What Drugs Require Medical Detox?

Medical detox is the first step of almost every drug addiction treatment. It aims to cleanse the body of the addictive substance to prepare the person for further rehabilitation. But the question is, do all drugs require detox? And in that case, what drugs actually require a detox?

In this post, we will answer these questions and help you assess if you or a loved one needs to enroll in a detox program.

What’s a medical detox?

A medical detox is a supervised and structured treatment often done in an inpatient setting. It’s often the first phase of every addiction treatment, which helps manage life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

In general, the medical detox process lasts for about 30 days in a standard program. On the other hand, you can find a center that offers shorter programs for those who have mild addiction. Take note that this timeline widely varies, depending on the specific needs of a client.

During detox, a clinical team will provide 24/7 supervision to ensure that the person will receive immediate medical attention if needed. This includes medication management to make the withdrawal symptoms more bearable.

Aside from that, detox clients will also undergo a series of therapy sessions and counseling as part of relapse prevention. In most cases, it also includes family therapy to help each member create a supportive environment at home.

So who needs a medical detox, in the first place? Anyone who’s struggling with substance abuse can enroll in a detox program if they want to quit the drug. Whether you’re just on the onset of addiction or chronic abuse, a medical detox program would be a good start for your recovery.

What drugs require medical detox?

Most drugs, when abused, will require a detox for full recovery. This is why Los Angeles rehab facilities offer a variety of programs personalized for each drug or substance the person is struggling to quit.

In general, these are drugs that are often detoxified in an LA rehab center:

1. Cocaine

Cocaine is a highly stimulating and addictive drug, which can easily trigger addiction when abused. It’s derived from the coca plant and is strictly used for medical purposes only. In rare cases, doctors will provide it to patients, but it’s not easily available as a prescription.

Also, some may obtain cocaine illicitly and abuse it for the ‘high’ it could bring. From there, it will be hard to quit, unless medical measures are taken through a detox.

2. Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug derived from the poppy plant. It’s used for pain management under the close supervision of a doctor, but like cocaine, it can be misused or abused, leading to addiction.

Over time, fentanyl abuse will cause dependence, weight loss, breathing problems, hallucinations, mood swings, and a slew of health problems. Ultimately, a person could die from abusing this drug.

3. Heroin

Heroin is an illegal drug often abused for its stimulating effect. The most dangerous part about heroin is it can be consumed either by snorting, smoking, or injecting through a needle. If snorted or smoked, it will damage the lungs and if injected, it can cause collapsed veins or HIV/AIDS (when sharing needles).

In the long run, heroin addiction can trigger miscarriages, hepatitis, liver and kidney disease, abscesses, heart infections, and various mental disorders.

4. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine or meth is a highly addictive drug that can alter brain functions. It comes in pill, powder, or crystal form, which all deliver a ‘high’ feeling when taken. And like heroin, meth is an illegal drug, though many go to great lengths to get it.

In many cases, those who try to quit on their own end up going back to the drug in a more intense manner.

Good thing, the best rehab centers in LA have custom programs that can help people struggling with meth addiction.

5. Opiates

Opiates are widely used in the medical world to treat chronic pain. In fact, the likes of morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone are administered by doctors on a regular basis. However, much like any drug, opiates are prone to abuse.

Initially, opiate abuse will cause confusion, nausea, slowed breathing, and constipation. But without a proper detox, this addiction can lead to brain damage, coma, and even death.

Choosing the right medical detox centers

As much as detox is a necessary part of recovery, choosing the right rehab center is equally crucial. Here are a few points to keep in mind while you’re scouting for the best option:

1. Inquire about insurance coverage

Consider choosing a detox center that works with most major insurance providers. This way, the cost of rehab in Los Angeles will be covered as much as possible.

Aside from that, you should look for a rehab facility that’s open to discuss the financial aspect of your treatment. This will save you from a lot of surprises later on.

2. Look for personalized programs

For long-term recovery, the medical detox center should provide individualized programs specific to your needs. They should discuss the modalities with you and provide professional diagnostics to guarantee that you’ll receive the best care.

They should offer options for continuous care, which is crucial in maintaining sobriety.

3. Check their accreditation

Above all, you should only enroll in a medical detox center with proper accreditation and licenses. Look for accreditation from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and The Joint Commission. This is to ensure that you’re in good hands.

Aside from that, they should have an experienced team of addiction specialists to provide round-the-clock care.


Medical detox plays a big role in combatting substance disorders. Whether it’s heroin, cocaine, opiates, and so on, taking this first step is crucial for your long-term recovery. Just make sure that you enroll in a reputable and trusted detox center that can provide the care you deserve.

Most of all, you should remember that detox is only the first step of your recovery. It’s a long process and your commitment will pay off in the end.

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