million Americans are recovering from drug-related addictions. Are there any side effects of medical detox that may harm the recovery process among patients? You must know that addicts may experience different withdrawal symptoms based on their preexisting conditions. When opioids are removed, your body undergoes certain changes that affect your mental health as well as physical well-being. We’ve described some common side effects patients suffer from:

  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Unpleasant dreams
  • Irritability and confusion
  • Headaches and exhaustion
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Shaking, sweating, and shivering
  • Heart rate and blood pressure may increase
  • Mood swings (anxiety, agitation, and depression)
  • Cravings for the substance they’re trying to remove

Some withdrawal symptoms are more severe than the indications mentioned above. Patients may suffer from delirium, experience seizures, and hallucinate more often. As discussed, these symptoms rely upon the nature of your addiction and relevant factors. Some addicts attempt to quit drugs “cold turkey,” so their symptoms may materialize more ruthlessly. Therefore, we suggest patients should discuss medical detox with their physician. That’s how you ensure that this program is the right option for you.


We’ve discussed how medical detox seeks to remove drugs/toxins from an addict’s body. This procedure can prepare patients for rehabilitation, after which they can recover from their addictions completely. A patient undergoing detoxification goes through three stages, i.e., evaluation, stabilization, and finally, transition to a rehab center. Specialists help patients regulate their withdrawal symptoms while every trace of the substance they were addicted to is removed. It lasts for 7-10 days on average but may take more time based on the severity of your addiction. After the patient’s completed detoxification, experts send them to rehab. In rehab, the root causes of your addiction are addressed and treated.

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