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What is Medical Detox? What Happens During Detox?

Addiction treatment options

When a person is dependent on alcohol or drugs, detoxification (detox) is often a necessary initial step in their recovery from addiction.

The medical detox process is based on the premise that a physically unwell person would struggle to address any underlying mental health issues. As a result, the goal of detox is to initially manage the physical aspects of addiction so that patients are prepared to address the psychological aspects of their addiction as part of an intensive addiction rehab program.

What is Medical Detox?

A sudden reduction or cessation of usage can result in various mentally and physically taxing withdrawal symptoms when a person has developed a severe dependence on one or more drugs. Medical detoxification is a means to treat acute intoxication and withdrawal in a controlled setting. Doctors and other medical professionals may give comfort care and medications to assist the patient through detoxification.

Medical detox is not a substitute for comprehensive substance addiction treatment. However, it is a possible gateway to rehabilitation or other substance abuse treatment. Since medical detox can make the withdrawal process more manageable, it may reduce the probability of an immediate relapse and make it simpler for the patient to concentrate on their ongoing recovery efforts. 

In an inpatient treatment center that provides medical detox, such as The Haven Detox, the staff assists the patient in transitioning to therapeutic services and ongoing treatment once they feel well enough.

What Happens During Detox?

Medical Evaluation

The first step in a medically assisted detox process is for patients to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation so that a precise picture of their particular needs may be built. During this evaluation, the expert at The Haven will collect information about the patient’s medical history and addiction to create a customized detox strategy.

Withdrawal Phase

When the amount of drugs or alcohol in a patient’s system is steadily lowered, withdrawal symptoms generally emerge. Signs of drug withdrawal and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may be quite similar. 

However, the nature and severity of withdrawal symptoms vary on how long a person has been addicted to alcohol or drugs, the substance they are addicted to, how much they have been consuming, and their overall mental and physical health.

Image showing common withdrawal symptoms of addictive substances


As part of the detoxification process, our patients are given appropriately controlled medication to assist them in coping with withdrawal. No prescription can avoid all withdrawal symptoms, but certain medications can alleviate anxiety and despair, promote adequate sleep, and mitigate as many problems as possible.

24/7 Support

According to research, supportive and empathetic care is equally as crucial as medications to facilitate a successful detox and achieve the best possible patient outcomes. Therefore, any individual undergoing detox at The Haven can expect to be closely and carefully monitored 24 hours a day for the course of the therapy.

Transition to Further Treatment

After completing the medical detoxification phase, the patients begin the central aspect of their addiction treatment. They begin to address the physical and psychological elements that led to their addiction at this time.

Depending on their needs, our patients may be referred to one of the following treatment options:

How Long Does Detox Last?

The usual duration of the detoxification process is between 7 and 10 days. However, this varies from person to person and depends on a variety of variables, including:

  • How much alcohol and/or drugs have they consumed
  • Their severity of withdrawal symptoms
  • Their physiological and mental functioning

After detoxification, patients will be prepared to enter an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program where they will get intensive psychological therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does detox mean in medicine?

Detoxification is the first stage in addiction recovery. Under medical supervision, detoxification involves eliminating hazardous and addictive chemicals from the body. Many individuals seek detox when withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or drugs are imminent.

How does detox work in a hospital?

Detox is the procedure by which all traces of alcohol and drugs are eliminated from the body, preparing the individual to begin treatment to overcome their addiction. Although it is not usually an element of addiction therapy, it is typically expected when entering rehab.

How long does a full-body detox take?

While the time needed to detox from drugs varies from person to person, detox programs often last 3, 5, or 7 days. Detox is the initial step of addiction treatment and should not be viewed as a replacement for subsequent rehabilitation or counseling.

What is the detox process?

Detox is the process of safely and effectively withdrawing from a specific psychoactive drug. There are several reasons why patients may undergo detoxification, including addiction may demand to begin drug rehabilitation treatment.

The Haven Can Help You Get Rid of Addiction

The Haven Detox provides several detoxification programs to facilitate the safe and efficient withdrawal from alcohol and drugs. Our medical professionals will work with you to develop a detoxification program tailored to your unique needs. We provide ongoing care and support so that you can receive assistance when you need it.

If you or your loved one is battling drug or alcohol addiction, contact us at (561) 328-8627 today to get professional help.

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