How Detox Works
Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of an addictive substance while managing the symptoms of withdrawal, which vary with the type of drug. For example, physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes. These physical symptoms may last for several days, but the general depression, or dysphoria (opposite of euphoria), that often accompanies heroin withdrawal may last for weeks. In many cases, withdrawal can be easily treated with medications to ease the symptoms, but treating withdrawal is not the same as treating addiction.
In order to withdraw from certain addictive substances safely, it may be preferable and in some cases necessary to undergo medically supervised detoxification in our facility. This is normally the case for patients that have been using an addictive substance heavily for a longer period of time, and are thus more likely to have more severe withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient detox is also appropriate for those with other significant health problems. Inpatient detoxification allows the patient to be closely monitored throughout the process and given appropriate medication to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. It commonly involves the gradual administration of decreasing doses (tapering) of an agent that is related to the original drug of abuse that is now substituted to prevent withdrawal.