Medical Detox Process for Drugs and Alcohol
Medical detoxification assists patients in safely managing acute withdrawal symptoms as their bodies begin to adapt to a substance-free state.1 At Oxford Treatment Center’s drug and alcohol detox center in Mississippi, we provide personalized 24/7 care and comfort for patients going through this part of recovery.
This page will discuss how medical detox works, the medical detox process, and common medications used to support patients.
Medical Detox Process for Drugs & Alcohol
When a person reduces or stops using drugs and alcohol after prolonged or heavy use, they can experience uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.2 Symptoms of withdrawal may vary depending on factors such as the type of substance used, the quantity and frequency of substance use, the presence of other medical conditions, and any history of previous alcohol or drug withdrawal.2
Medically assisted detox aims to help individuals manage their withdrawal symptoms as safely and comfortably as possible. When an individual begins a supervised medical detox for drugs or alcohol, they can expect to be evaluated, stabilized, and helped to transition forward with continued substance use disorder rehabilitation after successful withdrawal management.
These three essential components of the detox process are detailed below:1
- Evaluation: Upon arrival, each patient is screened for any substances remaining in their system. Patients are also evaluated for any co-occurring mental and physical health conditions, as well as their current social situation to best determine the appropriate level of care following the withdrawal management period.
- Stabilization: Patients are continuously monitored by a medical team who assist in managing the negative and potentially dangerous symptoms of withdrawal as their bodies transition to a medically stable and substance-free state.
- Helping a patient with continued treatment: Many patients benefit from continued treatment after detox to achieve long-term success. The treatment team will work directly with patients to help determine which level of continued care may be most ideal for them and their needs.
Each patient entering Oxford’s Mississippi drug and alcohol detox center will receive an individualized plan to safely support and manage their symptoms. It is important to note that medical detox at Oxford will differ for each patient, as plans are based on each individual’s unique needs. On average, detox lasts around 5 days. However, the length of time one remains in detox is usually indicative of several factors, such as how long they used and what substances they were using. Many patients continue treatment after they have completed detox, lengthening their stay to 30-day rehab and/or 60+ day rehab, depending on recovery progress and treatment needs.
What Kinds of Medications Are Used in Drug & Alcohol Detox?
For some patients, medication can be a helpful tool in managing certain types of drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.3 However, not every patient requires medication during medical detox. Each incoming patient is assessed by Oxford’s clinical team to create an individualized treatment plan, including if and what medications are used.
When necessary, medications used during detox at Oxford may include benzodiazepines to assist in managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms and preventing withdrawal complications such as seizures, and buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that can assist patients withdrawing from opioids like heroin. Additional “comfort medications” may be administered supportively at Oxford Treatment Center to help soothe unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as pain and nausea.
Patients at Oxford are continuously monitored by the medical team throughout detox and treatment plans may be adjusted as they advance through the program.
How to Detox from Drugs or Alcohol Safely
Detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be difficult, especially when withdrawal symptoms begin to set in. When looking to detox from an addictive substance, doing so in the care of professionals can help make this process more comfortable and safer. This is extremely important because the withdrawal symptoms a person can experience based on the substance they are coming off of can range in severity. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with the more commonly misused substances can include the following:1
- Alcohol – Seizures, delirium, and problems with the liver and the heart
- Cocaine – Stroke, cardiovascular collapse, myocardial infarction, and severe depression
- Heroin – Dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting, nausea, goose bumps, runny nose, and teary eyes
- Marijuana – Irritability, sleeping problems, concentration problems, and involuntary eye movements
Detoxing from drugs or alcohol in a supervised, professional environment can help keep people safe, reduce risks of serious complications, and facilitate access for additional medical attention, should it be necessary.
Though medical detox is an important first step for many addiction treatment journeys, it alone is rarely sufficient in helping people achieve long-term abstinence.4 After the withdrawal management period, patients in Oxford’s detox program have the option of continuing treatment in a variety of levels of care including:
- Inpatient residential rehab.
- Outpatient addiction treatment.
- Partial hospitalization program.
- Intensive outpatient program.
You will not be alone in investigating options after detox, as Oxford’s team assists each patient in creating a unique treatment and aftercare plan.
Getting Admitted to Medical Detox
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, start the treatment admissions process today by calling Oxford’s admissions navigators available 24/7 at .
Oxford’s compassionate admissions navigators will be walk you through the admissions process and answer any questions you may have on drug and alcohol rehab in Mississippi and helping a loved one with addiction.