When someone is physically dependent on addictive drugs or alcohol, they suffer uncomfortable, often dangerous side effects when they stop taking (withdraw from) the substance. This is the meaning of dependent. The invariable solution for every dependent person is to get through withdrawal as safely as possible, get on with alcohol or drug rehab if needed, and enjoy a life free of dependence or substance abuse.
Unfortunately, withdrawing from some addictive substances is often far too painful to bear, can even be life-threatening, and medical assistance is absolutely required to succeed.


Outpatient drug detox is usually chosen by those who want the supervision of a doctor while undergoing withdrawal, but who have decided they cannot afford the time, commonly 5 to 7 days away from home, or the expense of Inpatient detox in a clinic.

The usual location for the detox are at home, or at a motel or hotel near the doctor’s office.

Proper outpatient drug detox has the advantage of a pre-withdrawal medical evaluation to attempt to ensure you qualify to detox on your own. Outpatient detox usually offers prescription drugs to ease the withdrawal process, and offers a doctor or nurse on call by phone.

The disadvantages of some outpatient detoxes can often outweigh the advantages:

  • Medical examinations prior to outpatient detox often are not comprehensive enough to detect health conditions that, combined with the trauma of withdrawal, precipitate serious adverse reactions and medical emergencies that render the patient helpless, unconscious or even dead before help arrives.
  • Sometimes, a person becomes so sick from the withdrawal symptoms that he or she is in no condition to drive to a hospital or clinic, and might be unable to even walk or talk intelligibly.
  • Withdrawal symptoms can include unpredictable adverse psychological reactions, triggering irrational behavior that is dangerous to oneself or others


There are three basic settings in which you can undergo withdrawal:

  • Inpatient detox in a clinic with 24/7 medical care to manage symptoms
  • Outpatient detox at home or elsewhere with remote medical supervision available by telephone
  • Home detox with no formal medical supervision or assistance.
  • A fourth choice, called rapid drug detox or ‘anesthesia-assisted’ detox, is considered by many medical experts to offer no more benefits than Inpatient medical drug detox, and has significant added risk and expense.


Good medical drug detox is not ‘one-size-fits-all’. A medical drug detox clinic following a proven medical detox protocol embracing every patient’s unique metabolism, DNA, and condition of health, offers the best chance of success.

Good medical drug detox provides medications to minimize symptoms. Trained medical staff monitors your progress 24 hours a day, adjusting medications and procedures, and ensuring proper hydration which is often a critical factor in drug and alcohol withdrawal.

And because a healthy body is far more able to withstand the rigors of withdrawal and manage the elimination of toxins from the system, good medical drug detox also provides alternative medical health procedures, nutritious meals, and dietary supplements when required, to ensure that each patient’s complete health and detox needs are fully met.