Drug and alcohol detox is a necessity in treating substance abuse and addiction. This process helps to clean the body of toxins caused by the drugs. Detox is part of a treatment process for substance abuse that is very important. On its own, it is not a treatment solution, but when it is combined with other processes, it delivers the treatment. The decision to stop alcohol or drug abuse is vital, but on the other hand, the process can be overwhelming.

What is Drug and Alcohol Detox?

Detox refers to the process of getting rid of harmful substances and effects left behind by alcohol or drug abuse. The detox process is key in helping addicts to accommodate and control withdrawal symptoms. Remember, withdrawal symptoms for some people can be a life-threatening situation. This means that you will need the right detox to survive through the process while at the same time retaining and bettering your health condition.

The body is able to remove the drugs through detox. It is important to understand that detox is not a one-off solution, but a process that will differ from one individual to another. The duration of detoxification will also differ. The key objective of detox is to help people to manage and control withdrawal symptoms.

Is Detoxing At Home Possible

Detox at home is possible, but it is also dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms especially for persons who are dependent on a substance is critical. You therefore, need supervision to prevent concerns such as seizures. There are both inpatient and outpatient programs that prevent complications. However, it is highly recommended that you seek inpatient detox for individuals with severe addictions as it includes constant monitoring.

Detox Process

Detoxification is a process and not a one time medication. This process differs from one individual to another. However, it comprises the following steps.

  • Evaluation: At the evaluation stage, the staff will screen the patient to provide an analysis of their mental and physical well being. Doctors will then run tests to determine how much substance is in the patient’s system. It is only through this process that the doctors can determine the medication required as well as the dosage for the medications. The staff will also collect relevant historical information regarding psychiatric and drug use. This ensures the proper provision of treatment in the long-term.
  • Stabilization: Anytime an individual is coming in for treatment, they are normally unstable. Here, the doctors will stabilize the patient through medical treatment combined with psychological therapy. Stabilizing the patient plays the role of preventing harm to the patient as well as reduces the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Preparation into treatment: Finally, the detox process prepares the patient for the possible treatment program. The doctor will tell the patient what is expected of the treatment program. This is the reason inpatient rehab offers a better chance of successful detox. The medical staff is always monitoring progress and making adjustments where necessary.

Detox Side Effects

Detoxification is not easy for alcohol and drug patients. It can be painful and a life risk. With medical supervision, the detox process is safer and more comfortable as compared to self-detox. As much as detox is able to control and limit some effects of withdrawal, an individual cannot avoid all the side effects. Some common side effects from alcohol and drug detox include:

  • Poor sleep
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Problems in concentrating
  • General discomfort

Detox solutions will address psychological as well as physical concerns. For example, when providing a detox process for cocaine withdrawal, you will be addressing concerns that are more psychological. On the other hand, alcohol withdrawal addresses concerns that are more physical.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox is a detox process that aims at removing substances from the human body faster than the regular detox. It was originally developed for opiate drug addicts such as heroin addicts. However, it can be dangerous and most of the time, costly. While its intentions are positive, the risks are higher.

Rapid detox sedates the individual with anesthesia. The doctor will then give medications to replace the drugs. Its risks are greater and they may include a heart attack, paranoia, aspiration, vomiting, choking, death, and possible infections.

Is it Possible to Detox during Pregnancy?

A pregnant woman will want to stay away from drugs and alcohol for the sake of their baby. Consumption of these substances is harmful to both mother and baby. It is, therefore, possible to detox when pregnant, but more importantly is that you must detox under medical supervision. Detox, especially after a sudden stop of the substance “cold turkey” will stress the unborn child. It will possibly lead to severe fetal distress or even preterm labor.

Pregnant women must detox only under medical supervision to ensure that they are saving both mother and unborn. The main objective why expectant mothers detox is to help prevent the possibility of a relapse as well as helps them to manage the pain. During this time, doctors will also prescribe medications to stabilize expectant mothers during the detox process.

Duration of Detox

The duration it takes to detox will vary from individuals. However, it is dependent on the drug the person was abusing as long as how long they have been abusing the drug. The longer the abuse, the longer the detox process may take.


Drug and alcohol detox is better when a doctor to help reduce the risk of a relapse monitors it. When quitting alcohol and/or drugs, withdrawal symptoms start to show early in just a few hours. To help you minimize the effects of the withdrawal symptoms, a proper and customized detox program comes in handy.

While the detox process may be similar, the details differ within patients. This is because patients have different needs. The detox process for cocaine withdrawal will differ from that of alcohol. Detox also addresses both physical and psychological concerns. The bottom line is that, it is best that patients consider inpatient detoxification to help boost their safety as well as increase the chances of successful detox.