Addiction withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and psychological and are often accompanied by strong cravings to use or drink more. The goal of medically assisted detox is to stabilize the individual physically and provide emotional support while surrounded with others going through the same or a similar experience. Medical detox from drugs and alcohol should most often be conducted within either an inpatient treatment program, a hospital or a free-standing medical detox facility.
There is a difference between an individual who is drug dependent and an individual who is a drug addict. For example, substance dependency is when a doctor prescribes pain medication for legitimate reasons and the individual continues to take them as prescribed. When the doctor terminates the prescription, the person is able to slowly taper off of the medication. A drug addict on the other hand, has crossed that ‘invisible line’ and is unable to follow the doctor’s order and stop a medication. The addict will run out of medication and resort to other means, often illegal, to obtain more and more drugs.