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Ultimate Guide to Medical Detox for Addiction

Ultimate Guide to Medical Detox for Addiction

Last updated on 04 Dec, 2023

Medical Drug Detox is the first stage of recovery. This process involves the removal of all the toxins from your body. It is the process of rejuvenating your body again.

Medical Detoxification is the process where detoxification takes with proper medical assistance and supervision by medical experts and professionals.

Medical detoxification is the process of supervising the detoxification process in Addiction treatment. As it is the first stage of the recovery procedure, it comes with a lot of complications. Medical Detox for Addiction is necessary for a safe treatment assuring the healthy life of an individual.

This blog helps in looking into different detoxing medicines and procedures used in the process. It also evaluates some natural aids that can help in the process of Detoxification.

What Is Drug Detoxification?

The natural process of getting rid of a substance from our body is called drug detoxification (1). It is the process of clearing the body of drugs or alcohol that a person has consumed. The purpose is to manage the withdrawal symptoms safely when someone stops taking drugs or alcohol (2).

What is Medical Detoxification from Drugs or Alcohol?

Medical Detoxification from Drugs or Alcohol serves as a way to address acute intoxication, and the withdrawal is supervised by medical experts and professionals (3). It is the process of eliminating toxins from your body with the help of Medical Professionals. It is a vital stage because medical detoxification can be followed by numerous health complications.

Medical detox is a crucial first step in treating addiction, including alcohol addiction. Once the individual has completed medical detox, they can begin ongoing treatment for alcohol addiction such as therapy or support groups.

Most of the detox process requires inpatient treatment facilities. Generally, the detox programs last about a week unless you face some problems in the detox process (4)

Why Is Medical Detox Necessary?

The withdrawal or Detox process is not always enough to get rid of toxicity. Using physician-assisted strategies might help an individual to eliminate substances from the body faster without any possible health risks (5).

Medical Detox is necessary for various reasons.

  • Firstly, it helps out individuals working upon physical dependency on drugs or alcohol.

  • Secondly, it helps in the management of withdrawal symptoms that occur during the detox process.

  • Thirdly, it provides a proper and safe environment as well as helps in the prevention of relapses (5).

What Are The Drugs Requiring Medically Assisted Detox?

Some of the drugs require a special process to bring them down to zero over a period of time. They require a medically assisted detox routine more than the others. Some of such medications are mentioned below.


This drug includes narcotics like Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Morphine, and Codeine. This drug is generally found in the poppy plant and binds to Opioid receptors in the brain. These are highly addictive drugs classified under Schedule I and II under the Drug Enforcement Agency. Their use is limited and has a high potential for use and dependency.

Some of the side effects of Opioids are Nausea, runny nose, diarrhea, Restlessness, Anxiety, etc. The withdrawal symptoms are generally not life-threatening. It works within 12 hours after the last dose for a short period and 30 hours for a longer period.


The most commonly prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States is Xanax. About 85 million prescriptions were written in 2007, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. They are prescription tranquilizers that act as depressants of the Central Nervous System. It helps people calm down, treats anxiety, and also helps people to sleep. Commonly prescribed drugs are—Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Librium. The withdrawal of this drug is not life-threatening. It helps in the treatment of panic, anxiety, depression, and Insomnia.

Such addicts can take prescription drug addiction treatments that are specially designed to help with managing prescription drug abuse.

Medications Used In Detox

Some of the common medications used for Medical Detox are mentioned below.


This medication is used under the brand name Subutex. It is the treatment of Opioid Addiction due to narcotic prescription painkiller addictions and heroin.

It was developed as an alternative to Methadone. Methadone treatment requires a specially structured clinic. This medication has a longer half-life, which means it stays in the body for longer than opiates. This medication can ease opioid cravings. The doses should be properly consulted with medical experts and professionals.


This medication is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. When taken under prescription, buprenorphine in Suboxone eases withdrawal symptoms in a person. The person who is trying to overcome opioid addiction.


This is prescribed for people undergoing medical detox from opiate drugs. Opiate drugs include heroin, oxycodone, and morphine. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain, thereby preventing opiate drugs from binding to these sites. This medication is not recommended for people undergoing tapering therapy ( such as combining with methadone or buprenorphine).


This drug is primarily used to regulate blood pressure which reduces the amount of chemicals found in the blood. When a person has high blood pressure, this allows the heart to beat more slowly and regularly. Clonidine eases anxiety, agitation, muscle cramps, sweating, cold, or flu associated with withdrawal symptoms. It also has some effect on smoking cessation as well.


A study by Ann L. Anderson, published in 2010, suggests the use of Modafinil for treating cocaine dependence. The study indicates that taking Modafinil with individual behavioral therapy was effective in increasing the cocaine non-use days in participants while reducing cocaine cravings. Thus making Modafinil one of the commonly prescribed treatment options for managing addiction symptoms. However, doctors advised patients over the age of 17 years to get Modafinil tablets as they have a mild potency for abuse.

Modafinil also enhances the will power and motivation of such people that ease the process of detoxification and lowers the possibility of relapse.

How Long Does Medical Detox Take?

The process of Medical Detoxification varies from person to person. Thus, the time consumption also varies for every individual.

However, in most cases, the Detox Programs are 3 to 10 days long (8).

Is Medical Detox Safe?

Medical detox is safe for people experiencing substance withdrawal. All the steps of a medical detox program are supervised by a medical professional who is trained in managing addiction.

It is also considered safe as the medical staff closely monitors and treats withdrawal symptoms associated with detoxes, such as blood pressure, fluctuations in heart rate, and temperature.

Nature aids in Detoxification.

Apart from medicine detoxification, there are also some natural ways to detox your body or rejuvenate it. Some of the natural aids for removing toxins from your body are:

1. Limiting Alcohol

2. Focusing on a sleep routine

3. Drinking more water

4. Maintaining your food habits.

5. Decreasing salt intake

6. Staying Active

7. Meditation

8. Physical Exercise (9)

Medical Detox For Addiction: The Key Takeaway

Detoxification is the first stage of fighting alcohol or any Drug Abuse. It is a process where Drug Abuse detoxification is done under medical supervision and Assistance. It provides a safe environment for the individual and ceases the chances of relapses.

Detoxification comes with a lot of complications, which also sometimes can even be fatal. Medical Assistance protects the individual as well as assures a safe and healthy environment.


A pregnant woman suffering from addiction requires medical detoxification. The treatment provides professional medical care to both the mother and the fetus. Safe monitoring and parental withdrawal are addressed safely by experts.

It is the process of clearing the body of drugs or alcohol that an individual has consumed.

Detoxification is the first step in the treatment of Drug abuse addiction treatment.

The five stages of Addiction Recovery are:

1. Precontemplation

2. Contemplation

3. Preparation

4. Maintenance

Lemons are always suggested as the best for detoxification.

There are three classifications of medical treatment. They are:

Curative– to cure a patient

Palliative– symptoms relieve from an illness

Preventative–avoiding the onset of an illness


  1. Drug Detox: Process, Side Effects and Detox Centres near me, American addiction centers
  2. Drug and Alcohol Detox, Addictioncentre.
  3. Medical Detoxification from Drugs or Alcohol, American Addiction Centers.
  4. What is Medical Detox, 7 things you need to know about, Sandstone Care 
  5. Why Detox is Necessary, 12southrecovery
  6. Drugs that require Medically Assisted Detox, the Recovery Village.
  7. Medications for Detox— Recovery First Treatment Center, Recovery First.
  8. How long does detox take, Addiction center.
  9. 9 ways to rejuvenate your body, Healthline,


Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.