The Phases of Medical Detox

Medical Detox

Medical Detox

Getting the help you need for substance use can be difficult to admit, let alone, actually follow through with receiving. What can make getting help easier, however, is understanding the whole process of what that help will involve. Below are some things you can expect when going through detox in a medical facility.

  1. Evaluation

When entering a facility for medical detox, you can expect to be assessed. The assessment will include testing to see how much substance is in your system and what that substance (or substance) is. Your medical history and any pre-existing conditions you may have or have had will also be taken into consideration.

The entire assessment process is designed to figure out what level and type of help you’re going to be needing as you go through the detoxification process. Once this is determined, the patient’s treatment during their medical detox can be mapped out.

  1. Withdrawal

One of the hardest parts of medical detox is going through acute withdrawal. The initial withdrawal is going to be the most difficult, but it’s also a big first step in the recovery process.

Withdrawal symptoms will vary from one person to the next and will also depend on the substance(s) they used, how much is currently in their bloodstream, how long they’ve used said substance(s), and their overall health.

Some common withdrawal symptoms may include, but are not excluded to: sweating, shaking, irritability, vomiting, increased heart rate, headaches, exhaustion, restlessness, moodswings, anxiety or depression, and hot flashes and/or chills. Severe withdrawal symptoms might include delirium, hallucinations, or seizures.

  1. Stabilization

While withdrawals can be uncomfortable, the good news is that with a medical team by your side, you can rest assured that your condition will be stabilized as much as possible throughout the detox process.

Stabilization may include the use of controlled medication to ensure the patient has an easier time coping with withdrawal symptoms. Some facilities, however, may not choose to provide medication. The patient will, though, have 24-hour, around-the-clock support if they ever need help managing their symptoms, and they will be frequently monitored and checked on.

  1. Preparation for Treatment

As the detoxification process becomes more stabilized, the facility the patient is in may begin educating the patient about the next step towards sobriety. After all, becoming sober does not stop after detoxing.

A continuum of sobriety might come in the form of an inpatient or outpatient program. A substance use program can help guide a patient to a healthy life after substance use. This might include therapy, resources, and other forms of guidance to enlighten recovering patients.


Substance detox can be difficult and quite intimidating. The good news is, the process is much easier and smoother when doing it in a medical facility. From evaluation to preparation for treatment after the initial detoxification process, detoxing with 24-hour care by your side can be one of the safest and best things you ever do for yourself along your journey to soberhood.