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Most Dangerous Drugs to Detox From and How a Medical Detox Center Can Keep You Safe

most dangerous drugs to detox from

When you become addicted to a substance, your body and mind become dependent on that drug. If you attempt to cut back on or completely quit using the drug, your system will go haywire because the substance isn’t present in your system anymore. This is known as drug withdrawal, which can cause some pretty serious symptoms.

Depending on the type of drug you were addicted to, some of the symptoms of withdrawal can be extremely dangerous without medical intervention. This is why medical detox programs are so important. These medical detox centers can help you overcome the symptoms of withdrawal in a comfortable and safe manner, no matter which type of drug you were abusing.

Let’s take a look at the most dangerous drugs to detox from and how a medical detox center can help keep you safe.

What are the Most Dangerous Drugs to Detox From?

Some drugs are more dangerous to detox from than others. The most dangerous withdrawal symptoms are associated with the following drugs.


While alcohol abuse is normalized in our country, alcoholism is one of the most difficult substance use disorders to overcome. Alcohol consumption causes central nervous system depression, meaning it slows down the functioning in that part of your brain. During withdrawal, the central nervous system attempts to readjust to the lack of alcohol in your system.

This causes extreme withdrawal symptoms that can become life-threatening without the help of a medical detox program. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

Up to 5% of people who detox from alcohol experience DTs, a potentially life-threatening condition made up of the most severe withdrawal symptoms.


When it comes to benzodiazepine withdrawal, this is the second most dangerous substance to detox from on your own. While a medical detox program can help you safely overcome the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal, attempting to quit cold turkey could cost you your life.

The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle pain
  • Seizures

A slow benzodiazepine taper that is monitored by a medical professional can reduce the severity of benzo withdrawal.

dangerous drugs to detox from

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Heroin is a strong opioid drug that most users intravenously inject, causing an intense and euphoric high. This drug is also a depressant, meaning it slows down your central nervous system. Oftentimes, the abuse of this drug leads to respiratory depression and overdose, making it extremely lethal.

When you abuse heroin, you become addicted to the drug very quickly. This can lead to extreme withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to stop using the drug abruptly.

The symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cravings for heroin

While heroin withdrawal is generally not life-threatening, there is a high chance of relapse. Medical supervision can prevent relapse and keep you comfortable by prescribing medications like methadone or buprenorphine.

Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is a stimulant drug that is created from the powdered substance known as cocaine. Crack cocaine is less expensive than cocaine, however, it creates a more intense high. This causes users to become addicted to the drug extremely fast.

And, as you now know, when someone becomes addicted to a drug they will experience symptoms of withdrawal upon missing a dosage or quitting the substance.

The dangerous withdrawal symptoms associated with crack addiction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Exhaustion
  • Unpleasant dreams
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Depression that could lead to suicidal thoughts
  • Agitation or shaking
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation
  • Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Anger or mood swings


Methamphetamine is a highly potent stimulant drug that you can become addicted to after only one or two uses. While most drugs cause dangerous physical symptoms of withdrawal, methamphetamine causes extremely concerning psychological symptoms. This can cause you to experience symptoms of psychosis, which include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and a disconnection from reality.

The symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Fever
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Loss of motivation
  • Tremor
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Stomach upset
  • Anxiety
  • Severe depression
  • Dehydration

How Does a Medical Detox Center Help You Stay Safe?

When you enter a medical detox program, they will do a full assessment of your drug abuse, medical, mental health, and family history. This provides them with a full picture of what services you need, what your goals are, and what detox medications you would benefit from.

Once the assessment is over, you will begin your detox program. Depending on which type of drug you are withdrawing from, you will be provided with FDA-approved medications to soothe your symptoms of withdrawal and prevent cravings from occurring. This helps to prevent you from experiencing the life-threatening effects of withdrawal like seizures, severe depression, or psychosis.

During your entire stay at a medical detox program, nurses will routinely check your vital signs. Your vital signs include your body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure. If any of these vital signs are out of the norm, you will be provided with medications and treatments to stabilize your condition, keeping you safe during the whole process.

Get Connected With a Top-Rated Medical Detox Center in Massachusetts

At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we offer inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and dual diagnosis programs. Before you enter one of our treatment programs, you can detox safely at a reputable medical detox center near you.

But how do you find one?

We can help connect you with a drug and alcohol detox facility that is equipped to provide you with the treatment you need. Then, after you complete your detox, you can transfer from detox to IOP to receive the behavioral therapy and peer support you need to recover from addiction. Contact us today for more information on how to get started.


Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC
Clinical Director

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