Medical Detox

Withdrawal Management And Medical Detox

A common and dangerous misconception about addiction is that people who suffer from it can get better if they simply stop using drugs or alcohol. In an ideal world that would be true, but the reality is not that simple. Addiction arises because the body gets so used to functioning with a particular substance running through it that it “forgets” how to work without that substance.

What this means is that the body can go into a form of shock when it is suddenly deprived of the substance it has become so accustomed to. What results is a series of withdrawal events that can be uncomfortable at best, and dangerous – even fatal – at worst.

Many people try several times to quit using drugs or alcohol on their own. They may have the strongest resolve in the world to stick to their goal, but after hours or days, the withdrawal symptoms become too overwhelming for them to cope with, and they seek out their substance of choice just to get away from the discomfort or pain they are experiencing.

With proper support and a solid withdrawal management plan, you can safely stop using drugs or alcohol and reduce your risk of relapse.

In order to talk about withdrawal management and the role of medical detox, we should first address how addiction arises in the first place.

How Does Addiction Develop?

All of us are motivated by reward, and a lot of times the reward is nothing more than a feeling of happiness or well being. These feelings arise as a result of the brain releasing “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine. Because we like experiencing happiness, confidence, serenity, and other positive emotions, we are driven to repeat the behaviours that produce them. In other words, we act in ways that trigger a boost of dopamine.

When the dopamine is boosted in healthy ways such as exercise, accomplishing a goal, or spending time with loved ones, it gradually returns to its baseline level.

The reason people use drugs and alcohol is that these substances activate the brain’s reward system by artificially prompting a release of dopamine. With many substances, when the dopamine level comes back down, it is not gradual. It drops suddenly, often to a level below the original baseline.

The addicted person wants to feel good again, so they use the substance again. But this time, they have to use more in order to achieve the same effects. And so over time, the dosage increases, and the time between uses decreases.

While all of this is going on, the body is adjusting to the presence of the substance. This impacts your breathing, your heart rate, how the liver functions, what happens in the digestive system, and a host of other things.

What Happens During Withdrawal?

Now that your body’s functions and systems have been compensating for the presence of drugs or alcohol, what happens when that presence is abruptly taken away?  Bear in mind that it took a while for your body to make these adjustments as your substance use increased; when the substance is withdrawn, it won’t suddenly start to act “normally”. Your organs, brain, and central nervous system will continue to behave as if drugs or alcohol are flowing through your body, and this can have dangerous effects.

For example, alcohol is a depressant that slows down your heart rate. Habitual use will make your heart work harder – in other words, beat faster – to compensate. When you suddenly take away the alcohol, your heart continues to beat faster – but now there is nothing to artificially slow it down. It can be the human body’s equivalent of a car accelerating for a period of time and then suddenly losing its braking capacity.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms that you may experience depend on a number of factors, including your age and state of health, the substances you were using, how long you have been addicted for, and what your average dosages were.

Some common withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Agitation and irritability that may translate into aggressive or violent behaviour
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Disrupted eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Hot and cold flushes and/or excessive sweating
  • Impaired memory, concentration, and cognitive function
  • Elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration
  • Shaking or tremors, especially in the hands
  • Restlessness
  • Watery discharge from the nose and eyes

Some substances, such as alcohol and opioids, can produce severe advanced withdrawal symptoms, including delirium tremens, seizures, extreme variations in body temperature and blood pressure, and hallucinations.

What Is Medical Detox?

what is medical detox

In order to get through withdrawal, it is important to have a withdrawal management plan. This plan will vary depending on your own circumstances and what substance you are withdrawing from. Before you stop using a substance, you should consult with your doctor, who will advise you on how to do so safely.

If you are at high risk of developing severe withdrawal complications, this plan may include a period of medical detox. This can take two forms:

  • Inpatient detox: you spend a few days in a detox facility, where medical professionals will monitor you throughout your withdrawal and treat symptoms as they arise
  • Outpatient detox: you continue to live at home, but you go to outpatient appointments at a hospital or clinic, and receive visits from a nurse

Any medical detox plan should be customized for the individual. Even when two people are withdrawing from the same substance, their withdrawal management plan may be different. The levels of intervention will vary from one person to next, ranging from simple wellness checks to the use of medication to manage symptoms or cravings.

Is Unsupervised Detox Ever Safe?

