Cirque Lodge > Treatment > Clinical Care > Medically Assisted Detoxification

Medically Assisted Detoxification

At Cirque Lodge, we understand detoxing from substances can be frightening.

Addiction affects us physically and mentally, and it is very tough to break the habit. Many of our clients have repeatedly tried to stop on their own power before reaching out for our help.

When we put substances into our bodies, we change their chemistry. Addiction can happen both quickly, or it can creep up on us slowly. Either way, substance use comes to dominate our lives.

Stopping substance use can seem like an impossible task. We use substances as a mental crutch, and our bodies get used to the substance and rely on them to function properly.

We are here to provide the support you need to make the vital transition into recovery.

Detox does not have to be painful. Addiction, or substance use disorder, is a medical issue, and we treat it as such. A medically assisted detox reduces the withdrawal symptoms and increases the chances of successful recovery. We develop a custom treatment plan tailored exactly to your needs.

The World Health Organization recommends that alcohol and drug detoxes are medically supervised. Our combination of clinical excellence and understanding, family-based therapy is the perfect stepping stone for you to begin your recovery journey.

At Cirque Lodge, we will keep you safe, secure, and supported during your detox. Our unique center nestled in the Rocky Mountains has beautiful surroundings and expert staff.  It is the perfect place to begin the next stage of your life.

Understanding Detox

Understanding Detox

Detox is the process of breaking the physical and mental hold substances have on us.

Our bodies are amazing machines – they constantly change and adapt. When we take substances for a prolonged period, the body adjusts to accommodate them.

Over time, the body gets used to the effects of substances and starts to become dependent on them to function normally. Suddenly stopping substance use causes withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the substance, these can symptoms can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening.

People going through a detox often experience:

  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Mental fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Despair

The above symptoms can be overwhelming when coupled with the physical withdrawal effects. People often use substances again to provide some temporary relief, which leads to a vicious cycle. The body needs time to adjust and remove toxins in a safe environment for recovery.

At Cirque Lodge, we support you every step of the way. We use our medical expertise to manage your symptoms and our caring, family-oriented approach to support you mentally.

The Risks of Unmedicated Detox

The Risks of Unmedicated Detox

If you are dependent on drugs and suddenly stop using, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.

How severe they are and what type will depend on:

  • The substance used
  • Any health conditions you have
  • How long you used the substance
    Your age
  • How many previous attempts at detoxing you have

Drug or alcohol withdrawal affects us on a mental and biological level. Some of the physical effects include:

  • Raised blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Shakes
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

The mental symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings for the substance

Dealing with the above symptoms without help can be exhausting at best and fatal at worst. Drug addiction seriously impacts our health and mental wellbeing. Medical detox can alleviate most of these symptoms and make the transition into recovery easier.

Many of our clients arrive terrified of withdrawal. They have often had terrible experiences trying to stop on their own in the past. We like to assure our clients that medical detox is nothing compared to a ‘cold turkey’ detox. Medication reduces the severity and intensity of most symptoms.

At Cirque Lodge, we like to think of ourselves as a big family. We will welcome you and treat you with love and compassion. We understand that being mentally supported is a huge factor in successful detox. You will be taken care of by our attentive and compassionate medical professionals against the backdrop of the beauty of Utah’s Rocky Mountains.

How Does Detox Work at Cirque Lodge?

How Does Detox Work at Cirque Lodge?

Before you start treatment, we carry out an initial health assessment.

We tailor our detox programs to your unique needs – to do this we need to get to know you. Our assessment helps us to understand your medical history and your substance addiction.

All of the information you give is confidential – only people you have approved will see it. We will ask questions such as:

  • How many times have you tried to detox before?
  • How much are you drinking or using per day?
  • Do you have any pre-existing health conditions?
  • Are you on any medications?
  • Have you ever had a mental health diagnosis?
Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment

We use appropriate medication to make drug and alcohol detoxes safer and more comfortable.

The Food and Drug Administration approves every medication we use.

We base the type of medication we use on the substance you took and how severe your symptoms are. If a drug does not have physical withdrawals, we can use medication to help the mental side effects such as anxiety and depression.

If a drug is physically addictive, we usually prescribe a substitute. Physically addictive drugs include:

  • Heroin and other opiates
  • Prescription opiates
  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines

Using substitutes prevents you from rapidly entering withdrawal. We use medication to stabilize you when you arrive. We slowly taper the dosage down, which gradually reduces your physical dependence.

Heroin, Opiate, and Prescription Opiate Detox

Opiate drugs all have similar effects, which means that the detox symptoms are usually very similar. When we treat opiate detox, we know that some drugs, such as fentanyl, are stronger than others. This means that their detox symptoms are more severe.

We prescribe methadone or buprenorphine as a substitute. These drugs stop you from going into withdrawal too rapidly and also reduce cravings. We may also prescribe the opiate blocker naltrexone.


Unmedicated alcohol detox can be hazardous. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system (CNS) – during withdrawal, the nervous system over-acts, which can cause seizures.

We prescribe long-acting benzodiazepines such as Valium or Librium to lower the risk of seizures. These medications also reduce shaking, anxiety and help with insomnia.


Benzodiazepines are tranquilizer drugs that include Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. Their withdrawals are similar to alcohol as they are both CNS depressants.

We switch our clients over to long-acting benzodiazepines such as Valium or Librium. These medications stay in the system for a long time, so they prevent clients from acute withdrawal. Over time, we reduce the dosage slowly.

Other Medical Support

Sometimes our clients may need some other type of medical intervention. Co-occurring disorders such as depression or anxiety are prevalent in substance users. These conditions are often the underlying cause.

If you already have a mental health diagnosis, we can provide ongoing medication. We are also fully capable of delivering a diagnosis on-site.

Ongoing Support

Ongoing Support

The acute symptoms of withdrawal usually subside within two-to-three weeks.

However, Post-acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) can persist for months. In this stage, clients are typically free of the physical effects of withdrawal but still have lingering mental side effects.

At Cirque Lodge, we take a holistic approach to your treatment. We use a combination of experiential and evidence-based cognitive therapies. These are underpinned by the principles of the 12 Steps  in our welcoming treatment center.

We believe that addiction treatment should nourish rather than punish. We make sure that you are well looked after during your inpatient detox and ongoing treatment.

Medically Assisted Detoxification

Recovery is Just a Phone Call Away


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3114 E Ida's Road Sundance
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About Cirque Lodge
Cirque Lodge is a recovery retreat providing cognitive and experiential therapies, in the pristine natural beauty of Utah’s Rocky Mountains.

Cirque Lodge is considered among our colleagues, as one of, if not the premium drug and alcohol rehab facility in the country.
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