Detox is the first step in the recovery process. It breaks clients away from their physical dependency so that they can move on to address the more psychological aspects of their addiction safely and with the clarity needed to fully engage with their rehab treatment.

The detox process will look a little different for everyone, and it is important to prepare yourself beforehand, armed with the knowledge you need to ensure the safest, most comfortable experience possible.

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What is detox?

Detox is a process whereby an individual will cleanse their body of dangerous substances, tackling their physical reliance and going through withdrawal symptoms so that they can begin their journey towards health and healing.

Medical detox

Dependent on personal circumstances, medication may be necessary to taper someone off a particular drug so that it is not a shock to their system. This is known as a medical detox, and in certain circumstances, this method can be highly beneficial in easing some of the more uncomfortable symptoms associated with withdrawal. When handled correctly, detoxification need not be too unpleasant, and with the help of medical professionals trained in the field, this can make all the difference in facilitating a safe and speedy recovery.

A medical detox is appropriate for any habit-forming substances, and we provide detox for all the following categories:

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Alcohol detox

Alcohol detox is the first stage of alcohol rehab and is designed to rid your body of toxins before therapy commences. During alcohol detox our medical team will keep you safe and comfortable, minimising unnecessary alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol detox → 

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Drug detox

Medically-assisted detox for those with severe alcohol or drug dependencies. Your safety is our number one priority during the detox phase, and we have medical staff on standby to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible.

Drug detox →

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Prescription drug detox

Sanctuary Lodge is a state-of-the-art private rehab facility offering detoxification from various substances, such as prescription drugs, as well as a tailored rehabilitation programme. Click the button below to learn more.

Prescription drug detox →

Withdrawal symptoms

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It is likely that, over the course of the detox process, you will undergo withdrawal symptoms to cater to the changes your body is going through, adjusting to this new way of living without the substance. However, it is important to remember that while some of these symptoms may at times be uncomfortable, this is all part of the process and is a necessary step to getting your life back on track.

Each of us is different, and it is impossible to tell exactly what the detox process will be like for you, though it is likely you will experience some degree of withdrawal, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with detox can include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Aches and pains
  • Delirium Tremens (DTs)
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares
  • Shaking, sweating, or shivering
  • Cravings

While these symptoms might first appear troubling, choosing an inpatient detox can greatly help limit the intensity and discomfort of these symptoms, ensuring optimal safety and ease during this process. This is because you will be regularly monitored by experienced and well-trained staff, all available to help assist you with whatever needs you may have.

Can I detox at home?

In some ways, detoxing from home can seem like a good option when coming off a substance, relaxing in a familiar space with all your creature comforts. However, while this ease and familiarity might at first seem appealing, it can actually hinder the detox process. Close to all the triggers that can make newfound sobriety so difficult, without regular support and monitoring, the temptation can become too intense, leading individuals to slip back into substance abuse as a result.

Detoxification and withdrawal symptoms from any addictive drug can be very dangerous if attempted without medical assistance. As your body would have formed a physical dependence on the substance you are reliant on, suddenly abstaining from the drug will cause a shock to your body which can result in a series of dangerous reactions arising as your body attempts to adjust to this change. Acute withdrawal symptoms will not only be distressing and uncomfortable but can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, detoxing at home can pose a very high risk, as there will be no assistance from medical professionals if, for example, you develop DTs or fall into a coma.

We would recommend detoxing in a registered facility, where you will be weaned off the drug gradually to allow your body to adjust, and be supported by those who are going through the same experience. There are many benefits that come from choosing to detox with a facility like Sanctuary Lodge, some of which include:


We provide each of our clients with a full medical assessment once they enter our facility, performed by a member of our highly trained medical staff. In doing this, we can determine what your needs are, as well as how best to proceed with your detoxification programme moving forward. With 24/7 care and monitoring, your safety is our highest priority, and we can guarantee you will be in the best of care for the length of your stay.


Detox centres are designed with you in mind, providing excellent facilities with relaxed lodgings to come off substances as comfortably as possible. With space away from the outside world, this allows some much-needed perspective and tranquillity, giving our clients the time to focus entirely on themselves and their journey to sobriety. Surrounded by like-minded individuals encountering similar obstacles, our recovery community understands your struggles first-hand, giving you the strength and determination to see through your detox.

Regular support and monitoring

While you are cleansing your body of habit-forming substances, expect to feel a little run-down, unable to perform tasks as successfully as you once did. At an inpatient facility, you will be supervised by a team of well-trained staff available to cater to your needs, providing much-needed emotional support throughout the entirety of your stay. With regular meals prepared for you onsite, this support helps our clients to focus entirely on themselves.

Get in touch today

Here at Sanctuary Lodge, we are dedicated to ensuring that every person we treat receives the best available care and experiences as few withdrawal symptoms during detoxification as possible. We understand that this process might feel daunting, but our team of specialists will be there to help you every step of the way.

Having helped thousands of others kick even the most serious dependencies, we can assure you that recovery is possible, and it is never too late to get the help you need. Offering cutting-edge treatments in a tranquil setting, you will receive around-the-clock care from a highly qualified team whose main goal is to keep you as relaxed as you can be during this process. To learn more about detox, and how Sanctuary Lodge can help to kickstart your recovery, contact a member of our team right away for more information.

Frequently asked questions

How long does the detox process take?
There is no set timeframe for medical detoxification. The length of time it takes can depend on a variety of factors, such as your individual circumstances, the substance you are reliant upon, and any additional health concerns.

For some, detoxification only takes a few days, and for others, it could take weeks. It is estimated that, on average, drug detoxification takes eight days. However, if medication is used to medically support the detoxification process, it is likely to take longer.

What happens after detox?
Once you are feeling strong enough, you will then be ready to move on to the next stages in the treatment process. Substance dependence affects not only your physical health but also impacts your mental and emotional well-being. During your detox, you will be offered follow-up treatments such as therapy and addiction counselling.
Is detox necessary for recovery?
Detox is essential to a successful recovery, as it allows clients to break free from their physical reliance on a substance so that they can begin to assess the underlying reasons that their dependence may have developed in the first place. Without a proper detox, this will greatly reduce your chances of lasting recovery, as your body will still be physically dependent on the substance.
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Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0203 811 7325