No one should attempt detox from any substance without at least talking to their doctor beforehand. In some cases, your doctor may advise that it is safe for you to go through your detox at home, or in another safe environment. This is more likely if the substance is known to not have dangerous withdrawal symptoms, if you have a strong support network of family and friends, and if you do not have a prior history of substance abuse and withdrawal.

If you go through detox at home, you should avoid being alone. Have someone with you who can get medical attention to you should the need arise.

Getting Help For Drug And Alcohol Detox And Rehab

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we provide medical detox in a safe, compassionate environment. Our team of medical professionals will ensure that you are safe and comfortable throughout your withdrawal process. Once detox is complete, you will be able to enter a rehab program on a fully customized plan, to begin your road to recovery. Contact us today for more information.

Medical Detox

Medical Detox Cost in Canada

To recover from an addiction, the cost of medical detox is one you must incur. It’s not just for the sake of it. But because it’s the first step towards you being back to your normal self.

No matter how you spin it, addiction to a substance or drug will always be a bad idea. According to a Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey, this reality holds for about 21.6% of Canadians.

The euphoric experience during use is fleeting. It leaves you feeling worse-off when you get sober. Hence, isn’t it best to seek recovery, and then find other healthier ways to deal with life’s issues?

The health implications of addiction can be lethal. This and more, which we will get into in this article, explains the need for medical detox. It’s the safe path to tread, especially because abrupt withdrawal can be extremely inconvenient.

Leveraging medical detox services comes at a cost. Furthermore, several factors can influence this cost. Beyond knowing the reasons for medical detox, it’s likely you have several cost-relating questions.

We understand this, hence, the provision of this comprehensive guide to the cost of medical detox in Canada. Here’s all you need to know.

What is Medical Detox?

Addiction is a broad concept, and one of the sub-concepts is medical detoxification or detox. Medical detox is the treatment that aims to safely help a person undergo withdrawal from substances and drugs.

The substance withdrawal process, without detox, is largely uncomfortable. Depending on the type of drug, withdrawal can be life-threatening.

The degree to which you experience the negative effects of substance withdrawal is directly proportional to how long you have been dependent on the substance. Hence, the withdrawal symptoms you’ll feel for a year of drug abuse will differ in severity compared to addiction of ten years.

This is why the drug detox cost shouldn’t faze you. Proper detoxification makes the process easier, no matter how long it’s been. The medical detox process involves using prescribed medication, alongside other care measures to help rid your body of the substance.

With the help of a professional properly administering the detox process, your body gets a recovery chance before addiction rehab starts. You should note that medical detoxification is not a stand-alone treatment for addiction. Hence, you shouldn’t rest on your oars once you pay the cost of medical detox. It’s only the beginning of the journey.

It will interest you to know that most times, addiction recovery is a lifetime journey. Beyond detoxification, there are several stages you have to go through. But while recovery is generally not an easy journey, medical detoxification makes it several times easier.

Why is Medical Detox an Important Investment?

Addiction is very costly. However, there is good news. Getting recovery costs less. Even if you have to get recovery treatment for a lifetime, it still costs less than suffering addiction for the same period. Hence, the cost of medical detox is a worthy investment.

Here are some other advantages of medical detox:

Start Detox

Elimination of acute withdrawal symptoms

We took a brief look at this in the section above that explains what medical detox is about. When you leverage the treatment with a professional’s help, you save yourself from acute conditions of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Also, you become sure that the recovery process will not threaten your health in any way.

The application environment is controlled

Inpatients are those who mostly receive medical detoxification. This is because the application will happen in a controlled environment. As such it gives room for safe withdrawal from the drug or substance.

The controlled environment makes monitoring and supervision easier. Hence, the objective of detoxification has a higher chance of being effective.

Also, the presence of nurses, doctors, and other health specialists makes it easy to respond to any complication, if they arise. In these scenarios, timely help is of the essence.

It improves the patients’ focus on recovery

Addiction recovery is a fragile moment, which makes the price of medical detox worth it. During detox, the patients get to recover in a serene and laid-back environment.

This way, they can focus solely on recovering from the addiction. In this condition, there will be no exposure to stress that results from responsibilities and duties (which can result in relapse).

Easy access to prescribed medication

This is another plus for paying the cost of a medical detox program. Medications are important to maintain withdrawal symptoms. Being an inpatient at a facility makes it easier to control medication. You see, there are cases where uncontrolled use of symptom medication can result in a new addiction.

