Many substance addictions come with excruciating withdrawal symptoms that aren’t only agonizing, but also life threatening. A medically supervised detoxification is necessary to protect the physical safety of patients with these addictions. The National Institute of Drug Abuse explains, “Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use.”
A medically supervised detox takes place in a residential addiction detoxification facility to enable 24-hour monitoring of vital signs and symptoms by a medical doctor. Physicians are also able to control severe physical and psychological symptoms using medications, which increase the likelihood of the patient completing the detoxification process and subsequently entering a substance abuse treatment program.
The setting of a residential detox removes the patient from the lifestyle of an active addiction, exchanging these distractions for an environment conducive to a successful detox and transition to an addiction treatment facility. In addition, medical staff members are often available for support and counseling throughout the detox procedure.
While it’s important to note that a patient can’t overcome addiction through a detox alone, a medically-supervised detox in a residential facility is a strong start. Addiction is a mental health condition in which the brain experiences physical changes that disrupt healthy thought processes. The mental and social consequences of an addiction can only be overcome after a treatment program of 90 days or longer is completed.