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Will I be on Medication During Detox?

March 9, 2021
Reviewed by: Lisa Misquith
will i be on medication during detox

Detoxification is a part of the rehabilitation process which helps to get over addiction. For better results, It is combined with medications and therapy. Detox is a process of removing toxic substances from the body. The detox process is designed to help overcome the problems when a patient suddenly stops consuming addictive substances. At times the withdrawal from a substance can be deadly. A person is not just physically but even mentally affected. The detox process and the kind of medications required vary from person to person depending on the type of addiction

Detoxification is of two types. One is natural detoxification and the other is medical detoxification. Drug detoxification, also known as Medical detoxification is the process of getting over addictive symptoms with the help of medications. There are a number of withdrawal symptoms that are visible when one gives up on addiction. Natural detoxification, as the name suggests, is the way to detox your body naturally. Many experts believe that this natural detoxification process not only helps your body detoxify from intoxicated materials but also cause sudden withdrawal from mental stress up and toxic load.

Below are given measures one should take during the detoxification process

  • Most studies show that alcohol in its many forms is actually beneficial in minor quantities but on increasing the dosage a little more it can cause a myriad of health disasters. Limiting alcohol to its minimum quantities or leaving it entirely is one of the best detox processes.
  • Sleeping helps your brain to identify the toxic elements of your body and get rid of them. Sleep deprivation can lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body. 
  • An adequate supply of water is required so that all the toxins can be mobilized and be removed from your body. Another item is sugary and highly processed foods. They contain various synthetic chemicals and preservatives drastically increasing the toxic contents of our body.
  • Other healthy measures include eating more antioxidants and prebiotics, decreasing our daily salt intake. But as it happens in many cases the natural detoxification is not enough and we have to go for medical detoxification. They are generally advised by doctors and people with extreme levels of toxins in their body need to follow them.

As the withdrawal symptoms are severe it is really difficult to cope up with the problems without medications. Medical detox should be taken up if the conditions are really worse to handle. In case of severe withdrawal symptoms, it is important to take medical help. Natural detox might not be able to cope up with such issues. Whether a person would be on medications would totally depend on the kind of detoxification process.

What is Medical Detoxification?

Addiction to alcohol or drugs is a kind of disease. It becomes very difficult for addicts to quit these. Medical detoxification is a process where doctors and nurses provide additional support to help patients cope with the withdrawal symptoms. These detoxification processes do not just include social care but it includes medicines as well. The combination of medicines along with therapy helps to get over the addiction and return to normal life. The entire process of medical detoxification is a delayed process. It works gradually and helps the victim get over his/her problems.

Why Would You Need Medical Detoxification?

A person, when exposed to drugs or alcohol for a considerable period of time will find it difficult to live without consuming it. Soon, the brain starts being dependent. It means that the brain stops functioning normally if there is no drug intake. Slowly, with time a person increases their tolerance level. That is, only if higher doses of the drug is taken, the person would feel normal. 

If you try to stay away from these forcefully, your body will react negatively. People react differently to detox and some can suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms such as resort to violence, a state of psychosis or injury to themselves and others around them, Common symptoms include vomiting, fever, headache, insomnia. Agitation and anxiety are some of the major withdrawal symptoms most people go through during a detox. . The cravings increase which makes it even more difficult to quit such addictions. It is possible to quit drugs with the help of medical detoxification. After some time the body learns how to function normally even in the absence of the drug.

How Does Detoxification Work?

Medical detox is a process that involves 3 different steps such as evaluation, stabilisation, and preparation. People can learn about addiction and even attend therapy sessions. The evaluation process involves tests and physical exams.  A therapist will examine the psychological state of a person and trace out all the strengths of the person. The next step is stabilisation where patients stop taking drugs. During this phase, health experts provide full support to patients. Followed by the detox process comes the therapy. It is important for health experts to guide patients and help them prepare mentally for the therapy sessions.      

During the rehab process patients are kept in close observations. If the patient does not respond positively to the drug cease, medicine needs to be changed. There is no specific time duration for medical detoxification. The duration depends on how the patient reacts to the entire detoxification process. A person who once gets comfortable without taking drugs and does not show any withdrawal symptoms would be ready to move on to a therapy session.

Treatment Response to Medical Detoxification

It is evident that most patients at rehabilitation centres, according to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, United States, the treatment response for its 49 patients undergoing medical detoxification found that most of its patients completed the schedule except for 13% of them and all patients who had completed the detoxification of five days did not resort to alcohol as a dependency once they were out of the study, thus stating that the ambulatory medical detoxification was successful amongst patients suffering from mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms and mentally stable.

Medications Used for Drug Detox

Medication for drug abuse and alcohol abuse can help bring about drastic changes to the brain after severe drug abuse and can also help to cut down on cravings. Research is still underway on providing vaccines for de-addiction that will help in relieving the patient from severe withdrawal symptoms.

According to the National Institute of Health, certain medications have been approved and used for various types of drug and alcohol abuse.


Used in the treatment of opioid abuse, can be highly fatal and should be prescribed by a medical professional and in the presence of a medical professional. Methadone helps cut down on withdrawal symptoms and elevates euphoric effects. It being the most commonly used medication for opioid abuse, it was administered to more than 300,000 patients in 2011 in an opioid treatment program.


Is a partial opioid agonist drug used in the treatment of opioid abusers. According to the NATIONAL DRUG ABUSEMENT CENTRE, this has a lower chance of being abused among patients in recovery and can be distributed by a physician in health departments and communities. This medication has a drastic effect on patients abuse and can help in curbing cravings drastically.


This medication is administered when patients show signs of acute long-lasting withdrawal symptoms during rehabilitation such as insomnia, restlessness and anxiety. It helps normalize brain activity and curbs cravings 


This medication is administered to patients who are out of rehabilitation from alcohol addiction treatment. It helps to eliminate severe negative effects while the person consumes alcohol and proves as a successive tool for people who really want to get over the addiction and discourages drinking behaviours due to extreme psychological effects.


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