What is Medically Assisted Withdrawal and What Should You Expect

 In Addiction

If you’re addicted to certain substances, quitting can take a toll on your body. In some cases, it’s even too dangerous to simply quit cold turkey, as it would be too much of a shock to your system.

For these situations, medically assisted withdrawal is the recommended treatment. You’ll be given a substitute drug that’ll help you to detox and clear all of the drugs from your system.

If you need to go through alcohol withdrawal, you may be given a few doses of benzodiazepines. Attempting to stop drinking when you have a serious case of alcoholism could have deadly consequences.

Why Medically Assisted Withdrawal?

Sometimes, medically assisted withdrawal is essential so you don’t die. Other times, it makes going through withdrawal much easier.

Often, when people try to withdraw from opiates, the withdrawal symptoms are so bad it causes them to start using opiates again. This is why many opiate addiction treatment programs will recommend you withdraw using an opiate substitute.

For example, you might use methadone. Methadone has a similar effect to heroin; however, it offers much less of a high. This allows you to become less dependent on opiates and acts as a stepping stone towards your sobriety.

It’s Safer

Taking substitute drugs such as methadone is much safer than buying drugs on the street. When you get methadone, it’s medicinal grade. Unlike street drugs, you don’t need to worry about getting a bad batch and nor about the dose being stronger than normal.

You can also get your methadone from a legitimate pharmacy rather than a street dealer. There’s no risk of getting robbed or scammed, and your suppliers have your best interests at heart.

Contrast this with black market drug dealers who may offer you free drugs to try and stop you from quitting. If something goes wrong when you’re doing medically assisted withdrawal, you’ll be surrounded by knowledgeable professionals who can give you the help you need.

It Puts You in a Better Frame of Mind

Substitute drugs can prevent you from experiencing some nasty side effects. Plus, they can leave you feeling clear-headed enough to think rationally about your problems. This will put you in a better frame of mind to move on to the next stage of your recovery.

Alcohol Withdrawal

If you’re an alcoholic with a serious alcohol addiction, it’s very likely that you’ll need medical assistance in getting sober. In fact, it’s not recommended for a serious alcoholic to try and quit “cold turkey”.

Unlike a lot of other drugs, the withdrawal from alcohol can sometimes be serious enough to give you seizures or kill you. If this is the case, you might be prescribed a benzodiazepine such as Valium.

Benzodiazepines can help to reduce the severity of a number of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. For example, they’ll help to stop seizures and tremors, plus they can also counteract the sleep difficulties you’ll experience during alcohol withdrawal.

You shouldn’t try to source benzodiazepines on your own. Not only are they illegal without a prescription, but they’re also an incredibly addictive and dangerous drug. If you use benzodiazepines without medical supervision, you risk simply substituting one addiction for another one.

On top of that, black market benzodiazepines are often counterfeit. When you take ones you’ve bought on the street, you never know exactly what you’re getting. Only take benzodiazepines when directed to do so by a medical professional.


Of course, it takes more than simply prescribing you a drug to deal with your drug or alcohol addiction. Medically assisted withdrawal should always be combined with a proper addiction treatment program.

The majority of the time, addicts have underlying psychological issues that have not been properly diagnosed and addressed. If these issues are not treated, the chance of relapse is high.

When you attend therapy sessions, you’ll learn to understand your triggers, what compels you to drink or take drugs. In some cases, even the addict doesn’t fully understand the extent of their psychological issues.

Many addicts have psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression. When these issues are treated in conjunction with the physical addiction symptoms, the chances of relapse are much lower.

How Long Does It Take?

A medically assisted detox should ideally take between one week to one month. After this, you can start to clear all of the drugs from your system completely.

Of course, this is just the beginning of your recovery. If you try to go back to your normal life at this point, the chance of relapse is high.

Ideally, you should attend an inpatient rehab program. Inpatient means that you’ll live in a dedicated rehab facility and have access to medical help at all times.

This kind of rehab program offers the highest chance of success. But not everyone has the means to make this sort of commitment.

For example, you might have responsibilities such as work or school. In this case, you should consider an outpatient rehab program. With this kind of program, you visit the rehab center a few times a week but you continue to live at home.

Your recovery is an ongoing process and you’ll need to keep working on it for years if you want to avoid relapsing.

Take the First Steps

Are you addicted to drugs or alcohol? The fact that you’re reading this page means you’re on the right track.

Taking the first concrete step towards recovery and starting your addiction treatment is the most difficult step in turning your life around. Once you’ve started your medically assisted withdrawal and therapy sessions, things will only get easier.

If you’re ready to change for the better, pick up the phone and contact an addiction recovery center near you. They’ll help you with the next steps in the recovery process.

Want professional help in addiction treatment? Then get in touch with us today.

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