Detox or detoxification is a process by which a chemically dependent person returns to normal body functioning without drugs after discontinuation of that drugs on which he was dependent. This may occur with or without the use of chemo therapy.
The purpose of detox is to prevent the pain, discomfort and possible danger that can result from abrupt termination of a drug to which the patient has developed a physical and psychological dependence.
Detoxification is a period of time within the addicts life when a supervised and rational approach to the problem is delivered as a drug free life style may in the development stages. It includes a period of psychological readjustment that may permit entry of the patient into a more definite long term, drug free treatment.
Inpatient medically supervised detoxification is often recommended for high volume, long-term use of alcohol and benzodiazepine. Ambulatory or outpatient detox is sometimes recommended for opiate (heroin, pain medication) addiction. Stimulants such as cocaine and meth, or hallucinogens such as marijuana, ecstasy or acid don’t require a medical detox but the discomfort of withdrawal is assisted by intensive treatment and counseling.