Medical Detox

What is Detox?

For many who enter addiction treatment, detox is the first step in the recovery process. Medical detox is the phase in which individuals clear all traces of the addictive substance from their body while the physical symptoms of withdrawal are managed by medical professionals.

Detox is a vital step in addiction recovery because it allows individuals to enter into a residential treatment program with a clean slate to begin healing physically, mentally and emotionally with no substances in their systems. 

Why is Detox Necessary?

During the detox phase, medical professionals will determine the drug or alcohol levels in an individual's body in order to decide the best way to ease them off of the addictive substance. Once withdrawal symptoms begin, nurses or doctors can monitor vital signs and manage symptoms with medications if necessary. Because some symptoms of withdrawal can be painful, medical staff can make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible.

When a person's body is physically dependent on a substance, missing the usual dosage will cause imbalances that lead to withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms may begin a few hours after the missed dosage of the substance. Without knowing how severely the body depends on the substance or the severity of the symptoms, trying to detox or manage withdrawal from substances at home without medical supervision is not recommended as withdrawal from any substance can cause dangerous or life-threatening complications.

At New Start, our Board Certified medical professionals are available 24/7 to supervise patient detox. Not only does this ensure a healthy and safe withdrawal, but it also leads to higher chances of recovery from treatment.

Why is Detox Necessary?

The medical detox process begins immediately after the patient arrives at the detox center and goes through intake. The length of the detox process depends on the patient's medical history, the type of substance they used and how long they used the substance. Withdrawal symptoms can last a few days or even a couple of weeks. In most cases, medical detox will last between 7 to 14 days.

While medical detox may cleanse a person's body of the addictive substance, it does not treat the underlying behavioral causes of addiction or treat the effects. Medical detox must be followed by therapy and other forms of rehabilitation. A residential treatment program, which often follows detox, may take between 30 and 90 days.