What Is Medically Assisted Detox?

Detox word written in a notebook

What Does Detox Medication Do?

Individuals who are addicted to alcohol or drugs frequently need to go through a medically assisted detoxification process as a key first step in their recovery from addiction.

In an intensive addiction rehab program, the goal of detox medication is to remove substances from the body so that patients are ready to address the physical and psychological aspects of their addiction.

At Bay Area Recovery, our kind and supportive medical staff use a medically assisted detox to help the patient get clean and ease off of any substances they’ve been using. We treat the person as a whole in a secure, therapeutic setting where the patient’s well-being is a priority.

What is Detox Medication?

The process of detoxification removes all traces of alcohol and drugs from the body and ensures that a person is stable and prepared to begin ongoing addiction treatment. By minimizing the negative effects of withdrawal symptoms, the medical alcohol detox process strives to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the patient.

Drug and alcohol detox medication treatment addresses the patient’s overall needs, not just his or her drug abuse. The word “detox” is used to describe the individual themselves. The term refers to the symptoms that a person recovering from alcoholism or drug misuse experiences.

To assist in the withdrawal from a specific drug, detox medication at Bay Area Recovery “runs in a taper that is based on the patient’s self-reported information”, says Billy, the program director at Bay Area Recovery. A tapering strategy gives the body time to get used to gradually lower dosages of the drug or medication. Billy states the “taper is dictated by the patient’s medical necessity and comfortability for the safest way to get off of everything.”

According to Billy, “there is not a black and white for everyone”. Every treatment is individual. As a patient advances along the path to recovery, their treatment is continuously assessed.

At Bay Area Recovery, every patient is a part of their medical detox planning. Patients at Bay Area Recovery work with doctors and nurses to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique needs.

The Detox Medication Process

Medical Assessment

In the first stage of a medically assisted detox, patients undergo a thorough medical evaluation to create a precise picture of their individual needs.


After the doctor has created a tailored detox plan based on their medical history and details regarding their addiction, patients will experience withdrawal symptoms.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the person’s general physical and mental health, the type of drug or alcohol they are addicted to, how often they have been using it, and how long they have been addicted. Billy states, “the detox medication process is dictated by the patient’s vital signs, and detox medication for alcohol can last up to 7 days, but we can even extend it.”

It’s crucial to realize that every individual goes through detox in a different way, and every detox is completely unique, regardless of whether someone has gone through the medically assisted detox process before.

Physical symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Exhaustion

Psychological symptoms of withdrawal may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

Detox Medication

To help patients cope with withdrawal, patients will be given the appropriate prescribed medication

as well as additional detox medications over the counter. The main drug medication we use to treat opioid withdrawal is Suboxone. It is also common for us to use Ativan and Librium for alcohol withdrawal symptoms. There is no drug that can stop every withdrawal symptom, however, some drugs can help alleviate them. At Bay Area Recovery, all detox medications are only prescribed in a taper to help reduce detox symptoms in a safe, comfortable, and timely manner. Once clients have completed the detox portion of treatment, they are completely taken off all narcotic medications.

Constant Support

Patients going through a medically assisted detox will receive around-the-clock support and compassionate care to ensure successful detox and the best possible outcome. Every individual at Bay Area Recovery is carefully monitored throughout the whole process, 24 hours a day.

Benefits of Detox Medication

After the detox medication process, you will finally feel like yourself again and be able to feel your pain and emotions. Notice improved relationships with everyone around you, increased interest in activities you once loved, better physical health, and so much more!

At Bay Area Recovery, “you’re here with peers, counselors, and the treatment team”, says Billy. The staff at our rehabilitation facility is always available to support you every step of the way.

Whether you’re attempting to quit drinking or break a drug addiction, we can help. Our team is ready to get you the help you need. Visit Bay Area Recovery Center!

William Smith

LCDC, SAP, ADC, Admissions Director

William, better known as Billy around here is head of our admissions team. If you inquire about any of our treatment services, you will most likely speak with Billy in some capacity. Billy is one of the most passionate people when it comes down to recovery. You don’t have to have a long conversation to understand how much he cares about helping others. A recovered addict himself, he knows how miserable it is for those and their families who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. He has been a part of Bay Area Recovery Center since 2008.

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