Glossary of Medical Terms
Detoxification (or detox) is the initial period of medical management aimed at helping a person who abuses alcohol or other drugs. Medications may be used to treat symptoms and prevent complications, such as seizures.
Detoxification is most successful when it takes place in a hospital-like setting, but it may also be done in an outpatient setting depending on the severity of the person's dependency and other medical problems. It usually includes mental health counseling with medical monitoring, supervision, and support.