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    Detoxification (or detox) is the initial period of medical management aimed at helping a person who abuses alcohol or other drugs. Medicines may be used to treat symptoms and prevent complications, such as seizures.

    Detoxification is most successful when it takes place in a setting like a hospital. 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.

    Current as of: February 24, 2016

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction

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