Medical detox is a medically supervised and controlled withdrawal from drugs normally under the watch of a physician. Using drugs or drinking alcohol consistently over a period of time can cause a strong reliance or dependency on them and stopping this usage usually results in withdrawal symptoms for people who are dependent on them. The process medical detox is made so as to treat the immediate bodily effects of drug use stoppage and to extract the toxins that are left in the body which are usually the product of chemicals found in alcohol or drugs.
In order to safely withdraw from some specific substances which are highly addictive, it may be preferable and necessary to go through a medically supervised detoxification process in a hospital or a residential treatment center with a detoxification unit. This is especially advisable for patients who have been heavily using addictive substances for a longer period of time hence are more than likely to have strong withdrawal symptoms, or also those patients who have some notable health problems.
Detoxing at home or outside a medical facility usually results in overdose, relapse and sometimes death due to complications occurring during withdrawal. Research also shows that the most common cause of relapse during medical detox physical discomfort and the most common factor for patient who begin to successfully move to treatment and recovery is a strong level of support mentally, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually.
One of the most common types of medical detox is inpatient detoxification. This is a method which allows the patient to be monitored closely throughout the entire process and given the right type of medication so as to prevent serious withdrawal symptoms. It normally involves administering an agent that is closely related to the original drug of abuse in decreasing doses so as to prevent withdrawal (a process also known as tapering).