Detoxification (or detox) refers to the removal of toxins from the body. Toxins include alcohol, drugs, heavy metals, and other chemicals that are harmful to the body. In detoxification for drug and alcohol abuse, the patient withdraws from the drug while under medical supervision.
This type of detox is the first step in addiction recovery and is meant to be combined with medication and counseling. Detoxification for general health or nutritional purposes is typically an unsupervised process and may be done with herbal supplements, dietary restrictions, sweating, massage, or other methods.