medical detox

The Importance of Medical Detoxification

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

If you have abused drugs and alcohol for any considerable length of time, these substances significantly impact functioning of both your body and brain. If you have made the commitment to address your substance abuse, you know that the professional help and support that is found at a reputable residential treatment facility will give you the best chance to achieve long-term sobriety. Your goal of long-term sobriety must include a recovery plan that is made up of several components.

The first and arguably most important step in your residential treatment plan is successfully completing a medical detoxification program. Under the strict supervision of experienced medical and addiction treatment personnel, the medical detox process will allow you to withdraw gradually from the substances you are abusing, and you can do so in a manner which minimizes the dangers of the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that occur when you quit taking substances.

If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of medical detoxification, call First Steps Recovery toll-free today and talk to our experienced staff.

Going “Cold Turkey”: A Risky Proposition


All illicit substances have their own unique set of withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced once use of the drug has stopped. Depending on the substance or substances you have been abusing and the length of time you have been using them, you can experience considerable discomfort and pain once you quit taking drugs and/or drinking alcohol. You may feel quite uneasy about undergoing medical detox, and you may feel you can withdraw from substances on your own either using over-the-counter self-detoxification products or by quitting drugs “cold turkey” and riding out the withdrawal symptoms.

These methods are highly discouraged and can pose serious health risks. Without proper medical intervention in a highly controlled setting, the withdrawal symptoms that you can experience can become  extremely dangerous to your health and even become life-threatening–especially if you have underlying medical issues. While the detox process may sound frightening, you will be able to withdrawal from substances in an environment which is warm, safe and secure. Additionally,  you will also be monitored and evaluated around the clock to ensure that the withdraw process is as painless and tolerable as possible.

The Importance of Medical Detox in the Drug Treatment Process

The most important goal of medical detoxification in a residential treatment setting is to help you overcome your physical dependence on substances. Medical detoxification will also help your body regain its vitality and your brain can gradually return to its normal functioning. When you start a drug and alcohol detox  program as a part of a comprehensive drug treatment protocol, experienced detox staff have three main objectives they want to achieve in order to give you the best chances at a full recovery.

The first objective of medical detox is to complete a complete evaluation in which they test for both the amount and concentrations of substances in your bloodstream. Staff can also detect the presence of and diagnose any co-occurring mental disorders that may be accompanying your substance abuse. Drug abuse and addiction is often a symptom of a much deeper and complex issue that needs to be addressed and resolved when you enter inpatient treatment. If these underlying mental issues are not addressed during treatment using the appropriate interventions, any sobriety that you do achieve will be short-lived.

The second objective of drug detox is to allow you to achieve stability both medically and psychologically, as well as substance free. Medications can be used to help facilitate this process and is done in a highly controlled and supervised environment. As you slowly feel better and the toxins that had built up in your body have dissipated, detox staff can modify your treatment plan in a “stepdown” fashion. Once you are stable and sober, detox staff will start the third phase of the detox process which is to prepare you for your transition into intensive formal drug treatment.

How Long Will I Spend in Detox?

You may be wondering how long you should expect to stay in a drug detox program. The average length of time that you can expect to stay in drug detox can b 5 to 14 days, but it can run longer depending on several crucial factors which include the following:

  • the length of time you have been abusing substances and the amount of the substance you have taken.
  • the frequency of your daily substance abuse.
  • the abuse of multiple substances during your addiction.
  • any underlying medical conditions that may be present–as stated earlier.

One Important Thing to Remember About Medical Detoxification

If you are ready to start a medical detox program, there is one important thing to keep in mind. While a medical detoxification program provides many benefits, it does not a complete treatment program in itself. The purpose of medical detox is to assess the individual and establish a comprehensive treatment plan that best fits the individual’s specific needs. As also stated earlier, a detoxification program is needed to help overcome your physical addiction to substances and serves as a bridge towards inpatient drug treatment which will be needed to help address and correct the underlying causes of your addictive behavior.

In the detoxification process, detox staff gives you the message recovery is possible. It is during the medical detox process you fully realize that addiction lies within the brain and is not due to a moral issue or failing but an issue that involves a wide variety of social, environmental and biological factors. Ultimately, the importance of the drug and alcohol detox process is to motivate you to be proactive in regards to drug treatment where family and other support networks are involved in the treatment process.

The importance of medical detoxification in the recovery process cannot be stated enough. Detox will provide you the solid healthy foundation to build a solid lifelong recovery. If you are looking for a residential treatment facility that features drug and alcohol detox programs that is effective, proven to work for your unique needs and is safe, call First Steps Recovery today.

Meet Our Team
Meet Our Team

From our certified therapists and nurses to our emotional support animal "Cooper", our entire team is dedicated to the health and success of our clients throughout our program and beyond.

Help Is Available. Speak With Someone Today.

Our admission team is available to help 24/7.
Skip to content