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Drug Rehab Services is a no-cost referral agency in Canada for drug and alcohol dependency. We have helped thousands of persons getting the proper help with any detox services. This page covers the different types of detox for different drugs. There are many detox centers available in Canada. The drug and alcohol detox process are there to stabilize a person who has been consuming illegal or legal drugs and or alcohol and is attempting to stop taking these substances and requires supervised help to do so. Not every detox off of drugs or alcohol will be considered life-threatening, but typically all narcotic drugs and alcohol will cause some type of withdrawals and discomfort physically and mentally when a person stops using them. The severity of the withdrawals is primarily dependent on how much the person was using, how long, and his or her medical history. Conventional detox programs across Canada and within each province are equipped to treat most substance abuse problems, but there are some that will require medically supervised detox.

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The length of stay within a traditional detox program will likely be between three to nine days, but typically for most street-level drugs, the patient is looking at a three-day detox. Longer detox processes usually involve such drugs as prescription opiates, and other prescribed narcotic medications, and large quantities of alcohol. The conventional detox process simply addresses the physical aspects of a person’s addiction, and should not be considered the sole and primary treatment options for substance abuse.


Detox is a short term for the word detoxification, which means the chemical changes that occur when a person’s body is used to regular and frequent administration of a specific substance or a number of drugs, including alcohol. The human body will do what is needed to maintain its chemical balance in a stable equilibrium. This function of the body is called “homeostasis.” When alcohol and other drugs are ingested in the body, the reaction will be to treat these aliens as poisons. (The body reacts to alcohol and other drugs as foreign substances or poisons which they are.) The main goal of a living body is to survive or continue living, so when foreign substances are taken into the body, it triggers different chemical mechanisms to improve the tolerance and reject these substances. Over time, the body becomes accustomed to this new chemical and when it is changed abruptly (withdrawal), the body goes into a certain degree of shock, which can even create a life-threatening situation, but it will always be uncomfortable.

In general, the detox can take from 4 and even up to 14 days, depending on the drug taken or alcohol, the amount being taken, the frequencies the drug was used, and whether it was mixed with other substances. Each category of drugs has its own physical reactions that will occur after the cessation of a drug. The cessation of some drugs, such as opiates, cause reactions similar to severe flu, but it is not life-threatening. (However, if the individual has other physical problems, such as heart disease, these withdrawals or detox may need medical attention since the stress of the detox reacts to the body and causing these health issues to worsen.)

Other drugs, such as benzodiazepines (such as Zanax and Valium), barbiturates, and alcohol can create seizures depending on the dosage taken and the duration of use. The help of people working in detox centers is very necessary to get them through. Detox services are divided into social detox and medical detox, depending on the category of drugs taken. Large amounts of alcohol and other substances above as being a high risk of seizures require medical detox. Opiate detox isn’t a physical threat; it is very uncomfortable and has such a strong emotional component, that medical detox, using Buprenorphine or other opiates to step-down the dose over time helps to ease the withdrawal symptoms. Many detox without medical assistance will fail because the patient will resort back to his drug of choice rather than confront pain and anxiety of five miserable days of withdrawals.


The decision should be left in the hands of a certified drug and alcohol counselor or some other medical professional since there are many considerations that need to be examined before a person decides to stop using alcohol and other substances. It can be a tough decision to decide if an alcohol abuser needs medical or not. It depends on many variables. So, again, be careful to have a professional guide you with your decision regarding the level of detox appropriate. The above information is provided to give you an overview of the different detox and should not be taken as medical advice concerning the specific needs of someone requiring detox. Detoxification is the first step toward a life free of drugs, but, by itself does not solve the addiction, and drug rehab is mandatory. Of course, to treat a person for addiction, they must be clearheaded enough to be able to address the different issues in treatment and detox is the first step toward this goal. Sometimes individuals confuse detox with Biophysical Treatment. This treatment uses an extensive detox procedure that removes the toxins created by alcohol and drug abuse from the body. This procedure is performed after the person has thoroughly detoxed from their substance of abuse.

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