Medical Detox: What to Expect During the Process

Learn everything you need to know about medical detox and where to get help in this comprehensive article.

What Is Medical Detox?

Having the right protocols in place is essential to an effective detox. Medical detox will keep the recovery process as safe and comfortable as possible to achieve high success rates.

When someone abuses an addictive substance for a long period of time, they will develop a dependence on it. Drug dependence can be either physical or psychological. When an individual has a drug dependence, getting the substance out of their system is necessary to receive effective treatment. This is called medical detox, where drug use is stopped completely.

 Medical Detox

Importance of Medical Detox

However, it’s likely to experience withdrawal symptoms upon stopping drug use. Withdrawal from substances can range from mild to severe. Medical professionals provide around-the-clock medical care during medical detox to manage withdrawal symptoms and keep clients safe and comfortable.

When withdrawal symptoms are severe, it’s necessary to have medical attention available to provide patients with effective levels of care. Many negative health consequences can occur when withdrawal symptoms aren’t treated properly.

Medical Detox at Essence Healthcare

At Essence Healthcare, we provide everything that is needed for an effective detox program. Our staff is highly trained and certified to provide the best possible results.

Upon beginning treatment, you’ll receive a full medical diagnosis. Your diagnosis will help us plan for an effective detox program that fits your needs. We’ll be by your side each step of the way through this process. You’ll never have to feel like you’re going through it alone.

Why Is Medical Detox Necessary?

When left untreated, addiction can have many lasting negative effects on the mind and body. Medical detox is necessary to get addictive substances out of your system. Having medical care during treatment is especially important for various reasons.


One of the main reasons is safety. Medical professionals can help predict or watch for severe withdrawal symptoms. Those who have struggled with addiction for a long time or took higher doses of a substance are more susceptible to serious withdrawal symptoms. However, it ultimately comes down to many factors that could occur during detox.1

If you don’t have the right type of care during treatment, it can lead to many adverse consequences. The adverse effects of serious withdrawal symptoms can lead to long-term health issues when untreated. The major consequences of withdrawal include delirium or seizures. Untreated delirium or hallucinations from withdrawal can lead to many negative behavioral symptoms. While seizures only occur in 2%–3% of cases, the effects can be severe.2 

When you choose treatment at Essence Healthcare, we’ll ensure you stay safe. We put the right protocols in place during medical detox to make the process go smoothly.

Relapse Prevention

Another important reason to seek medical care during detox is to prevent relapse. Data shows that 20%–50% of people relapse in the short term after stopping drug use. In addition, 65% of people relapse within ninety days of detoxing from drugs.3 This high percentage is often due to not receiving the right care during the detox process. When someone receives well-rounded treatment, that percentage can be reduced significantly. Nonetheless, it is important to note that relapse does not indicate failure. As with many other chronic illnesses, relapse is part of the process and can even help strengthen the relapse prevention plan.

Long-Term Benefits

Medical detox can also be beneficial in the long term. You must have the right treatment protocols to ensure long-term success. Up to 68%–71% of people remain sober for six months or longer after completing a long-term treatment program.4


Another way medical drug detox can help is comfort. Treatment facilities provide a safe, structured environment to encourage healing. You’ll always have medical care and a solid support system by your side throughout the process.

When you choose treatment at Essence Healthcare, you’ll feel welcomed from the moment you walk into our facility. We aim to make medical detox programs feel as comfortable as possible. You are not just a number here. We create tailored treatment plans to fit your exact needs.


Medical professionals can prescribe medication to help minimize potential withdrawal symptoms. Administration of medications is the easiest during a medical detox to help manage doses. If you require medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms, choosing a medical drug detox will be your best bet.

Alcohol, opioid, stimulant, and benzodiazepine addictions typically require medication for withdrawal symptoms. Several medications have been clinically studied to help ease withdrawal for each of these substance use disorders.

Medications that Can Ease Withdrawal Symptoms

The most common include:5

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Acamprosate
  • Baclofen

At Essence Healthcare, our medical staff can help determine if medication assistance is right for your specific needs. Our staff is highly trained to prescribe the correct medications and determine the correct dosages.

