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Demystifying Detox

Demystifying Detox

One of the most common deterrents keeping suffering addicts away from getting the help we so desperately need is the fear associated with detoxification and the withdrawal symptoms that accompany this process. In order to better understand and feel comfortable with the process of detoxification, we are going to take a look at how a typical detox process works.

The first step in any detoxification process is to be seen by a physician who specializes in addiction medicine. A thorough workup is typically done in order to identify any acute issues that are presently affecting the client and then a thorough drug history is taken in order to determine what medications need to be used as well as how long they need to be used for. For individuals who are addicted to alcohol or benzodiazepines, the most common medication used for detox is a type of benzodiazepine. In order to safely and comfortably wean the individual off off these drugs, the physician will prescribe what is known as a “taper” or “titration” which simply means they will begin at a higher dose and taper down the medication amount over the course of days or weeks until the individual’s withdrawal response has lessened to the point of the individual feeling comfortable but also being in the physiological safe zone. This method of tapering down medications until the physical symptoms of withdrawal subside is used in all drug detoxification. If an individual has been addicted to heroin, they would likely follow a similar structure as previously described, however, the medication for opiate withdrawal is typically Buprenorphine. This medication is not technically an opiate however it provides a similar feeling to opiates in order to make the detox more comfortable. Comfort serves a two-prong purpose in the context of detoxification. On one hand, it is arguably cruel to believe someone ought to quit cold turkey as this process can be extremely painful, and on the other hand, it also helps to ensure that the client stays through detoxification. Without comfort, there might be no client at the end of the detox process, and without a client, no healing can take place.

With the assumption that we are able to find a treatment center and a physician who are experts in the detox process, this initial phase of treatment can be much less uncomfortable than often times believed. The prospect of never gaining the courage to engage in recovery is a much scarier prospect than that of never trying in the first place.



Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.

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