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What to Expect During the Medical Detox Process

woman in yellow sweater talking with a therapist in a medical detox process

Medical detox is a vital first step in the recovery process. It is where people begin their journey toward recovery and experience the first signs of relief from a substance use disorder. Unlike conventional addiction treatment centers, a medical drug and alcohol detox center primarily treats the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

When you’re ready to break free from addiction, take the first step by calling Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi at 662.222.2989 and asking about medical detox.

What Is Medical Detox?

The goal of a medical detox center is to help people safely overcome the withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping prolonged substance use. Each drug has its own set of withdrawal symptoms, but common symptoms include:

  • Sweats
  • Fever
  • Shakes
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Delirium
  • Irritability

Certain substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can cause seizures when people suddenly stop using them. These seizures can be life-threatening, but targeted medical treatment at a detox center can ensure patient safety and comfort.

Steps in Medical Detox

The medical detox process begins with a thorough psychiatric and medical evaluation. This helps detox providers understand how best to treat the patient in the next steps of medical detox. It also informs them of any conditions that should be monitored during a patient’s stay.

After the evaluation, medical treatment begins. Depending on the specific drug used, the length of use, and the quantities used, detox professionals will prescribe certain medications that can help with withdrawal symptoms and make the patient more comfortable.

Throughout the medical detox process, patients are monitored 24/7 for signs of distress, discomfort, or dangerous symptoms that require immediate medical intervention.

The next steps in medical detox are typically a careful taper off of certain detox medications. The goal of detox is to help patients achieve a clear mind and healthy body before they move on to substance use disorder treatment.

Medications that have been prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms are reduced in dose and eventually discontinued before the patient leaves the medical detox center. If medically necessary, certain medications may become a regular prescription, depending on the needs of the patient.

Withdrawal Stages of Medical Detox

Drugs like opioids, alcohol, or benzodiazepines have prolonged withdrawal periods. The first symptoms of withdrawal typically occur less than 24 hours after a person has last used substances and get progressively worse over the next few days.

During the peak stage — typically between days three and four — withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, and medical treatment for symptoms is in full gear. After this period is over, the next stages of medical detox provide continuing treatment and assessment for lingering symptoms.

What Happens After Detox?

While medical detox is a vital first step, it is not enough to create lasting sobriety for most people. Detox helps to deal with the physical symptoms of withdrawal, but the short time period isn’t enough to help people cope with the psychological component of addiction. As such, medical detox must be followed by substance use disorder treatment.

This treatment may come in the form of residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient programs. These facilities can equip people with the tools and skills needed to build a life in recovery.

Start the Medical Detox Process at Woodland Recovery Center – Mississippi

If you’re struggling to stop using substances on your own, reach out to the professionals at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi by calling 662.222.2989. Our team can walk you through the steps to starting a medical detox process and will be there to support you through every step of your recovery journey. You can stop using drugs and alcohol, and Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi can help you reach your goal.