Medical Detox

The Benefits of Medical Detox

If you are struggling with drug or alcohol use, the first step in getting treatment is to undergo medical detox. This helps to set the stage for rehabilitation and subsequent stages of recovery. If you or a loved one is ready to seek professional help in overcoming your addiction, you may have some questions about what medical detox is or how it works. We’ll explain the basics and the benefits on this page.

To enroll in a medical detox program or learn more about what your treatment would entail, contact the treatment professionals at River Side Recovery Center. While detox is an important part of addiction treatment, it can be uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous if not handled correctly. Our facility is staffed by doctors, nurses, and therapists who will ensure the detox process is as safe and comfortable as possible. They will be on-hand around the clock to provide relief for any mental or physical health challenges that arise.

What is Medical Detox?

Detoxification is the process by which the body naturally rids itself of toxins. If you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol, you’ll experience unpleasant and possibly life-threatening symptoms if you stop using your substance of choice. When you undergo medical detox, you’ll benefit from supervision from medical professionals, medication, and counseling while your body purges itself.

This is a significant step in addiction treatment. It helps to relieve acute withdrawal symptoms and it clears your body of the addictive substance in the short term. However, it doesn’t address the cause of your addiction nor does it give you the tools to maintain sobriety in the long-term. It merely puts your mind and body in a state to receive therapy and learn how to change your harmful, addictive behaviors.

Is Medical Detox Necessary?

Given the stigma associated with addiction and the pain and discomfort associated with withdrawal, some people wonder whether they can detox at home. Quitting drugs or alcohol cold turkey on your own or in the company of someone who is untrained is dangerous.

You won’t be able to get relief from the worse of the withdrawal symptoms and if mental or physical complications develop, you won’t get the prompt care you deserve.

Who Needs Detox?

Self-detox is strongly discouraged, especially in individuals who have severe alcohol addictions or substance use disorders involving opiates, benzodiazepines, or barbiturates. This is because they’re likely to experience intense withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the substance. People who use multiple addictive substances are also at greater risk for an unpleasant detox experience.

Withdrawal from barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol can result in seizures that can have serious or even fatal consequences. There is no way to predict who will experience seizures so medical detox is recommended for everyone who is trying to overcome addiction.

Furthermore, many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol also have co-occurring mental health disorders. These can include depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and eating disorders. If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious mental health problem and you try to go through detox without medical intervention, your condition may worsen. This can lead to injury or self-harm. It is also important to note that some people have undiagnosed conditions and they won’t get adequate treatment if they aren’t formally assessed at a treatment facility.

Another consideration is that there’s a high likelihood of relapse during the detox process if you remain at home surrounded by triggers and temptations. When the withdrawal symptoms seem unbearable, some people give in and drink or do drugs so they get relief. While this alleviates the withdrawal symptoms, it also starts the cycle of substance abuse all over again. When you seek professional treatment services, the risk of relapse is lower.

Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Drug and alcohol addiction rewires the brain to the point where the individual doesn’t feel normal without the chosen substance in their system. That’s why you’ll experience negative side effects while your body purges itself. Every individual will have a different experience with withdrawal. This is based on a number of factors including:

  • The substance(s) the person used
  • The length of time the person was using the substance
  • The person’s mental and physical health

Many people who undergo detox experience strong cravings for the drug as well as a range of physical and psychological symptoms. Methamphetamine and cocaine withdrawal can result in exhaustion, depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, and nightmares.

However, detoxing from opioids often causes a different set of symptoms that include joint and bone pain, muscle aches, gastrointestinal discomfort and muscle aches. Irritability, psychosis, depression and anxiety can also result.

Meanwhile, alcohol detox can result in severe withdrawal symptoms especially if the individual drank heavily for a long period. The most common signs associated with withdrawal include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Irritability
  • Clammy skin

Seizures can occur among heavy drinkers. These are usually grand mal convulsions that can result in incontinence, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness.

Meanwhile, about five percent of individuals going through alcohol withdrawal experience delirium tremens or DTs. This is characterized by unexplained fear, sudden severe confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, irregular heartbeat, and deep sleep that lasts for a day or longer. People who develop delirium tremens are usually long-term, heavy drinkers who consume alcohol daily and don’t eat a lot of food because of their addiction.

I Want to Enter Medical Detox Near Me but How Do I Go About Paying for Detox?

The journey to long-term sobriety must start with detox, preferably a medically supervised detox. While there’s a cost attached to this, you should consider it an investment in your health and wellbeing rather than an expense. The cost of detox will vary depending on how severe your condition is and the type of treatment you need. To find out how much your program is likely to cost, call River Side Recovery Center or contact us via or website.

We accept most major forms of health insurance since we want everyone who needs addiction treatment to have access to it. Have your health insurance details at hand and we’ll quickly verify your coverage at no cost to you. Using your insurance to pay for detox and rehabilitation can widen your treatment options and reduce the amount you have to pay out of pocket. We’ll let you know how much your insurance carrier will pay so you don’t have to worry about whether you can afford detox.

It’s important to remember that addiction is even more costly than treatment. You can easily spend thousands of dollars on alcohol or drugs over the course of your addiction. Then, there are the intangible costs to consider. People who are in the grips of addiction often lose jobs, friendships, marriages, and even their very freedom if they get in trouble with the law. These consequences can easily exceed the cost of detox and rehab. If you invest in addiction treatment, you’ll be able to cultivate healthier thoughts and behaviors and improve your quality of life.

The Dangers of Detoxing Alone


Detoxing on your own is not a good idea. Withdrawal can be highly unpredictable, and you may not respond in the way you expect. If you start having seizures or develop serious medical issues, you need to have a doctor on hand to provide prompt treatment. Medical professionals will also identify physical or psychological problems in the early stages and intervene before your wellbeing is compromised. There is no substitute for 24-hour care from highly trained professionals.

Medical supervision reduces the likelihood of relapse. Drug cravings coupled with the unpleasant nature of withdrawal symptoms can drive people to start using again. This can lead to overdose since tolerance declines once you stop using an addictive substance.

If you’re enrolled in a treatment facility and being closely monitored, you won’t have access to drugs or alcohol. There would be no risk or either relapse or overdose. In contrast, when you’re at home, these risks are present and despite your best intentions, you may not be able to stop yourself from drinking or using drugs.

Medical detox is a much safer option. You’ll benefit from counseling, medication, nutritional support, and other interventions aimed at ensuring your safety and comfort. Detox can be a very difficult process but with the right professional help, you can successfully complete this stage and move on to rehab.

How to Enroll in a Detox Center

It all starts with contacting River Side Recovery Center either by calling or using a contact form on this page. If you’re ready to make a major change in your life and start the recovery process, talk to a member of our team. We’d be happy to discuss our treatment options with you and answer all your questions. Once we verify your insurance, you may be able to enroll in detox the very same day. We’ll provide you with the tools you need to live a healthier life that’s free from drugs or alcohol and guide you every step of the way toward sobriety.