The Importance of Safe Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal

The Need For Supervised Medical Detox

Those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and want to seek recovery will have to go through a period of medical detox prior to beginning the treatment program. When an individual is addicted to a substance of abuse, their body essentially begins to rely on a steady dose of the substance in order to simply feel ‘normal’. When they do not take the substance, they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Medical detox is the process of eliminating the substance of abuse from the individual in a controlled and monitored environment. The process includes weaning the body off of the agency by administering detox medications which are designed to mitigate the side effects of drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Some of the most common detox drugs used are:

  • Naltrexone
  • Suboxone
  • Bupropion
  • Modafinil
  • Disulfiram

Depending on your unique addiction and the severity of it, one drug may be used over another. Abruptly stopping the use of the drugs and alcohol that you are addicted to is extremely dangerous and can have a host of painful and uncomfortable side effects.

Detox is Not Considered Treatment

The medical detoxification process is not considered to be part of an addiction treatment program, rather, it sets the foundation for a successful recovery. Once your body is free of the substance that you were formally addicted to, you will be more clear-minded and ready to begin in your treatment program. The most common types of addiction treatment programs are inpatient and outpatient treatment. Through a patient evaluation, it will be determined which type of program is best for you.

Some of the benefits of medical detox are:

  • Alleviates discomfort associated with detox
  • Counselors provide support during the detox period
  • Sets the foundation for a treatment program
  • Sets the stage for recovery

There are three main stages of medical detox:

  1. Detailed assessment
  2. Stabilization
  3. Transition to treatment

Through a patient evaluation, the individual will meet with an addiction specialist who will perform an in-depth evaluation. Once this has been completed, the individual will begin the detoxification process in order to get stabilized by weaning the body off of the substance of abuse. This process typically lasts for one week and the individual remains at the facility for the duration of detox. Once the detox phase is complete, the individual will begin in their addiction treatment program.

Medically assisted detox is always conducted in a controlled and safe environment where individuals are monitored on a 24/7 basis. This is to ensure that if anything were to go wrong such as a bad reaction to the detox drug, the individual gets the appropriate care immediately.

Getting Help

If you or someone close to you is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, medical detox, as well as treatment, are necessary in order to successfully recover. Without professional help, the addiction will continue to worsen and continue to take control of their lives. There is a life apart from addiction and getting into treatment is the only way to live a more fulfilled and productive life.


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.