You may have seen depictions of someone detoxing from drug abuse or addiction in a TV show or movie. You might also know someone in your personal life who has gone through it. What you may have seen or heard might be more than a little sensationalistic, though.

If symptoms for substance abuse are becoming evident in someone you know, discussing rehab with them becomes crucial. The medical detox process could be their best option. You might wonder exactly what that entails, though. We will talk about what this process looks like in the following article. 

It Starts with an Assessment

Medical detox starts with the person who feels they’re having ongoing problems with alcohol or drugs meeting with a specialist in this area. No responsible doctor will thrust someone into the detox process just because they say they need it.

The doctor will examine them closely to assess their physical condition and ask them questions. They’ll ascertain what drugs they’re using, how long they’ve been using them, and how much they take each day. If they feel that a medical detox can help the afflicted individual, they will then suggest that to them.

The Doctor Will Decide Whether an Inpatient or Outpatient Facility is Better

If the doctor determines that a medical detox should take place, they’ll figure out whether the individual going through it should stay at an inpatient facility or whether they can get by with an outpatient one. Often, an inpatient facility will be necessary. If the afflicted individual stays there, they can be more closely monitored. They won’t be able to get their hands on their drug of choice if the process gets too hard.

The Detox Process Usually Takes About a Week

If the afflicted individual needs to stay in an inpatient facility, the detoxing process can take about a week, though this varies. The addict will be given a room where they can deal with the withdrawal symptoms privately. They’ll have the help of doctors and orderlies, though.

The detox process is often challenging. It can be painful or even excruciating if the addict has a full-blown chemical dependency. The process is also sometimes more lengthy if the doctors find it necessary to meticulously wean the person off the substance they’re using. In some instances, this is necessary as a precaution.

What’s Waiting on the Other Side?

If the afflicted individual can get clean successfully, they may feel weak and exhausted after they’re no longer physically addicted. Sometimes, weight loss will have occurred. They may not have been able to hold down any food, so now, they’re frail and nearly helpless. 

It’s at this point that they can talk to their doctor and start figuring out a plan for moving forward. They may need to have a lengthier stay at the clinic until they truly feel certain they won’t relapse. Medical detox isn’t easy by any means, but those going through it can start to be more hopeful about what their future holds.