Substance Use Treatment

Can You Detox at Home?

A home detox is possible but isn’t always the safest or most effective treatment option. When you detox from home, you put yourself at risk if any negative health complications arise. This is especially true if you don’t have anyone helping you and monitoring your symptoms. In most cases, getting inpatient detox treatment will be the best option to ensure proper safety.

What Are the Risks of a Home Detox?

There are several risks that can occur with a home detox, including:
  • Severe Withdrawal Symptoms: Some withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous or life-threatening. Serious withdrawal symptoms can include delirium, dehydration, difficulty breathing, seizures, and more. If any of these occur, you need immediate medical care. 
  • Relapse: Withdrawal symptoms aren’t easy to manage on your own. You’ll likely experience strong cravings for drugs during the detox process. When left alone, relapse is more likely to occur. Whereas, in a structured environment of an inpatient treatment center, you’ll be much more likely to stay on track with treatment. 
  • Mental Health Issues: Detox not only affects the body, but it can also impact the mind in many ways. Psychological withdrawal symptoms can cause mental health problems like depression and anxiety. When left untreated, these symptoms can cause a lot of distress during detox.
  • Overdose: In case of relapse, when someone uses drugs for the first time after stopping, their body won’t respond the same way it used to with the substance. People typically take the same amount before detox, increasing the risk of an overdose.
At-home detox can have serious consequences. Your best bet is to choose a high-quality medical detox center to help you get the best results in a safe environment. 

The Benefits of Having Medical Supervision During a Detox

Several benefits make it a worthwhile investment to get medical supervision during a detox. Benefits of a medical detox include:

Safe and Structured Environment

To get the best results from detox, removing yourself from temptations can be a good first step. One of the most effective ways to combat cravings and withdrawal symptoms is inpatient detox treatment. During this process, you’ll be in a safe environment that encourages safety and healing.


Going through detox alone is a tough process. You want to have someone to turn to during this time when you’re struggling or feeling like giving up. At Essence Healthcare, our supportive staff will be with you each step of the way to help.


Detox isn’t a one size fits all process. You need to find protocols that fit your specific needs. While treatment professionals are good at designing effective programs, there still may need to be adjustments along the way. If you’re ever feeling like something isn’t working, a medical treatment staff will be there to help you out.


It really can’t be stressed enough how important safety is during the detox process. Many complications could be prevented or minimized with the right medical care. If you want to be as safe and comfortable as possible, medical drug detox is the answer.

Increased Chance of Recovery

Detox helps increase your chance of recovery. This is especially true if you continue inpatient treatment or receive aftercare upon completing a detox program. Long-term treatment options will help you create lasting plans for success and recovery.

You’ll receive all these benefits when you choose detox treatment at Essence Healthcare. Our programs use evidence-based methods to help you get the best results during and after medical detox.

What Is the Process of Medical Detox?

Now that you’re familiar with the importance and benefits of medical detox, we’ll break down the steps of the process and the types of treatments offered.

The Common Steps of Medically Detoxing

The common steps of medical detox include:
  • A Full Medical Diagnosis: Before beginning treatment, you will receive a full diagnosis. Your diagnosis will help determine the severity of the addiction and the right treatment protocols to put into place. 
  • Integration Into the Treatment Center: When you begin a detox program, you will be introduced to the treatment center and what is offered. You will also get an overview of what your treatment program will look like. 
  • Stopping Drug Use: All drug use must be ended upon beginning a detox. Once you stop using substances, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal usually starts between six to forty-eight hours after the final dose of a substance. 
  • Medical Care: When you experience withdrawal, you will receive medical care throughout the process whenever you need assistance. 
  • Continuing Care: Once you’ve detoxed from drugs, there are still more steps in the path toward recovery. Continuing care will likely be recommended to receive additional therapy and treatment. This will help you work on coping skills and learn how to manage the stresses of life without drugs or alcohol. 
At Essence Healthcare, we help you through each of these steps of the detox process. We ensure you are comfortable with the process before beginning and provide medical support throughout. 

