Home Blog Outpatient What Is Medically-Assisted Detox?

What Is Medically-Assisted Detox?

medically-assisted detox

Receiving detoxification treatment is often the first step when checking into a drug and alcohol rehab center. This process is done to remove the toxins from the bloodstream which is often very uncomfortable and has many withdrawal symptoms involved as well. These withdrawal symptoms are capable of being both physical and psychological and can range from mild to severe, or even life-threatening depending on the type of drug that was abused. Immediately stopping the substance abuse suddenly, or quitting “cold turkey,” is time and time again not recommended. Due to the severity of issues from the withdrawal symptoms that could arise or the mental health of the individual, medically assisted detox is encouraged and is oftentimes found to be the best route.

Understanding treatment options available for overcoming physical dependency and beginning your recovery journey allows you to make the best decision possible for you and your future. Beginning with understanding medically-assisted detox, along with all the other treatment options that are available.

What Does Medically-Assisted Detox Consist Of?

Medically assisted detox treatment is accomplished in a safe and controlled environment supervised around the clock by only medical professionals. There are some drugs that require a slow and controlled weaning, or tapering schedule in order to reduce the amount of drugs in the system down to zero over that crucial period of time. Others may require the use of medications during medical detoxification in order to manage the severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

The severity of the withdrawal symptoms will vary from case to case depending on many various factors. Some of these factors may include:

  • The average does that was taken regularly
  • How frequently the drug was taken
  • The individual’s mental health and medical history
  • Bodyweight
  • How the substance was administered
  • Length of time the substance was abused
  • Gender of the individual

The National Institute on Drug Abuse confirms that medically assisted detoxification alone is not enough to ensure a successful recovery. It is often asked, “How long will it take me to detox?” The answer can vary depending on the individual, the substances that are involved, and the severity of the substance or chemical abuse and dependency. Generally, the detox period is anywhere from three to ten days, but can be longer in the case of certain situations or substances that were abused. However long it takes, the goal is to free the individual’s system of addictive substances, medically stabilize, and then transition the client into the treatment phase.

Benefits Of Opting For Medically-Assisted Detox Treatment

As said above, experiencing the detox process and clearing the body of toxic substances, can be a painful, strenuous, and even a life-threatening process. However, this process of detox without medical care increases the risk of an unsuccessful detox. It also reduces the likelihood an individual will try detox again in the future. However, mitigation of withdrawal symptoms and treatment of co-morbid conditions are just some of the benefits of medically-supervised detox that contribute to a greater likelihood of successful recovery. Detox is not a replacement for treatment, but the crucial first stage of a process of recovery. For the benefit of those in recovery, many inpatient or residential rehab and outpatient rehabs offer detox as the first phase of their treatment program. This allows individuals to receive the necessary care that is needed round the clock throughout the uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawal symptoms before moving on to an addiction treatment and therapy program.

Because of the many negative effects on the body and brain caused by the substance abuse, medically assisted detox is crucial to detecting and treating any alcohol, or drug-related medical emergency. These types of medical emergencies can be a result of active substance abuse or can suddenly appear during the sometimes dangerous detoxification process.

For those who choose to detox without professional care, symptoms of withdrawal can in some cases be fatal. For instance, many people experience tremors during withdrawal. However, some may experience more severe symptoms of brain damage like seizures and delirium. Life-threatening detox is most closely associated with alcohol, benzodiazepine, and barbiturate withdrawals. However, many complications can potentially arise with other drugs depending on many different things, such as their medical history, mental health state, and many more.

The pain of the symptoms that are associated with withdrawals makes the people who choose a form of medically-assisted detox much more likely to complete the program than those who may choose to attempt detox on their own at home, even if it is with accompanied with friends or family members. Following a failed detox attempt, the odds of the individual experiencing a relapse will likely skyrocket. Additionally, the sense of guilt or failure, coupled with how agonizing and awful withdrawal symptoms can feel, prevents many people from trying the detox process again. For those who never complete detox, the probability of a fatal overdose or permanent bodily damage is much, much higher.

Where To Start

Take Action

Making the decision to get better or become sober is the first big step in recovery. When you are ready, the team at Asana Recovery in Orange County is ready and available to assist during this process. One of our caring admissions counselors will explain the addiction treatment options available. Call now so we can also answer your questions, address your concerns, and walk you through the admissions process. If you are taking action on behalf of a family member, friend, or loved one who you think needs our help, we will walk you through the process of getting them admitted for treatment.

Admitting To The Treatment Facility

Once we have completed the pre-admission process and determined that our addiction treatment center is right for you and received approval for coverage or have other payment arrangements in place, the last step is for you to come to our facility. Your admissions counselor will help arrange transportation or travel (if needed), while working with our medical and clinical team to prepare for your arrival. For tips on your first day in treatment, visit our preparing for admissions page.


You may also like