Demystifying Medical Detox: What to Expect
April 13, 2022

Demystifying Medical Detox: What to Expect

Ending addiction is a challenging process for everyone involved. A viable option is a medical detox program where patients address the physiological issues before handling the behavioral part of addiction. 

Medical detox is not quitting drugs or alcohol “cold turkey,” as the process can be risky. Quitting cold turkey can cause health issues like delirium tremens, seizures, heart problems, and other uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. If you’re considering undergoing a supervised medical detox, here’s what you can expect from the process.

Why choose a medical detox?

With medical detox, trained staff is available to help with potential emergencies and health-related side effects. Medical staff can also help with advice regarding nutrition, hydration, and prescription medication to help with withdrawal issues. 

Fortunately, people who need medical detox can find local centers near them. For example, addiction patients in Florida needing medical detoxification (New Port Richey) can turn to a regional center for the help they need.

Medical detox usually happens in an inpatient facility. Patients live in the facility to receive 24-hour care with medical professionals who can help with emergency support. 

What happens during medical detox?

Medical detox involves several steps. The first is a medical assessment that includes the patient’s medical and addiction history so the team can build a realistic detox plan. Depending on the level of addiction, most patients in a medical detox program experience some withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, the medical staff can prescribe medication to ease the symptoms. 

The prescription medication will not eradicate all symptoms, but it can help recovering addicts get better sleep and ease their way through the depression and anxiety they might feel. The medical staff can also provide supportive care to help patients work through their struggles. Inpatient staff support patients twenty-four hours per day during their detox program. 

During the detox program, patients also have counseling sessions. Patients meet individually to discuss personal issues relating to their addiction and personal lives. Participants also attend group counseling sessions and other therapeutic treatment sessions to learn to re-enter society as a former addict. 

Medical detox programs help patients understand how to live a healthy life without needing drugs and alcohol. After their inpatient program ends, many recovering addicts continue to attend outpatient sessions. 

How long does a detox program last?

Detox programs often last for one to two weeks. The duration depends on how long the patient has been consuming drugs or alcohol. Each patient has different withdrawal symptoms and physical and mental responses to medication.

What are typical withdrawal symptoms during a detox program?

Patients can have withdrawal symptoms that affect them physically and psychologically. The physical symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, sweating, increased heart rate, headaches, and exhaustion. 

Psychological symptoms include anxiety, confusion, paranoia, insomnia, and mood swings. Some people may also have intense cravings for drugs or alcohol, and the most severe symptoms include hallucinations, seizures, and delirium. 

Wrap up

Medical detox program uses science to support patients who want to live their lives free of addiction. These programs succeed because they use medication, therapeutic treatments, and customized plans to help people fight their drug addictions.