Drug Detoxification

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Drug detoxification is a collective of interventions directed at controlling acute drug intoxication and drug withdrawal. It refers to a purging of the substance of abuse from a patient's body who is acutely under the influence or dependent on the substance to which they are addicted to. The process of detoxification aims at lessening the physical effects caused by the additive substances.

Detoxification programs do not necessarily treat the other implications of drug addiction: namely, psychological aspects of addiction, social factors, and the often complex behavioral issues that are intermingled with addiction.

There are typically three steps to drug detoxification[1]:

  1. Evaluation: Upon beginning drug detoxification, a patient is first tested to see which specific substances are presently circulating in their bloodstream and the amount. Clinicians also evaluate the patient for potential co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis, and mental/behavioral issues.
  2. Stabilization: In this stage, the patient is guided through the process of detoxification. This may be done with or without the use of medications but for the most part the former is more common. Also part of stabilization is explaining to the patient what to expect during treatment and the recovery process. Where appropriate, people close to the addict are brought in at this time to become involved and show support.
  3. Guiding Patient into Treatment: The last step of the detoxification process is to ready the patient for the actual recovery process. As drug detoxification only deals with the physical dependency and addition to drugs, it does not address the psychological aspects of drug addiction. This stage entails obtaining agreement from the patient to complete the process by enrolling in a drug rehabilitation program.[2]


  1. ^ U.S Department of Health and Human Services (2006). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment. pp. 4–5. 
  2. ^ CRC Health Group


Faith (for Content):