Furthermore, some drugs like methadone (medication for opioid withdrawal) are only allowed for use under medical supervision. You shouldn’t use such drugs at home.


Being in rehab also makes support easy to come by. The professionals at a medical detox program are dedicated to helping patients like you. This is in stark contrast to trying to recover at home, where you may sometimes be left alone.

Friends and family still have to work, hence, they can’t monitor you all day long. With an inpatient detox program, you have the advantage of getting 24/7 medical care and attention

Related Article: Heroin Addiction Treatment Cost in Canada

How to Prepare for a Medical Detox Program

If you are serious about getting your addiction-less life back, there is a lot of work to do. This is beyond first getting money to cater to the cost of medical detox.

A lot of preparation, execution, learning, and support goes into the process. Even while detox is the first step, you still have to plan for it.

There is no specific way to prepare or plan for medical detox. For some, the whole process can begin in 24-hours, and for some, due diligence is vital. Also, you should note that preparation is not just about physical preparation. There is the mental readiness you need to achieve before initiating the process. Here are some things you should know.

Be ready to communication

Addiction is a long journey, and the only way to help yourself is to be ready to talk. If you don’t open up to the specialist, nurses, or doctor, they will find it difficult to help you. Hence, through the recovery process, right from detox, be open.

There are situations when you can’t even find the term to depict what you feel. Being open in those situations makes it possible for the professionals to help you. Don’t feel as though no one can understand how you feel. No one probably can. But sulking in your misery will not get rid of the addiction.

Search for suitable medical detox services

There are several facilities out there, each with different drug detox costs. Hence, you need to do your research. The aim of your research, however, is to examine the facilities, their operations, and cost implication. Several factors influence these differences in cost (which we cover later in this article).

When you find a suitable medical detox service, booking your consultation is next. This is a step that may make you feel vulnerable. However, you need that vulnerability. Only then can you face the addiction. Taking the step of booking a consultation session goes a long way into your recovery.

You need ample support

You shouldn’t just get into a medical detox program on your own. You need all the support and help you can get from family and friends, especially as you probably won’t be working during the process. The cost of medical detox can be on the high side, especially if you are in for a long-term.

Only ample support from family and friends will get you through those times. For the most part, recovery from addiction requires that you don’t spend much time alone. You can and will also get support from staff and other patients in the rehab center.

Pack appropriately

Going into rehab for your detox requires that you pack all you need. At least, you should pack stuff that will last you for a week. Since medical detox isn’t a standalone treatment, you should prepare to continue for the rest of drug rehab.

The Canadian Mental Health Association pegs the inpatient treatment options to take an average of between “21 days and several months.”

How Much Does Medical Detox Cost in Canada?

For most inpatient rehab centers, the cost of medical detox is included in the overall medical bill. Hence, it can be hard to say what the hard figure is. These recovery facilities don’t offer medical detoxification alone. As we emphasize, it is part (beginning) of the recovery process.

The fundamental treatment process may differ in different centers, but they all start from detox. Between these various centers, the cost of addiction treatment and recovery varies. This is due to a difference in offerings, facilities, location, and even how long the patient stays.

Typically, the cost of medical detox is between $1000 and $1500. Medications are also a part of detoxification. Though there are cases where they may not be necessary. But in cases where medications are vital, medical detox costs may reach $4700.

As high as these prices sound, they are not as costly, in the long-run, as substance addiction is. For instance, on average, heroin addicts spend about $10,000 yearly. Placing this against the detox and medication prices, you’ll see considerable difference.

Factors that Influence Medical Detox Pricing in Canada

In Canada and beyond, several factors influence the cost of medical detox. Depending on these factors, the price can be higher for the goose and lower for the gander. Hence, while preparing your budget for the start of rehab, consider these factors.

Insurance coverage

Some rehab centers allow insurance payments for medical detox. In the continually developing world, we live in, substance abuse treatment is vital to health benefits. Now, in this case, your health insurance coverage determines how much more you have to pay.

Most insurance plans for rehab come in a form of premium, deductible, copay, and even coinsurance. Depending on the extent of coverage, insurance can cover up to half of the cost of medical detox.

Type of addiction

Different substances have different holds on individuals, which accounts for a difference in medical detox pricing in Canada. For instance, someone addicted to opioids like heroin will spend more than someone addicted to alcohol. Opioids like heroin elicit stronger responses in the brain, such that you may even get addicted after first use.

