Although going into a medical detox is never a bad idea if you are suffering from addiction, substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders, it is important to understand that in some cases, stopping the use or misuse of drugs and alcohol requires medical attention and in other cases, it does not. 

Requiring Detox

However, there may always be complications from withdrawal or the stopping of using drugs and alcohol, which is why going to detox and treatment for addiction is always a good idea. Even for certain substances that don’t necessarily have potentially fatal or physically difficult withdrawal symptoms, such as marijuana or cocaine, there are often medical complications that can arise physically, or certain mental health or psychiatric issues to deal with when one stops the use of substances. Additionally, when needing help to stop the use of substances or the grips of addiction, going to a detox and/or rehab is always a good idea because it will offer the greatest safety and support, medical oversight, comfort, and an overall healing environment that allows someone to leave their current situation remove barriers or triggers, and give someone the time to get medically, physically, mentally, and emotionally stable before continuing their journey of recovery. Stopping drug and alcohol use is difficult, and it is always best to never try to do it alone.

However, there are certain substances that can be potentially fatal during withdrawal or cause immense physical discomfort when attempting to stop drug use or misuse, and for those substances, detox is always warranted. Here are the top three drugs that require detox and medical stabilization.

1. Alcohol

The sudden stopping of alcohol consumption can be life-threatening or potentially fatal. One does not need to be an alcoholic or drinking daily to experience life-threatening alcohol withdrawal. Even a regular habit of drinking alcohol can sometimes result in potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal typically sets in within eight hours of someone having their last drink. Alcohol withdrawal can be mild, moderate, or severe, with severe alcohol withdrawal creating fever, agitation, possibly hallucinations, confusion, seizures or delirium tremens (the DTs.) DTs affect between 5 and 2 5percent of those individuals battling alcohol use disorder or alcoholism.

2. Benzodiazepines

Examples of benzodiazepines are Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, or Librium. Benzodiazepines are the most prescribed psychiatric drugs in the United States, with 1 in 20 American adults prescribed some type of benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines can be short-acting or long-acting drugs, and are often used to treat issues like anxiety, sleep disorders, panic attacks, seizures, as well as other health conditions. Benzodiazepines often are built up in an individual’s system, so the withdrawal from them can be elongated as opposed to other substances.

3. Opioids

Opioids, both synthetic opioids like Percocet, OxyContin or Fentanyl and illicit opioids like heroin, require medical detox due to the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping the use of the drug. Opioid use disorder and opioid addiction can be managed either by a full medical withdrawal, or by the use of Medication-Assisted Treatment approaches like Suboxone or Naloxone. Withdrawal from opioids can cause both terrible physical discomfort, like can include nausea and/or vomiting, chills and sweats, diarrhea, muscle aches, runny nose, restlessness, and insomnia, as well as mental and emotional discomfort such as restlessness, agitation, anxiety, depression, and irritability. Overdose and fatal overdose are also issues for opioid users if they try to stop on their own, as they are then at a greater risk of overdose if they use again after several days of a self-detox. While opioid withdrawal is not fatal, best practices dictate that in order to successfully overcome opioid use disorder and opioid withdrawals, and individual should be in a safe, therapeutic environment that can appropriately support their needs both medically and therapeutically.

Drug Rehab and Detox in Pennsylvania

If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at