Beyond Detox: How Medically Assisted Programs Support Long-Term Recovery

Learn more about the many benefits of seeking medically assisted detox at Vista Taos Renewal Center.

Our Holistic Healing Philosophy

At Vista Taos Renewal Center, our mission goes beyond temporary fixes; we aim for deep, sustainable healing.
We are dedicated to a holistic approach in all our treatment services, integrating physical, mental, and emotional health practices to support your entire well-being.
Our programs are crafted to address the symptoms of addiction and nurture the whole person, helping you build a healthier and more fulfilling life.
medically assisted detox

The Role of Medically Assisted Detox

Medically assisted detox is the first step to treating addiction. It helps stabilize your health in a supportive place, making it easier for you to take part in therapy and other treatments without the immediate burden of withdrawal symptoms.
But, detox is just the beginning. Our medically assisted programs offer much more to help you achieve long-term recovery.

Understanding Medically Assisted Detox

Medically assisted detox uses FDA-approved medications to help manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal after stopping drug use. This initial step in the recovery process is critical, as it stabilizes people physically and prepares them for the following comprehensive treatment.

Common Medications Used in Medically Assisted Detox

The choice of medication depends on the substance someone is withdrawing from and their individual health needs.
Some commonly used medications in medically assisted detox include:

For Opioid Addiction

For opioid detox, medications include:
  • Methadone: Helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the high associated with opioid abuse.
  • Buprenorphine: Often used as a safer alternative to methadone, it also helps decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Naltrexone: Blocks opioid receptors to prevent the effects of opioids and reduce cravings.

For Alcohol Dependence

Common medications for medically assisted detox from alcohol include:
  • Benzodiazepines: Used to manage withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, and to prevent severe complications like seizures and delirium tremens.
  • Naltrexone: This helps reduce drinking behavior by blocking the pleasurable effects of alcohol.
  • Acamprosate: Helps stabilize brain chemistry disrupted by alcohol use and reduces the desire to drink.

For Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Medically assisted detox from benzodiazepines often involves tapering use. This is the most common method, where the dosage of the benzodiazepine is gradually reduced under medical supervision to minimize withdrawal effects.
Phenobarbital is sometimes used to ease the withdrawal process when tapering off benzodiazepines.

The Benefits of Medically Assisted Detox

Medically assisted detox is designed to make the withdrawal process as safe and comfortable as possible. This approach significantly improves the experience of those beginning their journey to recovery.
Some specific benefits of medically assisted detox include:


Withdrawal can be dangerous, especially from substances like alcohol and benzodiazepines, which can potentially cause severe symptoms such as seizures or delirium tremens.1
Medically assisted detox reduces these risks by providing medical supervision and intervention. Healthcare professionals monitor a person’s vital signs and general condition around the clock, ready to respond if complications arise.


Withdrawal symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to extremely painful. Medically assisted detox uses medications to alleviate these symptoms, making the process much more bearable.
For instance, medications can manage symptoms like:
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Other physical or emotional discomforts

Reducing Relapse Risk

The discomfort of withdrawal symptoms can sometimes lead people to resume substance use simply to relieve the pain. When people are not overwhelmed by discomfort, they are less likely to relapse and more likely to continue with the recovery process.

Psychological Support

Besides physical symptoms, withdrawal can also trigger significant emotional and psychological distress.
Medically assisted detox programs at Vista Taos Renewal Center include psychological support and counseling, which are vital during this vulnerable phase.
This support helps people deal with emotions and thoughts that arise as the drugs leave their system, preparing them mentally and emotionally for the next steps in treatment.

Foundation for Continued Recovery

Successfully managing the initial withdrawal phase with medically assisted detox sets a positive tone for the rest of the recovery journey.
It shows that recovery is achievable and that the physical dependence on substances can be overcome. This success builds confidence and motivates continued engagement in the treatment process.

Our Approach to Medically Assisted Detox

At Vista Taos Renewal Center, we prioritize a compassionate and comprehensive approach to medically assisted detox.
We combine medical expertise with a nurturing environment to help reduce the anxiety and uncertainty that often accompany detox. Our team is committed to providing an empathetic, respectful, and encouraging setting where client well-being is our top priority.

Personalized Detox Plans

Before beginning detox, our medical team conducts a thorough evaluation to determine each person’s physical and psychological state.
This information is used to create a personalized detox plan that addresses any underlying medical or mental health issues, as well as substance use history.

Medical Supervision and Support During Detoxification

Having a team of healthcare professionals continuously monitoring client progress through detox ensures that any complications or changes in their condition are promptly addressed.
They are also there to offer reassurance and psychological support throughout the detoxification process. Their presence ensures clients are not alone during this challenging time, providing security and comfort.

Assessment and Treatment Planning During Medically Assisted Detox

The initial assessment is designed to capture a full picture of a person’s health and substance use history. We do this through:
We do this through:
  • Medical evaluations: A thorough medical examination is conducted to assess a person’s physical health. This includes lab tests, screenings, and evaluations to determine any physical conditions or complications that might affect the treatment plan.
  • Psychological evaluations: Clients will meet with a mental health professional who will conduct a psychological assessment. This evaluation helps identify any co-occurring mental health disorders and assesses overall mental and emotional states.

