Detox Process from Street Drugs

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

An addiction to street drugs typically destroys a person from the inside out. Because of the illusive nature of drug addiction as well as the contamination often involved with street drugs themselves, the physical and mental consequences of addiction are often extremely devastating.

Seeking Out Help and Support

The process of seeking out help and support for a street drug addiction can be complicated in and of itself. A person who is addicted to a particular street drug, or even a combination of street drugs, will likely have a physiological dependency on the drug.

This means that an individual not only has a psychological need for the drug of his or her choice, but also the body physically becomes reliant on the drug as well. Many research studies on drug addiction have also demonstrated the chronicity of addiction, characterizing it as an actual brain disease1.

With continued drug use, changes in the brain structure itself are observed, which can result in continued and compulsive drug seeking behaviors, even in the face of harmful consequences.

The Earlier, the Better

Seeking out help early is crucial for intervention and for prevention of the many long-term damaging effects of a street drug addiction. Often the first phase of recovery from a street drug addiction involves a detoxification, or detox.

Detox sets the framework for the recovery journey and is like the gateway to towards healing. While this phase of recovery can often be physically uncomfortable, it is a crucial part towards physical and emotional healing and restoration.

Don’t Try to Detox Alone

Man and woman holding hands at a tableDetoxification from street drugs should occur under the supervision and guidance of a qualified and specialized medical team. Because many physical side effects many occur as a person withdraws from an addicted substance, it is necessary to take precautionary measures.

Detox from street drugs may occur in an inpatient setting of a hospital or in a specialized unit of a treatment center. The length of the detox phase depends on the severity of an addiction though typically is the shortest phase of the recovery process.

If you are in need of help for an addiction to street drugs, be sure to utilize the directories found on Addiction Hope to connect to the treatment you need to begin your recovery journey today.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Are you in recovery from a street drug addiction? If so, what was the detoxification process of your recovery like? How did this set the foundation of your recovery journey?


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.”

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
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