Detoxification (or detox) is the initial period of medical management aimed at helping a person who is physically dependent on alcohol or other drugs. Medicines may be used to treat symptoms and prevent complications, such as seizures.
Detoxification is most successful when it takes place in a setting like a hospital. But it may also be done in an outpatient setting depending on the severity of the person's physical dependence and other medical problems. It usually includes mental health counseling with medical monitoring, supervision, and support.
Current as of: August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health