How long you have been addicted is also important. It will be easier for you to overcome a year-old addiction, as against if it’s ten years of it. The severity is higher with the latter, which makes withdrawal and detox harder. Hence, you’ll require more medication, care, and other necessities.

cost of detox

Location of the treatment facility

Drug addiction treatment facilities are not charity centers. It all still boils down to business – the business of health. And in the general economics of things, location affects the cost of doing business.

For instance, you’ll expect a treatment center in Ottawa, to cost more than another in one of the smaller provinces. Most times, location is a depiction of the quality of service and equipment provision. You’ll agree that better service providers will also cost more.


This is another important factor to consider. Different detox facilities have differing amenities to offer. There are below standard facilities, and there are standard ones. There are also luxury medical detox centers. These come at different prices.

For instance, some facilities come with sporting amenities, gyms, event centers, etc. You simply need to research your facility of interest and pick the one that works for you or the patient you are catering for. You may also have to visit the various facilities near you to make a decision.

History of addiction and recovery

Your history with addiction and recovery treatment will also play a role in determining the cost of medical detox. Just as medical history is always important when a patient is admitted to the general hospital, recovery history is also important. This history determines the kind of medication and treatment process that is best for you.

What’s the Best Way to Find a Medical Detox Center?

There are several medical detox centers near you. It may get pretty overwhelming while you search. However, there is something you should watch out for. This will help you sift between facilities you should be considering or not.

Once you see a facility advertising cold turkey methods or the popular rapid detox kit, you should steer clear. Those practices are not recommended by experts.

You should look out for facilities that provide the standard detox process — medication and therapy for managing withdrawal symptoms.

In the case where you have health insurance, you can call on the insurance company to help you find a reputable rehab center. Also, if you know someone who has gone through therapy, you can get recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Detoxification

Other than the cost of medical detox, this section provides answers to the commonly asked questions about medical detox.

How long does medical detox last?

The process of medical detoxification is known to last for about 7 to 10 days. A number of factors influence this duration. These include

  • How much of the substance you have consumed
  • How severe the withdrawal symptoms are or will be
  • Your physical and mental state.

At the end of the detox, you’ll be able to progress to the next stages of therapy.

What are the steps to medical detoxification?

There are three major steps in the detoxification process. You can’t save on the cost of medical detox by skipping any of these processes. The first step in the chain of processes is to evaluate. The parameters to be checked during the initial evaluation include temperature, blood pressure, pulse, etc.

The next stage is stabilization, where the doctor will provide you with drugs. Then you move to the final stage that prepares you for substance use rehab.

detox diet

Do medical detox centers help teens?

Yes. Teenagers can also go through the detox process. Specialists will most likely recommend detox for such teens if there is a long history of substance abuse.

Can I take a break from detox?

The way to maximize detox is by being an inpatient. However, it is also possible to be an outpatient. Outpatient detox offers you the opportunity to take breaks since you only come in at predetermined times.

Is detoxification a sign of weakness?

It is not. It is not right that there is the issue of stigmatization with individuals who undergo detox. Physical withdrawal can be intense and can break even the strongest of persons.

Detoxification is a way to manage that pain. It is best to go through the process of detoxification as an inpatient. By doing so, you get to avoid discouragement or pressure from insensitive persons. You deserve to be around people that care deeply about your health and wholeness.

What should I know about rapid detox and is it safe?

Rapid detox programs are common nowadays, with several clinics promoting them as the fast cure to addiction. These programs cost as much as $10,000. One thing you should know about these programs is that insurance companies don’t help with this. It is not a safe treatment to pursue, as the process preaches a shortcut to wholeness.

Going with this form of medical detox can put you at further health risk. Also, the process is not as effective as advertised. There have been reported cases of fatal casualties during the process. Hence, it’s best to stick to the safe process of medical detox.

Related Article: Addiction Treatment: Does Counselling Really Help?

Final Take

The cost of medical detox is not a big deal if you compare it with the cost of remaining in addiction. While in the short-term, it may seem like a huge price to pay. It may even seem as though it’s something you are not ready for. In the long run, it is bound to be beneficial.

While you prepare to get the treatment, you should ensure due diligence. You should consider the various factors that influence the cost of medical detox. That way, you can confirm the best option for you.

Here at 1000 Islands Rehab Centre, we are home to experts who have dedicated their whole lives to helping addicts get better. And, we can do the same for you. Put a call through to get a consultation with a medical detox specialist today!