Why Is Detox Necessary?

August 14, 2020

When the body has grown accustomed to getting a certain substance, eliminating that substance can instigate severe physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Detox — which is short for detoxification — is the name given to the process that takes place as a substance naturally leaves the body.

Why is detox important? Detox allows your body to resume normalcy. Chemical substances will be removed so you can proceed with further recovery and sobriety plans. For individuals preparing for recovery from addiction, the drug addiction detox process can be one of the scariest hurdles to overcome. Having professionals to help you safely get through the detox process can make all the difference. 

Detox Methods Explained

Each person’s detox process can be unique — what works for one may not work for others. Even though detox centers for drug addiction can employ a vast array of methods and techniques to help an individual through detox, all methods fall under two categories.

Medically Assisted (Medically Supervised) Detox

Medically assisted drug addiction detox is most often done in a specializing facility. The individual is constantly under the direct monitoring of a combination of medical professionals and professionals trained in addiction and mental health.

The ongoing observation during medically supervised drug detox is beneficial for the patient because he or she is monitored for potential complications the entire time. Additionally, medications may be administered to help reduce severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medically assisted detox tends to be the safest option for most individuals.

Clinically Managed (Social) Detox 

Clinically managed detox takes place in a standard facility, but not typically in a medical setting. The individual may be given a private room with a bed where he or she can rest during the detox process. Even though social detox does not include medications or medical supervision, the detox is usually supervised by professionals in the mental health field. Peer encouragement, counseling and other helpful adjunctives may be included in the process.

Psychological and Physiological Challenges During the Drug Addiction Detox Process

Each person struggling with addiction can have circumstances that affect the detox process, such as:

  • • The type of substance or substances the person has been using
  • • How long the individual has been using the substance
  • • The amount of substance the individual has been accustomed to using
  • • How the used substances were consumed (intravenously, orally, etc.)


Underlying mental health issues and physical health issues can also have a huge effect on what detox is like. The range of symptoms can vary from person to person due to the many underlying factors involved. However, some of the physical and psychological side effects of detox may include: 

  • • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues
  • • Overwhelming physical pain and hypersensitivity to pain
  • • Agitation, restlessness, irritability and frustration
  • • Intense cravings for the substance
  • • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • • Severe depressive episodes
  • • Delirium tremens (DTs), which can include confusion and disorientation
  • • Excessive sweating
  • • Tremors and shaking
  • • Seizures
  • • Coma 

A Note About Solo Drug Addiction Detox at Home

Drug addiction detox at home is rarely recommended due to the physical and psychological complications that can be associated with the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. You may face severe physical implications by trying to stop using. Withdrawal symptoms can potentially be fatal in the worst cases. Further, risks can come along from the intense cravings you face throughout the detox process, such as the urge to seek a substance and use more than usual. 

Buena Vista Recovery Offers a Detox Center for Drug Addiction

The drug addiction detox process can be scary, and it is not something you should go through alone. Buena Vista Recovery offers a medically supervised detox center with well-trained, caring staff to help you throughout the detox process. Your detox stay can be between two and 10 days. Your initial assessment will determine how long you will stay and the precise methodology used.

Our team of nurses and board-certified physicians will monitor you and help guide you to the next steps in your recovery process post-withdrawal. If you are ready to discuss detox or begin treatment, contact us for more information.