What is Detox in Addiction Recovery?

Detoxification or detox in addiction recovery refers to the process of removing toxins from the body and is separated into two types:

Medically assisted (or medically supervised) detox – This type of detox is performed under the care of a medical team that consists of physicians, psychiatrists and nursing professionals. Medically supervised detox ensures the safety and comfort of the individual who is undergoing detoxification and provides the support necessary in case any medical complications arise. Often times, medications can be administered to ease the withdrawal symptoms and reduce the strong cravings for the substances that typically are experienced during this treatment process.

Clinically managed (“social”) detox – This type of non-medical detox method utilizes social detox settings where only a room is provided for detox in which non-medical people like friends and family members provide hands-on treatment approaches that include peer encouragement and professional support throughout the detox duration.

The best option for detox will depend on the substance being abused, the current level of physical dependence and the desire/need of the individual to use or not use medically assisted methods.

The majority of health care professionals, public health officials and addiction experts support the medical model of detoxification. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s principles of effective detox were built on the medical model, which incorporates a combination of care, that includes nursing staff, medication and physician supervision during the process. That being said, not all drugs require medically-assisted detox. This treatment process is most appropriate for people with substance dependencies involving:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids (such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and heroin)
  • Benzodiazepines (such as Valium, Xanax, Halcion and Ativan)
  • Stimulants (such as cocaine and crystal meth)
  • Prescription stimulants (such as Adderall and Ritalin)
  • Synthetic drugs (such as Spice, K2 and bath salts)
  • Drugs that contain THC (such as marijuana or hashish)

Although not all substances require medically-supervised detox, suddenly ceasing the use of substances, or stopping the use cold-turkey, as it’s called,  can lead to adverse effects that range from significantly uncomfortable to fatal. For this reason, it is highly recommended that individuals struggling with substance abuse consult with an addiction treatment specialist or a primary doctor to get the best recommendation for their specific situation. Whether consulting with a primary care provider or a medical team at a rehab center, all details regarding medical history should be provided in order to develop a treatment regimen that offers the best level of care for the patient. For example, if a client is a polysubstance abuser –and addicted to more than one drug simultaneously – the addiction treatment provider must be made aware of these details as omitting them can result in serious health complications.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, a complete medical and clinical assessment is the best way to get the appropriate detox and supportive addiction treatment therapies. Seeking professional help is always recommended because even substances associated with less dangerous withdrawal syndrome, that do not necessarily require medically-assisted detox, can develop complications if the individual has a serious or perhaps an undiagnosed medical condition.

On the road to recovery, the detox treatment is only the beginning. If you would like information about Florida Center for Recovery detox program, we invite you to browse through our website and learn about our innovative therapies which are tailored to treat not only addiction but also it’s underlying related mental health conditions.

We welcome your inquiries which can be sent by using the link below or by directly contacting us at (800) 851-3291. All calls are private and confidential.

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002