Serenity House Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention

The Detox Process

Medically Supervised Detox

Long-term substance abuse takes a toll on both the mind and the body. Withdrawal from a drug can be quite severe. It can lead to seizures and even death. A medically-supervised detoxification process ensures that this process is accomplished in a way that is a safe and easy as possible.

The decision for someone to undergo detox is made by our medical professionals, as is the duration of their stay. If required, detoxification is medication-assisted with 24-hour professional nursing care. With standing orders, our nurses begin the process as soon as you are admitted to detox. Within 24 hours, every patient is seen by a staff physician, who will establish and monitor physical care.


The detox process is medication-assisted, meaning that medication is used to help reduce and control withdrawal symptoms and ensure a client’s safety. There is no definite duration for detox; it is patient driven. For someone abusing depressants (alcohol or benzos), a 4-7 stay is typical. For opiate detox, or in cases with complicating medical factors, the process may take longer, based on the needs of the client, the discretion of the physicians, and medical necessity.

For Opiate Detox

For opiate detoxification, patients are given buprenorphine, a drug that substitutes for opioids and prevents withdrawal. The patient is then gradually weaned off of buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist, meaning that it can interfere with withdrawal symptoms without producing the same side effects of the opiate it is replacing. The effects of the drug increase with the dosage, but only to a certain degree. Once this “ceiling” is reached, an increase in dosage does not increase the effects, which reduces the risk of abuse.

Substance detoxification should never be undertaken without medical supervision.

Our detox facility in Abilene, Texas offers a safe, medically-supervised method for eliminating substances from the body. When this happens, cognitive ability will gradually improve, and the patient will be ready to enter residential treatment.