What Are Other Types of Treatment Offered During Detox?

Several types of treatment are offered during and after a detox program.


Therapy is a common staple of most drug treatment programs. During therapy, you’ll learn life skills and coping mechanisms that help manage life after addiction. Your therapist may also be able to uncover underlying conditions that are contributing to the addiction. Treatment of co-occurring disorders like mental health, trauma, or physical injury will be essential to effective recovery. 

CBT: a Great Asset in Recovery

Support Groups

Support groups and group therapy are often part of the treatment process. Support groups provide more of a community feel to treatment programs. This way, you receive support from care professionals and peers who have gone through similar experiences as you. Many studies suggest that peer support can reduce substance use, improve self-efficacy, and increase treatment engagement.6

Support Groups: Extended Guidance Through Healing

Additional Resources

Other resources will also be available at treatment centers to practice life skills and build healthier habits. Many detox facilities offer areas to exercise and practice things like yoga and mindfulness. Getting into a healthy and active routine will help facilitate success.

Why You Should Continue Treatment After Your Detox

Continuing onto a full inpatient treatment program will often yield the best results after a medical detox. When you first finish a detox, your body and mind are still adapting to life without using substances. This can be a crucial period of time where additional treatment will be highly beneficial.

On top of that, there are various reasons why someone may have started abusing substances in the first place. Getting good results from treatment is much more difficult when underlying conditions are still prevalent. Long-term care is necessary to work on any underlying issues that are causing drug abuse to occur in the first place.

Long-Term Treatment

A long-term treatment program is the best bet to get good results. Studies have found that treatment of six months or longer helps reduce or eliminate drug use by up to 70%. So, doing your due diligence to get enough care will be highly beneficial in the long run.7

What Is Aftercare?

Aftercare is another important part of treatment. It involves continuing care after you receive a full medical detox or complete an inpatient treatment program.

Most treatment centers will offer resources for aftercare, like continuing therapy, local support groups, or scheduled check-ins with treatment professionals. These resources help keep you on track and prevent relapse post-treatment.

How to Maintain Sobriety After Detox Treatment

After finishing a medical detox, you need to have a plan in place to maintain sobriety for the long term. One of the best ways to do that is by creating a relapse prevention plan. Treatment professionals at a medical detox center will often help you put a plan in place for who you will call, what you will do, or where you will go when you are struggling.

Alongside relapse prevention, other support systems like therapy and support groups are common after treatment. Support groups like 12-Step programs are often recommended, as they provide a positive community full of people who can be there for you whenever needed.

 medical detox

How Essence Healthcare Integrates Treatment Into Medical Detox

At Essence Healthcare, we offer well-rounded treatment programs alongside medical detox.  Our mental health and substance abuse treatment facility provides a comprehensive range of treatment options. We develop personalized and tailored treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each individual.

Our Programs

Our programs include outpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, and individual counseling sessions. Outpatient programs can be a good alternative to a home detox for those who have less severe addictions or don’t want to neglect family or work responsibilities during treatment. 

Evidence-Based Treatment Modalities in a Safe Space for Healing

We offer evidence-based treatment approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). We also provide holistic therapies, such as yoga, meditation, and nutritional counseling, to support individuals in their recovery journey. Combining these therapies helps build the skills necessary to make a successful recovery after treatment. Upon leaving our facility, we aim to provide you with all the tools needed to maintain long-term sobriety.

Our facility provides a supportive and caring environment that helps clients feel at home while they receive treatment. We also offer online therapy for individuals who may not be able to attend in-person sessions. Whatever your needs, our facility has the resources available for you. 

Contact Essence Healthcare to Get Help With Medical Detox Treatment

Essence Healthcare is dedicated to providing comprehensive and effective treatment to help individuals achieve lasting recovery and improve their mental health and well-being.

You can contact us at Essence Healthcare today to learn more about medical detox and treatment options. We’re here to help answer any questions or concerns before beginning care at our facility.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.