Medical Detox Puyallup

Puyallup Outpatient

405 West Stewart Ave., Suite A
Puyallup, WA 98371
Phone: (253) 840-8687

Locations in Western Washington: Kirkland, Auburn, Everett, Issaquah, Seattle, Renton, North Seattle, Edmonds, South Seattle, Puyallup, Tacoma.

For many people, a stay at drug rehab begins with a period of medical detoxification. Withdrawing from the use of drugs or alcohol is a physical and emotional challenge, best accomplished in an inpatient setting under the supervision of a capable and experienced medical staff.  The patient has a better chance of recovery if he is placed in a controlled medical setting where his drinking and/or drug use can be stopped with certainty and where medications are available to control withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient medical care provides insurance against medical complications and severe withdrawal symptoms as well as providing the alcoholic/addict the comfort and security they need during the sometimes traumatic first days of treatment.

Effective treatment starts with a medical evaluation, bed rest, fluids as indicated, medication to prevent the more serious withdrawal reactions, and a balanced diet with vitamin and mineral supplements as individually indicated. With this care, the withdrawal syndrome presents no serious problems for the majority of alcoholics.

People using any of the following drugs may need medically supervised detox:


The risk accompanied with withdrawal for some alcoholics might include grand mal convulsions, hallucinations, extreme mental confusion, or dangerous fluctuations in blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate. These symptoms typically occur in more advanced alcoholics.   With appropriate medical care, however, even the most severe withdrawal symptoms can be effectively treated.

Heroin, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, other opiates

Although opiate detoxification is seldom dangerous, the withdrawal pains require medical management for comfort and craving control.

Prescription pain pills

Prescribed opiates, like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet induce a withdrawal pattern very similar to that of heroin.

Cocaine/Methamphetamine/Other Stimulants

Some people with stimulant addiction require medical detoxification to cope with the extreme mood imbalances experienced during early abstinence.


Suddenly stopping the use of benzodiazepines (like xanax or valium) can be life-threatening and should never be attempted without medical supervision.  A medically supervised tapering off of the medication may be ordered by a physician.

Club drugs, inhalants, marijuana and other drugs

Depending on the situation (dual diagnosis, heavy use, poly drug addiction), people abusing drugs other than those listed above may require a specialized medical detox plan.

Drug Detox Timeline

There is no set duration for medical detox. The length of time required will depend on the drug used, the medical history of the patient and the extent of use. Detox durations range most commonly from a few days to about 10 days.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

While all of the above paragraph also applies to detox from alcohol, the timeline is sometimes shorter.

Drug Use History

Because histories taken at the time of admission are notoriously unreliable, it is sometimes difficult to determine which patients are at risk for the more serious withdrawal reactions. Therefore, all the sick patients should be assessed for the need for symptom controlling medication to provide comfort and safety. The drug dosage should then be decreased each day related to symptom improvement, and typically discontinued after a few days of treatment.

After a few days in detoxification, the crisis is over for most patients. The withdrawal symptoms fade, and the alcoholic/addict feels better and can begin to think more clearly. Some treatment programs and hospitals release the alcoholic/addict at this point, when he is “dry” and the worst of the withdrawal symptoms appear to be over. Unfortunately, the addiction is still strongly in control at this point, and too often the first thing the alcoholic does after leaving the treatment center is find a drink or a place to get high. Thus, the alcoholic who is hospitalized for three or four days, detoxified, given a bottle of vitamins and/or depressant drugs, and then released has not been adequately treated. His hands will shake, his cells will cry out for alcohol, he will continue to be confused, depressed, and fearful and seek drugs to feel better. He will almost invariably drink again as soon as he leaves the protection of the treatment center, because he does not yet have the ability to choose not to drink.

Is Medical Detox Enough to Treat Addiction?

No.  Although after detoxing patients will feel better than they have in years, those that do not transition from detox to intensive residential addiction treatment are almost certain to relapse.  This statement is supported by observation of those returning to treatment centers as well as by insurance actuarial reports.

The patient’s inability to maintain sobriety is due to the fact that the central nervous system requires more time to heal and the patient also needs more time to be prepared to face the world sober and stay sober.

Treatment must be more than an interlude between binges. It must do more than get the alcoholic dry and back on his feet. It must go on to allow the brain time to heal and help him get started in a new life of sobriety.   Detox, if not immediately followed by intensive residential treatment will not lead to long term sobriety.

Contact us today at Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers for FREE Drug & Alcohol evaluations.

Detox and Rehabilitation Centers in Seattle Area
Call (425) 823-3116 or toll free: (800) 231-4303 or email us confidentially

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(800) 231-4303

Drug Treatment Centers

Contact us today
at Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers for
FREE Drug & Alcohol evaluations.

(800) 231-4303
Toll Free
Email us confidentially