What does detoxification entail

When people are addicted to drugs or alcohol, they often require detoxification as a critical first phase in their addiction recovery.

Detoxification is founded on the principle that anyone with physical issues must struggle to overcome any mental health problems. Thus, the purpose of detoxification is to address the physical domain of addiction so that patients are prepared to tackle the psychological issues of the habit.

Detox involves removing all traces of drugs and alcohol from the body to ensure that an addict is physically fit and ready to begin therapy.

Drug or alcohol addiction leads to the abuser’s body getting used to consuming the substances. When the drugs are gradually removed during detoxification, the addict’s brain adjusts to the abrupt drop in the chemicals, causing the addict to experience withdrawal symptoms.

The detoxification process aims to reduce the unpleasant impact of these withdrawal symptoms and ensure that the experience is comfortable and safe. The most potent form of detoxification is medically supported by experienced specialists such as those from Serenity at Summit. Trying to do detoxification on your own might not bear fruits, and it can lead to unnecessary withdrawal symptoms causing demotivation due to many failed attempts.

How is detox done?

The process of detoxification involves:

Medical assessment

The initial step in a medically supported detox is carrying out a thorough medical assessment on the addict to build an appropriate picture of their requirements. During the evaluation, trained personnel gather a patient’s medical information and develop the right detox plan.


When the level of drugs or alcohol in an addict’s system is reduced gradually, they generally start to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The nature of withdrawal symptoms experienced and how serious these are, depending on the duration the patient has been hooked to drugs or alcohol, the frequency of using the substance, the type of substance, and their general physical and mental health.

Withdrawal may come with several psychological and physical symptoms.

Physical withdrawal symptoms 

  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea, Nausea, and vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Shaking and shivering
  • Increased heart rate
  • High temperature or chills
  • Headaches
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams
  • Exhaustion

Psychological withdrawal symptoms 

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate


To assist patients, manage withdrawal, caregivers provide properly controlled medication. No medicine can avert all withdrawal symptoms. However, some can assist in easing depression and anxiety, insomnia and counter many other problems.

Around the clock support

Several studies show that compassionate and supportive care is as critical as medication in ensuring successful detoxification and the best outcomes for patients. Thus, each addict undergoing detox should be carefully monitored during the process.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of addicts enter addiction rehabilitation, and as abuse of prescription drugs skyrockets, the number of addicts who require treatment continues to rise. While different addictions may appear the same to an onlooker, the way substances affect the body differs: this is true, especially if you consider the individual factors that cause the development of abuse, its severity, and how it is treated. Environmental, social and biological factors are variables that are at the root of addiction, and the variability of these factors between people is essential to consider. Recognizing each person’s unique struggles in treatment can help ensure clients receive quality care designed to address those needs.

Helpful Links

Alina Lodge

New Jersey DHS

Serenity At Summit

Next Wind

The Philadelphia Tribune

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