What is Medical Detox?

What is medical detox and how can it help you manage withdrawal symptoms when you decide to quit?

When someone is in need of a rehabilitation program, the first step is usually detox. Depending on the circumstances, the process can be medical or non-medical. But, what is medical detox exactly? And how does it work?

Medical detox is the process through which someone safely goes off a drug and – at the same time – manages to control and/or ease their withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is especially necessary when detoxing from opiates.

So, how does it work and what do they do at a detox center? A facility that offers medical detox services is staffed with multidisciplinary professionals, doctors, and nurses that have the expertise and knowledge to handle withdrawal symptoms while keeping you safe.

Because withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable, dangerous and – sometimes – even life-threatening, it is important to rely on the services of medical experts.

Knowing the answer to “what is medical detox”, is key when you are wondering what to expect, what do they do at a detox center, and how it can help you recover from the disease of addiction.

When you undergo medical detox from opiates – for example – you are given medication in order to assist in the removal of the toxins from your system, but also to control your withdrawal symptoms, which will arise as a response to your body’s change in chemical balance.

Medical detox from opiates has proven to also decrease considerably the risk of relapsing while undergoing treatment for substance abuse and addiction.

Other things to consider when wondering what do they do at a detox center, is the following:

  • Not everyone will need medication, it will always depend on your particular case
  • Experienced staff can keep you safe and pain-free during withdrawal symptoms
  • A detox center will not cure your addiction, you will need a proper rehabilitation treatment

While these characteristics help you understand more about, what is medical detox and how it works, it is also important to know detoxing under medical supervision is highly recommended.

Whether you need medical detox from opiates, or you are struggling with alcohol or any other drug, detoxing under medical care is key in maintaining your well-being. Depending on the substance you’ve been abusing, your withdrawal symptoms may be intense or simply too severe.

Some of the risks that you may encounter if you decide to quit on your own are:

  • High blood pressure
  • High body temperature
  • Extreme anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory failure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Coma
  • Death

Part of understanding what do they do at a detox center is trusting the fact that they have the knowledge to handle and control these symptoms. Doctors and nurses can prevent mild symptoms from turning into serious health risks and conditions that could, otherwise, put your life in danger.

Medical detox is the first required step into a proper rehabilitation treatment program. Most rehab centers have on-site detoxification facilities to treat you immediately. If that is not the case, the rehab center will facilitate your admittance into detox prior to your rehab treatment.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.