Importance of a Medically Assisted Detox

drug detox hospital

What Is Detoxification?

Detoxification is a process wherein all the drugs or alcohol a person has been using is purged from the body. Some kinds of detox take only a few hours while others take days or weeks.

When you think about medically assisted detox, you need to understand what it entails. A medically assisted detoxification program uses medications to help balance your withdrawal symptoms, so you can be more comfortable during the detoxification process. Medications may not be able to eliminate your withdrawal symptoms, but they will be significantly less severe than if you tried to detox without them.

Any detoxification program’s aim is to make sure your body no longer depends on the drug or alcohol to function. After that step, it’s important to the facility to make sure you’re no longer being influenced by the drug in your body. Until your body is clean and you can think clearly, you won’t be able to move on to rehabilitation.

Is Detoxification Dangerous?

A medically assisted detox, or one monitored by your healthcare profession, doesn’t have to be dangerous. However, trying to go through detoxification without support can be. For instance, if you stop drinking cold turkey, you could suffer from seizures, problems with your central nervous system, and could even be at risk of death. The same can be said about some drugs, which could result in withdrawal symptoms like shakes, cold sweats, headaches, aches and pains, and others if you don’t stop taking it over time.

What Kinds of Detoxification Are There?

Detoxification is normally done in one of a few ways. The main kinds of detox include:

  • Rapid detoxification
  • Medically assisted detox
  • Tapering
  • Holistic/alternative detox support

With any of these kinds of detox, the goal is to make sure you don’t suffer any life-threatening conditions during the withdrawal process.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detoxification is performed in a hospital or similar setting. It involved putting a patient under general anesthesia and quickly eliminating drugs from the body. This is most commonly used with opiate addiction. The most severe parts of withdrawal will take place as the patient sleeps.

patient in medical detox

Medically Assisted Detox

Medically assisted detox begins with a dose of medication to help manage withdrawal symptoms after a drug or alcohol is stopped. As a patient’s symptoms improve, the medications are tapered and eventually stopped, so they can be free of the withdrawal support that is no longer needed.


Tapering methods of detox are popular for prescription medications and other kinds of drug abuse. With tapering, you slowly reduce the amount of a substance you’re taking over time. By reducing the substance slowly, your body naturally goes through only minor withdrawal symptoms, if any.

Holistic/Alternative Detox

Holistic or alternative detox methods often rely on tapering along with the use of alternative and holistic therapies to treat the patient’s symptoms. For example, if a patient is suffering from aches and pains, then the patient may be given a massage or go to an acupuncture appointment to release tension. Natural foods, animal-assisted therapies, and other encouraging methods of relaxation may also be used to help patients sleep, eat, and relax better.

Why Is Medically Assisted Detox Important to My Health?

Medically assisted detox is important for your health because you’re able to be monitored by a medical professional through the worst of withdrawal. You can immediately receive treatment for any severe withdrawal symptoms you may have, and with the right program in place, you can be sure that your withdrawal won’t be as painful or uncomfortable as if you did it alone. You’ll also receive support from your medical team, so you don’t have to feel like you’re going through this alone, even in the worst moments.

Medically assisted detoxification is easier on your body. It helps you clear your mind quickly while not having to have anxiety or fear about stopping the use of drugs or alcohol. With medically assisted detox, any complications that arise can be treated, so you can get back to a more comfortable state of mind and start working towards emotional sobriety.

Where Can I Learn More About Medically Assisted Detox?

If you’re ready to consider going through a detoxification program, you have choices that you can consider. We’re here to help you make the right decision for your body.

Call us today by dialing 1-866-802-6848 to speak with one of our helpful specialists about the programs available in your area or in an area where you’d like to travel. If you’d rather visit us online, you can find our website at Whether you’re interested in a medically assisted detox program or want to learn more about how a recovery program can help you or someone you love, our website has more information about a number of therapies and services you can try.


Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.