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A medically supervised detox may be necessary if you or your loved one has seriously been abusing any substances, like drugs or alcohol, or has a been taking a drug or medication for an extended period of time. A medical detox is the safe and effective way to begin recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. The first step in any recovery process is to stop taking or using the addictive substance. Not only is this difficult for those who are dependant on drugs and alcohol because of their addictive properties, but it can also be extremely dangerous for the person’s health. There are many painful and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping the use of any substance being abused. In some cases, these symptoms and side effects of withdrawal can be life threatening and result in death, if not the drug use is not stopped correctly.