Medical Detox From Drugs or Alcohol

Cindy Wilson Thumbby Cindy Wilson
BS, Dietetics and Nutrition

Medical detox refers to ridding the body of toxic, addictive substances under the supervision of a team of licensed medical professionals. Medical detox is an essential first step in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. It is therefore indicated for all individuals who have shown signs of physical and psychological dependence on a substance.

Are you struggling with addiction? Consider detox to begin your journey to freedom.

medical detox from drugs or alcohol

How Long Does Medical Detox Take?

The time needed to complete alcohol or substance detox depends on several factors. On average, the detox process typically lasts for between 7 and 10 days. This, however, varies depending on the following factors:

  • Family history 
  • Amount of substance taken 
  • Duration of addiction 
  • The type of substance one is addicted to
  • Method of abuse (smoking, snorting, injection, swallowing)
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Body weight

Withdrawal Symptoms Experienced During Detox

The alcohol detox phase involves withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild intensity to life-threatening ones. The longevity and severity of alcohol or substance use play a role in the withdrawal symptoms you experience. For instance, individuals with a history of heavy consumption are more likely to develop severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures or delirium tremens. 

Minor alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms 

  • Sweating
  • Nausea 
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Anxiety. 

Most severe alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms 

  • Tremors
  • Extreme hallucinations 
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures 
  • Delirium tremens. 

Where to Safely Detox

People struggling with addiction often wonder if there is an emergency detox near them or the type of detox to choose. Both inpatient and outpatient programs can safely help you detox, depending on the severity of your condition and the facilities you are considering.

Some of the basic options for medical detox programs include:

  • Inpatient Program

This program is appropriate for people with a more severe addiction for round-the-clock observation and helps in efficiently undergoing alcohol or drug detox. Individuals live at a hospital, detox clinic, or rehab center during the process. 

  • Outpatient Program

This program is for those experiencing mild-to-moderate addictions. Patients get treatment during the day but live at home. They visit their healthcare professional regularly for medications.

Some of the factors to look for in a reputable drug or alcohol detox program include the following:

  • An approach that is sensitive to the need of the people
  • An adequate length of detoxification
  • Availability of medication necessary to help the person stay comfortable during the withdrawal process
  • Licensed staff who are compassionate and experienced
  • An individualized detox plan that considers all your unique and special needs.

Who Should Go For Detox?

A professional drug or medical detox program is a preferred care route for individuals at risk of experiencing certain types of addiction. It’s the most appropriate method for those experiencing acute drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Medication Used for Alcohol Detox

Medication may be used for certain types of withdrawal management. Alcohol withdrawal can have significant physical effects on the body. It produces very uncomfortable side effects and dangerous complications. To manage the pain and ensure a higher success rate, doctors prescribe certain medications to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and complication risks.

Benzodiazepines are the commonly prescribed drugs to help manage alcohol withdrawal side effects. It reduces possible seizures, minimizes agitation symptoms, provides a calming sensation, and treats anxiety, insomnia, and muscle spasms.

Consider Medical Detox Today

The goal of a medical detox program is to help people move through the withdrawal process in a safe and controlled manner. If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, a medical detox program can help you secure a healthier future.

About Author

Cindy Wilson Thumb
BS, Nutrition & Food Science | Connect with on LinkedIn
Cindy Wilson

Hello, I am Cindy, and this a website where I inspect everything related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I have a BS in Dietetics and Nutrition (Kansas State University) and have completed a dozen specialty courses related to nutrition, biochemistry, and food science. I am open to learning more, but foremost I would like to share all my knowledge with you.

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