The Role Of A Medical Detox Centre In Treating Substance Abuse

Updated on November 17, 2020

Substance abuse has detrimental effects that affect several aspects of a person’s life. People who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction can seek help from a medical detox centre. Fortunately, several effective treatments for addiction help an addict reduce dependency on toxic substances and even live a productive life. That is not to state that this condition has an immediate cure. However, with the right professional team of medical doctors and counsellors, coupled with various rehab treatment approaches, a patient can live a healthy lifestyle. Treating addiction alone can be difficult and even life-threatening to the patient without any expert medical help. A medical detox centre creates customized treatment plans that help substance abuse victims identify and eliminate the underlying factors that generate addiction. Detox centres do not limit their roles to assisting patients to detox; they provide them with mechanisms that will lead to a healthy, industrious, and happy life. Before proceeding with how these centres operate and what makes them unique, it is essential to analyse the dangers of addiction.

Drug and alcohol abuse are known to impair an individual’s cognitive reasoning and motor skill. Over time, the person’s body becomes dependent on these toxic substances, which poses several health risks and may affect other areas of their lives. Drug abuse often results in mild or acute withdrawal symptoms, depending on the condition’s severity, addiction duration, frequency of usage, body weight, substance administration mode, medical history, substance combination, individual’s mental health, gender, and the average intake dose. Here are some of the classes of toxic substances that cause withdrawal in patients:


Alcohol substances have short-term effects, but they leave long-term mental scars. Patients who battle with alcoholism tend to stay sedated almost all the time. When sober, they may experience paranoia, anxiety, and other related conditions. Long-term dependency on alcohol can lead to delirium tremens, a possible life-threatening effect.


This class of toxic substance includes OxyContin, Morphine, Heroin, and Vicodin. They create flu-like symptoms for individuals who withdraw from them. Although not life-threatening, they leave these patients in discomfort that can last for several days.


Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms feature acute psychosis that may persist for a week after the last intake—patients who experience this condition display strange behavioural patterns. However, with the right treatment procedure, it is possible to manage these symptoms.


Surprisingly, cocaine does not cause severe medical complications, unlike the likes of benzodiazepines and alcohol. But the withdrawal symptom can be life-threatening and long-lasting, with some patients experiencing these conditions for up to a month. Effects may include irritation, concentration difficulty, and anxiety. Worse yet, such patients tend to crave more substance abuse that puts their health at more significant risks.


Benzodiazepine class of drugs include Klonopin, Halcyon, and Valium. Although these substances work as sedatives, they tend to pose life-threatening complications to patients who withdraw. Symptoms may include hallucinations, tremors, and seizures.

The Ideal Recovery Path

In treating addiction, some individuals opt for rapid detox kits or cold turkey procedures. However, these methods are not highly effective and may come with potential risks, including relapses. An ideal medical detox centre implements a safer and more constructive approach to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms. When undergoing treatment, medical specialists ensure that the patient stays away from stressors that can trigger addiction, including stress. They also educate the individual on what to do about cravings. There is no room for wandering thoughts as each moment is spent on productive tasks.

Detox medical centres have counsellors that provide personalized training to help patients handle their innate fears and problems that may generate drug and alcohol abuse. They also teach them various coping mechanisms to help prevent relapse. These facilities help substance abuse victims connect with individuals that share the same struggle. There are group meetings where people can share their life experiences and learn from one another to enhance their recovery progress. As a result, the patient does not feel lonely and can even build a strong network of friends. When undergoing treatment, substance abuse victims are advised to commit to the treatment program wholeheartedly.

Treatment Procedures Provided by a Medical Detox Centre

It is worth noting that addiction can be detrimental, physically, mentally, and psychologically. Patients who suffer from this condition experience emotional triggers that may stem from their moods, environments, or other subtle cues. As a result, they need to develop new, healthy coping techniques that will address these problems. A medical detox facility helps them analyse their thought-pattern and behavioural flaws that may result in substance abuse. By doing so, they harness constructive thoughts and practices that produce a healthy lifestyle.

With productive treatment sessions, a patient can reduce or eliminate the chances of relapsing. Medical rehabilitation centres offer rehab programs customized to meet each patient’s addiction challenge. Their goal does not revolve on detoxification only; they also help individuals of various approaches restructure their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. Their therapy options include cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT), behavioural therapy, community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT), contingency management, integrative approach, multidimensional family therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), motivational interviewing, and dialectal behavioural therapy (DBT).

Treating a patient of addiction depends on the gravity of the substance of abuse and the individual’s personality. Hence, treatment programs may include exercise routines, meditation, yoga, Pilates, and even Tai Chi. Rehab medical specialists administer detox medications to reduce the effects of withdrawal, which comes at a cost. During detox, antidepressants may be prescribed as well to prevent emotional instability, including depression and sadness. Some of these may cost less than $50 per month, which others may fall in the thousand-dollar range.

Medically-supervised detox provides the first phase of successful addiction treatment to patients, both inpatients, and outpatients. During this stage, the individual’s body gets rid of toxins stemming from substance abuse. It is worth noting that detox does not serve as an alternative to rehabilitation; instead, it is an integral part of the recovery process that helps the victim undergo other mental and psychological therapeutical processes. People in medical detox centres receive 24/7 care from medical experts and counsellors to aid their withdrawal process.

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