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What is Medically Assisted Detox?

Medically assisted detox is a drug detoxification process that involves the aid of medically trained staff, equipment, and pharmaceuticals to ensure that safety and stability are maintained through the entire detox process from start to finish.

These types of programs use substitute drugs to dull the pain of physical withdrawal, allowing recovering addicts the opportunity to focus on the mental and emotional aspects of addiction.

This method of detox is not a substitute for addiction treatment programs and support groups, but rather, a very specific means of battling the detox program.  Medically assisted detox is a necessary first step during which we get the patient well enough to be able to engage in group and individual counseling.

It’s in group and individual counseling with trained therapists that we are able to identify, isolate, and treat the psychological issues which sustain addiction.  Often, relapse prone individuals who have had 20+ treatment episodes have failed to adequately address the internal issues which are causing relapse.

How long Does Medically Assisted Detox Take?

Medical detox can take anywhere from 3 to 7 days to complete and focuses on managing the physical symptoms of drug detox.  Powerful mental cravings also occur which can be alleviated with the medication we use at Detox of Delray.

It’s important to remember the distinction, rehab programs are generally 30 days long but can take up to 90 days to complete, and addiction itself is a lifelong battle.

Studies show that people who continue their substance abuse treatment with rehab after detox have much better clinical outcomes.  From the research that has been conducted, it seems that a total of 90 days of both inpatient and outpatient treatment offers clients the best chance at long-term sobriety [1-3].

Where Can You Go to Get Medically Assisted Detox?

Most reputable and accredited drug detox centers and rehab facilities offer some form of medically assisted drug detox. These facilities have medical staff, equipment, and the experience to ensure that these procedures are conducted safely.

A few things to keep in mind when seeking addiction treatment:

Wherever you go for treatment be sure it is a facility that is accredited and certified by the Joint Commission.  It is the role of the Joint Commission to set the highest performance standards for facilities offering substance abuse treatment.

At the link provided, you can log in as a guest at the top of the page.  From there you can perform a  search to check accreditation and certification of the facilities who have been able to meet the excellent standards set forth by the Joint Commission.

While the accreditation and certification mentioned above is voluntary, licensure from the Florida Department Of Children And Families is mandatory for any entity offering addiction treatment services.


When is it Necessary?

Medical Detox is necessary when the detox process is potentially fatal which includes the following substances:

  • Prescription opioid narcotics
  • Heroin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Alcohol
  • Fentanyl
  • Barbiturates

At the very least, some form of monitored detox should be considered when detoxing from any of the above substances.

Why Choose Medically Assisted Detox?

For some, it may be the only way to mentally and physically prepare for the hardships of the detox process, especially for long-time users and those who have quit before.

For those who fear the withdrawal process, medically assisted detox may be the only chance they have to quit, allowing them an option that dulls much of the pain of withdrawal while also maintaining the patient’s safety.


  1. R. L. Hubbard, S. G. Craddock, P. M. Flynn, J. Anderson, and R. M. Etheridge, “Overview of 1-year follow-up outcomes in the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS),” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 261–278, 1997.View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  2. D. D. Simpson, G. W. Joe, and B. S. Brown, “Treatment retention and follow-up outcomes in the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS),” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 294–307, 1997. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  3. D. D. Simpson, G. W. Joe, K. M. Broome, M. L. Hiller, K. Knight, and G. A. Rowan-Szal, “Program diversity and treatment retention rates in the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS),” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 279–293, 1997. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus

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