Why is Medical Detox Necessary and is it For Everybody?

Medical detox is a choice some people make, or are encouraged to make, because of a need to get off of drugs or alcohol. It is the first step toward recovery. The physical and mental impact of addiction requires time and care to overcome. Without an initial detox, there is no way to move beyond drug or alcohol use.


Detox involves enduring the physical and mental impact of the body going through withdrawal and adjusting to lack of drugs or alcohol in the system. Everytime a person uses drugs or drinks, the body becomes acclimated to the presence of that substance. The chemistry of the brain changes and things shift in a way that the brain and body crave more of the substances.

Why Detox Matters

The body requires a balance of chemicals to function properly. Repeated drug or alcohol abuse interferes with that balance. Physically changing the structure of the brain and the way the brain works shifts a lot of things. Many substances impact the neurotransmitters in the brain, sending faulty signals that impact reward and pleasure centers of the brain. Continued use leads to addiction and cravings to function just on the drugs and it is harder to function without it. Detox helps restore the body following addiction. Accepting addiction and choosing to complete drug detox is an important step. A complete detox program is part of the decision and first step in the journey to sobriety. Once this is done, the learning that occurs will help a person begin to live without drugs or alcohol.

Post Detox and Rehab

When a person completes detox, they are ready for rehab, then aftercare and recovery. These crucial steps are part of the journey of recovery from addiction. Detox is important but it is not the whole process. Detox only lasts a short amount of time, mostly five to seven days. Once you complete the detox program, you may leave the program and transfer to a rehab center to continue recovery. Though your stay may be short, a detox facility will help you begin recovery and set you on a path to sobriety. Cravings can and will return after detox. Cravings can be triggered by situations and emotions, even smells and sounds. Anything the brain associated with drug use can be a trigger. Achieving successful detox and recovery includes:

  • Maintenance medication to suppress cravings for alcohol or opioid addiction. This helps restore brain chemistry and maintain cravings.
  • Behavioral therapy to identify and eliminate negative behavioral patterns. Behavioral therapy is key to relapse prevention by helping people learn to recognize and cope with triggers.
  • Treatment for mental health issues that come up alongside addiction which prevents relapse and encourages sobriety
  • Support groups for community

Recognizing the importance of detox in recovery is key if people are ready to get sober. Detox is vital to recovery but not the only stop on the journey. Further treatment is needed to continue recovery and maintain sobriety.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.