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Medical Detoxification and Stabilization

Whether you’re interested in information for yourself or a loved one, our caring and compassionate staff is ready to help you start the journey to recovery. We’re glad you made this step toward getting help. Finding information is an important first step toward addiction recovery.

What Is Medical Detoxification?

Medical detoxification is often the first step in the addiction rehabilitation process. Detoxification involves clearing toxins from the body of a patient who is dependent on a substance, such as drugs or alcohol.

Depending on a patient’s needs, medical detoxification and stabilization can be done in an inpatient or outpatient facility.

Who Needs Medical Detoxification?

Medical detoxification is designed to help patients manage the symptoms of withdrawal from a substance and overcome physical dependency.

Medical detox programs are highly recommended for those who have severe addictions. Since withdrawal can lead to serious issues or, in severe cases, be deadly, inpatient medical facilities provide 24-hour monitoring and support.

However, not every patient with a chemical dependency will need a medical detox. And, if possible, a medical detoxification treatment program can be done at home or in an outpatient facility.

Talk to your doctor if you feel you may need a medical detoxification. Together, you can discover the best treatment plan for you.

What to Expect from Medical Detoxification

Just as every patient’s detoxification needs are different, every patient’s medical detoxification treatment will be different. In most cases, a medical detoxification program will begin with these three steps:


A medical team will screen new patients for physical and mental health issues. The medical team will likely ask questions about drugs that have been used as well as medical and psychiatric history. The information gathered will be used to set up a patient’s long-term treatment plan.

A blood test will also be performed during the evaluation phase to measure the amount of a substance in the patient’s system. This will help determine the medications needed for the most effective and comfortable detoxification.


Stabilization is the part of the detox process where the patient has stopped taking the substance and starts experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. During stabilization, the patient is usually stabilized with medical and psychological therapy to prevent any form of harm to the patient. Stabilization is different for everyone depending on the type of substance and amount of detoxification needed. If necessary, doctors can prescribe medication for addiction treatment to prevent complications and reduce withdrawal symptoms as detoxing from certain substances can be difficult and, in some cases, deadly.

Preparing for Detoxification Treatment

The final step in the program is treatment preparation. Doctors will familiarize patients with the treatment process and what to expect.

Patients who enter a medical detoxification and stabilization program will likely experience some side effects. In cases of extreme addiction, the detox process can be dangerous and painful.

Medical detoxification will lessen some of the symptoms of withdrawal, but others are unavoidable. Some common symptoms of withdrawal may include:

  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Body discomfort

Our team at Banner Health will take all necessary steps possible to ensure you have the most pain-free, comfortable medication detoxification journey possible.

After detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation and/or ongoing outpatient treatment offers the best chance of success for patients who are recovering from addiction.

Taking the first step to recovery is the most important one you can make. Our expert staff is here as you begin your journey to addiction recovery.