The Dark Side of Medical Detox

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Detoxification, informally known as detox, is explained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as “a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal. It denotes a clearing of toxins from the body of the patient who is acutely intoxicated and/ or dependent on substances of abuse.” The overarching purpose of detox is to minimize the physical harm caused by the abuse of substances. There are different detox methods with varying levels of support available for people in need. Some people will require extensive support, perhaps in a designated detox facility, with twenty-four-hour care throughout the entirety of their detox process, and others will be able to go through detox unaccompanied in their own homes.

What Is A Medical Detox?

Medical detox refers to ridding the body of abused substances under the supervision of a team of licensed medical professionals (e.g., nurses, clinical staff, therapists, etc.) that is most often headed by a physician. There are several types of substances (e.g., heroin, benzodiazepines, prescription opioid narcotics, alcohol, etc.) that individuals are highly encouraged to undergo a medical detox due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. When an individual undergoes a medical detox, various medications are utilized in conjunction with therapeutic modalities to assist in the process. Most common medications that are administered during detox are used to help treat different severe withdrawal symptoms.

Medical detox usually takes place in a specific facility that is equipped to deal with various intense withdrawal symptoms. However, medical detox can be provided in inpatient treatment, residential, or outpatient basis, and may exist as part of a larger substance abuse rehabilitation program or operate on its own. There are benefits and drawbacks to each method of detox, including medical detox. For example, though highly controversial, some experts assert that the most notable hindrance of medical detox is that one’s long-term recovery may be adversely influenced when replacing abused substances with various detox medications. In most cases, the benefits of medical detox outweigh the drawbacks. An individual undergoing medical detox is closely monitored throughout the entire process and has access to twenty-four-hour medical care. This level of support can help prevent the development of serious problems that can occur during the acute withdrawal stage as well as mitigate some of the physical pain and discomforts associated with one’s withdrawal symptoms.

For Information and Support

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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We remain open during the Covid-19 crisis to provide detox and treatment to those in need. Find out more