Developing a Treatment Plan

Based on the findings from these initial assessments, a personalized treatment plan is developed. It may include a combination of:
  • Medically assisted detox
  • Therapy sessions
  • Support groups
  • Holistic approaches

Collaborative Approach in Treatment Planning

Our staff does not unilaterally decide on a treatment plan; instead, it is a collaborative process that involves significant input from the client. We believe that active participation in creating a treatment plan is crucial for its success.
Throughout the planning process, clients are encouraged to express their concerns, preferences, and goals. Our medical professionals take the time to discuss the various options available and explain the rationale behind each proposed element of the treatment plan.
This collaboration ensures that clients feel empowered and involved in their recovery journey from the start. It also helps build trust between clients and their team, which is essential for a supportive therapeutic relationship.

Medication Management and Symptom Control in Medically Assisted Detox

During medically assisted detox, medications are primarily used to manage withdrawal symptoms that might otherwise be overwhelming or dangerous.
These medications help:
  • Stabilize the body’s chemistry
  • Reduce physical withdrawal symptoms
  • Decrease psychological cravings
  • Provide a safer and more manageable detox experience
At Vista Taos Renewal Center, we use a variety of FDA-approved medications tailored to the specific needs of each client and their substance use history. Some examples include:

Alleviating Discomfort

The discomfort associated with withdrawal can be debilitating. To alleviate this discomfort, we may use medications such as:
  • Benzodiazepines: These medications help reduce anxiety and prevent potential seizures, which can occur during severe detox phases.2
  • Antidepressants: Often, people undergoing detox experience significant mood swings and depression. Antidepressants can help stabilize mood and prevent depressive episodes that might complicate the detox process.

Reducing Cravings

Strong cravings for drugs or alcohol can also be overwhelming, making it difficult to stay on track with recovery.
To reduce these cravings, we may use medications such as:
  • Naltrexone: This medication is used for both opioid and alcohol dependency. It works by blocking the euphoric effects of opioids and the pleasurable effects of alcohol, thus reducing cravings.3
  • Buprenorphine: Often used in combination with naltrexone, buprenorphine is another medication for opioid dependency that helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by partially stimulating opioid receptors in the brain.
  • Acamprosate: Specifically for alcohol dependency, acamprosate helps stabilize the brain’s chemical balance post-alcohol use, which decreases cravings.

Careful Monitoring and Adjustment of Medications

The process of medically assisted detox is dynamic, with a person’s needs potentially changing from day to day. At Vista Taos Renewal Center, we place a strong emphasis on the careful monitoring and adjustment of medications throughout the detox process.
This vigilant approach ensures that the medications continue to effectively manage symptoms and support recovery without causing adverse effects.

Psychological Support and Counseling During Medically Assisted Detox

During medically assisted detox, clients may experience a range of intense emotions, from anxiety and fear to depression and irritability.
Our counselors are trained to help clients navigate the emotional upheavals that can occur as the body adjusts to the absence of substances. Counseling sessions also focus on relapse prevention. Therapists can help identify triggers that could lead to relapse and develop coping strategies.

Evidence-Based Therapies for Psychological Symptoms and Cravings

Our treatment programs are grounded in evidence-based therapies that have been proven effective in treating substance abuse and its psychological effects.4
These therapies are designed to address not only the symptoms of withdrawal but also the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. These therapies include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a widely used approach that helps people identify negative thought patterns and behaviors that lead to substance use. By understanding these patterns, people can change them, which is vital in managing cravings and preventing relapse.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is particularly effective for people who experience intense emotions and have difficulty regulating them.
This therapy teaches skills for:
  • Mindfulness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Distress tolerance
These skills are invaluable during medically assisted detox and beyond.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

MI is centered around enhancing a person’s motivation to change. This therapy helps resolve ambivalence toward recovery by reinforcing a person’s personal motivation and commitment to change behaviors.

Holistic Approaches to Support Medically Assisted Detox

To enhance the efficacy of medically assisted detox, we incorporate a variety of holistic therapies that complement the detox process. These therapies are designed to nurture the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—providing a comprehensive approach to recovery.
These techniques include:

Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness practices at Vista Taos Renewal Center may include yoga and meditation.
  • Yoga: Practicing yoga can help people develop a better awareness of their body’s needs and reactions. This is especially beneficial during medically assisted detox, as it teaches people how to better manage discomfort and emotional turbulence.
  • Meditation: Meditation encourages a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind, which can help manage the anxiety and stress that often accompany detox. Regular meditation practice enhances emotional health and increases self-awareness. 

Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy offers a hands-on, holistic approach to healing. It involves engaging in activities such as art or outdoor recreation that encourage self-expression and promote emotional processing.
This type of therapy can be especially beneficial during medically assisted detox as it allows people to explore their emotions and experiences in a non-verbal way, providing an alternative form of communication and release.

Physical Wellness

Engaging in physical activity during medically assisted detox can help alleviate some withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood lifters, which can create feelings of happiness and relaxation.
Physical wellness activities at Vista Taos Renewal Center may include:
  • Gentle yoga and stretching
  • Nature walks and hikes
  • