Prolonged use of alcohol and other drugs changes how our brain chemistry works and causes physical dependence.

For that reason, it is generally dangerous to attempt to detox from drugs and/or alcohol on your own without medical assistance. A medically managed detox program utilizing the appropriate medication for detoxification, safely and comfortably treat withdrawal symptoms provides a means for the body to safely overcome the painful psychological and physical effects of drug and alcohol withdrawal, and is therefore the all-important first step on the path to long-term recovery.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Depending on the substance, the physical and psychological symptoms related to the withdrawal process can be significant. They can include an irregular heartbeat, nausea, shaking, fatigue, sweating, increased body temperature or heart rate, and an increased risk of seizures. If untreated, one or more of these symptoms can cause death.

Meanwhile, emotional reactions to the withdrawal process can be quite significant as well. This can be shown in you entering a depressed or anxious state, being irritable and easily agitated, experiencing hallucinations, and being unable to sleep as regularly or as deeply as you had been before. In many cases, the impact that detox has on your brain will be more significant than the physical symptoms.

Although the process is generally not a pleasant one, medical detox will help these symptoms become more manageable and not be as dangerous as they otherwise would be. We will also ensure that you are kept in a comfortable environment as you push through this step and towards the other side.


What is Medical Detoxification?

Medical detoxification refers to experiencing the sometimes severe side effects of the initial removal of toxic substances from your body while under medical oversight. This oversight usually involves one or more physicians who are accompanied by nurses, therapists, and clinical staff members.

They will be knowledgeable about and experienced with the different withdrawal symptoms of various drugs and alcohol as well as knowing how to handle situations where you are simultaneously withdrawing from a number of them. They will also understand how the detox experience will blend with any physical or mental ailments unrelated to alcohol or drug use that you may be suffering from


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Should you Undergo Medical Detoxification?

Although there are no hard-set rules for when medical detox is necessary, consider these questions and general guidelines.

Do you feel that you are physically or emotionally dependent on a substance? Have you been using it or several substances in considerable amounts for an extended period of time? Have you noticed that you must use significantly more of it now to achieve the same effect as compared to before? Have you tried to undergo detox on your own in the past before realizing that you are unable to without help?

Simply put, the greater you have built a tolerance to something, the more likely it that a medical detox will be necessary for your own safety and to increase the chances that you will otherwise be able to get past that step and towards the other ones that are necessary for a more lasting recovery.

The Medical Detoxification Experience

One of the first steps that you would experience when undergoing a medical detox is a thorough evaluation. This is when the alcohol or drugs that you are or would be withdrawing from would be determined. However, the process is much more thorough than that. It would also look for any medical conditions, co-occurring disorders, such as mental illness, any other psychologically related factors, and the overall risks for experiencing differing withdrawal symptoms.

Simply put, the big picture will be assessed as well as the specifics of your drug or alcohol use.

Once you start undergoing the detox experience, you may be issued some medications to assist the process, to ease your experience some, both from a comfort standpoint and from a safety one.


It is important to keep in mind that detox will not treat the core issues that caused drug or alcohol dependency or alter your condition’s long-term course. You should also keep in mind that “detox” is a misnomer. A considerable percentage of the toxic substances that are in your body from extended alcohol or drug use will still be there after a medical detox has been completed.

So, this initial detox experience is a necessary first step, but much more needs to also occur for dependency on these substances to be significantly affected. A comprehensive treatment program that addresses the causes of any addictions, as well as their long-term physiological effects, will help changes become more long-lasting.

Generally, patients should transition immediately from medical detox to residential or hospitalized treatment. This is partly because relapsing is still a high risk at the vulnerable time that occurs in the days and weeks after a medical detox has been completed.


If you or a loved one is about to or is currently experiencing a detox situation, it is important to secure medical assistance to ensure that the experience is as safe as possible. Our compassionate, supportive, and knowledgeable team will do that for you. We will also work with you to look towards the future, to beyond this detox experience, as you look to get to the other side of this time in your life.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions concerning about our medical detoxification service.

Find Hope at Virtue Recovery Center

The staff at Virtue Recovery Center looks forward to helping you and your loved ones on the road to recovery. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our facilities located throughout the United States.