For most people with a drug addiction, the most concerning part of the therapy is the first week or up to ten or more days known as drug detox. This is particularly challenging with specific types of drugs or combinations of drugs and alcohol or other chemicals or substances.

Different Malibu treatment centers will approach this detoxification period in various ways. Research shows that engaging the individual in therapy and group counseling as quickly as possible is more effective than isolating the individual during this time. Of course, the specific symptoms the client is feeling and how able they are to participate in therapy will also be factors to consider.

Unfortunately, some addicts choose to binge before entering a recovery program. This often makes the drug detox incredibly challenging as they tend to combine different types of drugs or drugs and alcohol in the hours or days before entering treatment. With the combination of different chemicals in the body, the symptoms of the detox program can be intense, painful and more difficult.

The Medical Exam

In Malibu, as in all other approved addiction recovery treatment programs, patients will be provided with a full medical examination. This is essential as some types of addictions can present significant physical symptoms. Knowing the overall health of the patient and if any medical concerns are present will allow the doctors and the recovery program staff to provide the correct level of care and support.

There may also be a need for prescription medication to help to alleviate the symptoms of the detox process. This is most commonly seen when the patient has a long history of addiction or has an addiction to specific types of drugs. Medications to help with relief of symptoms of detoxification are common with addictions to opioids or combinations of drugs and alcohol.

The Detoxification

Most patients at the best treatment facilities will detox in their own room unless there are health concerns requiring additional monitoring and medical care. Most people will experience a range of symptoms that can be mild to moderate including:

  • Extreme physical and mental fatigue and exhaustion

  • Insomnia

  • Feelings of agitation, irritation and restlessness

  • Muscle aches

  • Chills and shaking or tremors

  • Headache and nausea

  • Flu-like symptoms including a runny nose and eyes

  • Lack of appetite

  • Extreme cravings to use

More significant issues can include hallucinations, psychosis or even violent behavior. Some people may even become a threat to themselves. Medications can be prescribed to alleviate these symptoms during the detox period.

The key to detoxification is to have the medical support needed to minimize the physical and emotional distress. Trained, compassionate staff to support the patient in this very difficult time is also essential for a successful detox and the transition into the recovery phase of treatment.

Serenity Malibu offers a fully medically supervised drug detox program for all of our clients based on their unique needs. To find out more about our highly recognized program, see us at