Withdrawal and Detoxification: 8 Things You Should Know

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Cleansing the body of drugs and other toxins is a crucial step in the recovery process from drug addiction. In fact, detoxing is so important that individuals battling a substance use disorder really can’t advance in the direction of true healing until detox has done its work.

Nurse taking blood sampleTo try and begin counseling substance abuse patients while drugs’ toxins are still in their system would prove futile. It would simply be setting them up for an inevitable relapse. And perhaps to an even stronger craving for alcohol or other drugs than before.

However, drug detox, as a key phase in the healing process, is subject to considerable mystery and rumor. Truth must be separated from myth. People needing this service from a reputable treatment facility should go into it knowing what to expect. This article lays out some important facts about drug detoxification – perhaps putting some misconceptions to rest for you.

The Facts Straight-up About Drug Detox

  1. Drug detox must be completed before drug rehab can begin. In order to receive proper treatment and counseling for a substance use disorder, all of the toxins from drugs must be removed from the body.1
  2. Drug detox is only the first phase of comprehensive care. To break the cycle of drug addiction, drug rehab should follow. Detoxification alone would likely result in a relapse back into drugs very soon.1
  3. Detox should be done under the care of a medical professional (medically-monitored detox) since a variety of symptoms may occur during withdrawal. Each individual patient’s situation is unique.2
  4. The detox process can be uncomfortable, difficult, and complex. The body is craving the drug of choice. Not only physical symptoms may result, but possibly self-destructive or aggressive behavior.2
  5. Duration of the detox can vary. Generally, the process takes two or three days. It depends on the type and amount of drug(s) used, how long they were used, family drug history and other considerations.
  6. If drug use is resumed after detox, an increased tolerance to the drug(s) – or a need for more – will likely result. The outcome of this action may be greater dependence on the drug(s) of choice.3
  7. Detox programs protect patients’ privacy. When individuals go through detox, they may exhibit some bizarre or disturbing behaviors. In quality programs, what happens in a clinic stays in a clinic.2
  8. Some patients are not able to complete drug detox successfully on the first try. They should not be discouraged! To move onto drug rehab, continued effort should be made to complete the process.3

Michael’s House knows all about the challenges facing those going through drug detox. We have the staff and resources ready to work with you on successfully completing this process in order to move forward to drug rehab. Michael’s House provides a peaceful and secure environment for focusing on cleansing and healing the body and, over time, regaining authentic self – the person you and your loved ones want back.

We understand the withdrawal symptoms associated with the detox process. May we help you prepare for what’s ahead and come alongside you to provide guidance and support? This is a crucial crossroads for you. Don’t entrust your care to anyone lacking the advanced knowledge and experience in order to execute it with excellence.

Contact Michael’s House today at 760.548.4032 for more information about our comprehensive and integrated residential rehab programs. We care from the heart.


1Frequently Asked Questions.” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). March 2017. Accessed 15 October 2017.

2Withdrawal Management.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2009. Accessed 15 October 2017.

3The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction: The Basics.” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). October 2016. Accessed 15 October 2017.