How Do I Know if I Need Detox?

in Alcohol
Published Jan 27, 2021
detox symptoms

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I want to stop using drugs or alcohol, but I can’t”? While some may see this as a lack of willpower, it can be physically and emotionally challenging to quit using substances. When you use drugs or alcohol for an extended period, your body develops a tolerance. Once you try to stop using a substance or lower the amount you use, your body will go through withdrawal symptoms. These can be frightening, uncomfortable, and even life-threatening. So, how do you know if you need a detox?

What Is Detox?

Medically supervised detox is a clinical setting with doctors and nurses available around the clock to monitor a person’s withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we implement The Gallus Method, which includes IV therapy, 24/7 medical staffing, cardiac and video monitoring, daily physician visits, and more. By implementing this method, we can provide safety and comfort through the detox process.

Deciding to detox at home can be dangerous. Some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, especially when quitting alcohol or benzodiazepines. These substances introduce the risks of seizures, hallucination, and delirium tremens. It is imperative that you detox under the care of medical professionals.

Speak With a Medical Professional

If you feel as if you physically cannot stop using substances, it is best to speak to a medical professional. Tolerance and withdrawal symptoms are diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder (SUD) and a medical professional can help you determine the severity of SUD.

There are 11 diagnostic criteria for SUD:

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than meant to
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance
  5. Not managing responsibilities at work, home, or school because of substance use
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships
  7. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use
  8. Using substances again and again, even when put in danger
  9. Continuing to use, even when it is known that there is a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect desired
  11. Development of withdrawal symptoms

These criteria are divided into four categories: impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological indicators (tolerance and withdrawal). The severity of the SUD is then determined by the number of criteria the individual meets:

  • Mild: 2 or 3 criteria out of 11
  • Moderate: 4 or 5 criteria out of 11
  • Severe: 6 or more criteria out of 11


Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal is a combination of physical and mental effects that a person experiences after they stop using drugs or alcohol or significantly reduce their intake of substances. If you are trying to stop using substances and experience withdrawal symptoms, you may need a detox. At this point, it is best to speak to a medical professional.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms will depend on what substance you are using, how much you are using, how often you are using, and if you are using multiple substances at once. However, some common detox symptoms may include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures


Finding a Detox Center

You may recognize you need detox but still be wondering, “How do I find a detox near me?” Opening a Google search bar and searching for “medical detox center near me” may return a whole host of pages that are difficult to decipher. How do you choose between care options and decide what is best for you?

There are various factors to consider when deciding what facility is right for you. Some tips to help you pick a facility may be:

  • Looking into COVID-19 Regulations. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to research facilities’ pandemic protocols. You want to ensure that you are safe during your detox stay.
  • Speak to a Medical Professional. Speaking with a medical professional will not only help you determine whether you need a detox, but they can also help you make a decision based on your health needs.
  • Medical Expertise. It’s crucial when choosing a detox facility that you consider the level of expertise and supervision available. Given the seriousness of medical detox and the risk of complications, it’s critical to know that you’re in safe hands. At Gallus all of our nurses and physicians are critical care and emergency room experienced professionals and can handle any medical complications or issues that may arise.
  • Medical Program. Detox facilities may offer different methods of treatment and medication. A detox must offer evidence-based medicine that has been proven to make patients comfortable, ease withdrawal symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and promote an individualized plan for recovery next steps.
  • Amenities and Comfort. Will you need your own room? Do you need your phone to stay in contact with family or work? These are things to consider when looking for a detox facility. Some facilities may allow you to have electronics, while others don’t. You may also want to consider the comfort of bedrooms and the entertainment, such as televisions, available during your stay.
  • Does the facility take all major insurance plans? Do they have private financing options available?
  • Patient Satisfaction Results. One of the best ways to know how good a facility is is the detox center’s patient satisfaction. Check websites for patient reviews or satisfaction survey results. You can also call and ask for these as well.


Sometimes, you may not know whether you need a detox or not. Speaking to a medical professional if you experience any withdrawal symptoms when stopping substance use is an excellent first step in knowing how to proceed. Deciding you need a detox is a crucial first step in recovery from substance use. However, you may not know which detox center is right for you. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we offer proprietary, evidence-based medical protocols to ensure your safety and comfort. We implement The Gallus Method, which includes IV Therapy, 24/7 medical staff, and individual treatment plans. Your comfort is our priority and we provide you with the amenities you need to ensure that you are not met with a cold, sterile hospital environment. Our facilities provide you with a biopsychosocial exam to identify your next steps in recovery to give you the best chance at long-lasting sobriety. There is dignity in healing. If you are still unsure whether or not you need a detox or learn more about our facilities, call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at (866) 296-5242.