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Medical Detox

Medical Detox - or medical detoxification - is carefully tapering the body off a substance to avoid harmful side effects of withdrawal. This process is crucial in improving health and wellness. Medical detox is equally as essential in starting rehabilitation and recovery, despite being uncomfortable.

What is Medical Detoxification?

Moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms associated with withdrawal from alcohol, sedatives, or opiates, are managed through Landmark’s detoxification program. The program also prepares the patient for the appropriate ongoing treatment to restore them to a healthy and sober state.

Landmark clinicians can prescribe supplements that have been designed for detoxification, including food, drink, and prescription medication, depending on the severity of their addiction and the type of substances they abused. Detoxification often lasts for the first 10 days of treatment, depending on usage history and intensity.

The detoxification period is monitored 24/7 by professional clinicians, both an internal medicine specialist and a psychiatrist doing rounds for the patient daily, and are available as needed.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Landmark Recovery may recommend medication used to aid in the detox process, depending on the patient. Negative side-effects of withdrawal are, typically, combated with these medicines along with clinical monitoring to eliminate the possibility of death or relapsing during the process. Commonly used medications for detox include:


Suboxone is two different drugs combined: naloxone (an opioid antagonist) and buprenorphine (an opioid activator). These opposing drugs provide an efficient way to slowly wean off of a pre-existing addiction to minimize the effects that a full-scale withdrawal would trigger. Suboxone is administered through a pill or light film intended for the treatment of opioid addiction.


Buprenorphine, a part of suboxone, can be given by itself. It works on the same opioid receptors heroin effects, although it’s not as potent and is limited. Buprenorphine is good for withdrawals and cravings during medical detoxification.


Campral was on the market when it was approved in 2004 by the FDA, and is used for alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Campral is a useful tool to achieve long-term sobriety from alcohol, shown through clinical studies. It stimulates the brain’s GABA receptors, Akon to benzodiazepines, while subduing NMDA receptors. This makes alcohol withdrawal easier to cope with and restores the brain to a stable state.

Anticonvulsants and Anti-Nausea Medications

Serious physical side effects like seizures, nausea, and diarrhea, can happen during withdrawal from drugs. Appropriate amounts of anticonvulsants and anti-nausea medication are administered by clinicians to ease this part of the process. Gabapentin, Dramamine, Tegretol, and Zodran are some of the drugs used to ease these symptoms.

Is Detox Dangerous?

Detox can be a dangerous and potentially life-threatening process. Withdrawal from alcohol can produce complications such as convulsions, where the body goes into epileptic seizures, and cardiac arrhythmia, where the heart goes into spasms, two possibly fatal outcomes for heavy drinkers who go cold turkey. This is why hospitals and treatment centers will sometimes advise individuals to continue drinking before checking in for treatment.

At Landmark Recovery, patient withdrawal is medically managed in a residential setting and 24/7 care providers are available to monitor for possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and DT’s.

What is Medical Detoxification Like?

A comprehensive history and physical exam will be administered to the patient by Landmark staff upon admission. To ensure appropriate care is provided after detoxification, a discharge plan will be made. The intake clinician or primary addiction counselor will complete a biopsychosocial evaluation within 24 hours and will also assemble a Master Treatment Plan for the patient's stay. To discuss the appropriate ongoing treatment options, a patient's family members will be brought in.

Patients may be discharged from the medical detox program after any of the following criteria are met:

  • Patients doesn’t meet all aspects of the medical necessity defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria for substance-related addiction and co-occurring conditions
  • The patient and their family is not involved- to the best of their ability- in the planning process for treatment and discharge as well as there is no reasonable chance of improving this condition
  • The patient is presently suicidal, has violent behavior, or has a life-threatening illness/condition that requires transfer
  • The patient is pregnant

Finding Help Today

Addiction can make it difficult to live a normal and healthy life. You can struggle with shame, guilt, and hopelessness, making it hard to envision a life free of drugs and alcohol. Reaching out to Landmark Recovery of Indiana, a medical detox center, is the first step in your recovery journey. Contact Landmark Recovery of Indiana today at 855-553-7487 to learn more about your treatment options.