Medical Detox: What to Expect

medical detox

Addiction treatment will take you through many steps and many processes. The first and most integral stage of your recovery will begin with a period of medical detox. 1 out of 3 of our patients at Arizona Addiction Recovery Center will go through medical detox during their stay. During this time, patients will remain at a rehab facility where they will be closely monitored by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals as they cope with initial withdrawal symptoms of discontinued drug use, which can cause physical pain among other discomforts.

Detox – The Process

Withdrawal symptoms associated with ending drug use vary based on the patient’s drug of choice, the duration of their addiction, and their level of use. Heavy, long-term users tend to experience symptoms so severe that they turn back to using just to relieve the pain. When you enlist in a medical detox program, doctors can provide additional medications to help ease these discomforts and prevent relapse.

Medical professionals will also closely monitor blood pressure and other vitals in case of seizures or other serious reactions where sedation is sometimes necessary. Even if sedation or other substances are not required, and the addiction is not in its most severe phase, it’s important to have a medical professional monitor you at a treatment center to make sure that you are as safe and as comfortable as possible.

People wonder if they can detox privately at home. Technically, you can. But as you just read above, the dangers of unsupervised detox can be very severe and even fatal. Once your body has grown accustomed to the presence of a substance, cutting said substance off cold-turkey can shock your system and destabilize it further.


Suboxone and Subutex are two examples of controlled medications used to relieve the body of pain and toxic substances that result from opioid addiction. When prescribed correctly, Suboxone and Subutex serve their purpose in limiting the discomforts of withdrawal. The danger lies in faulty rehabilitation centers that over-prescribe these medications. Addicts are already in a very vulnerable state, and can easily develop a dependence on a substance that provides them with physical freedom from withdrawal.

Because of the inherent abuse potential of suboxone and subutex, medical professionals must take great care in analyzing a patient and prescribing the exact dosage they need. This is something we take very seriously at AARC: our mission is to heal our patients, not replace one drug dependency with another. Unfortunately, there are many treatment centers out there that do not have their patients’ best interest at heart. It’s important to do your research and make sure that the rehab you’re seeking provides honest and accredited treatment.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for those going through detox to be prescribed additional medications, such as antidepressants. This is done in order to cope with the emotional changes that are common reactions in almost all cases. Anxiety and depression can be expected as the brain attempts to re-balance itself without the assistance of substances. Again, the purpose of detox is to find an initial level of physical and mental balance so that a patient is more capable of continuing to abstain from the addictive substance. Detox alone does not have the power to cure you from your drug addiction.

Additional Treatment

Although medical detoxification is one of the most important parts of treatment, that process alone will rarely result in long-term sobriety. Addicts must pair detox with additional therapies, counselling sessions, and positive activity in order to better secure their chances for staying sober. Recovery has no destination, meaning you’ll have to work hard every day and focus on your new lifestyle in order to remain sober. Fill your days with physical activity, healthy meals, good music, fun friends, and anything else that promotes staying clean.

Finding a comprehensive detox program is the best way to get clean, and us at Arizona Addiction Recovery Center make it our mission to provide you with all of the elements you need for a full recovery. We have seen significantly better results in our guests who opt for and in/out-patient program once completing detox. The detox period itself is fairly brief, which is why the heavy importance lies in what comes next. From life coaching, to sober living and aftercare, to family integration and therapeutic support, our facility offers some of the highest quality service in the nation.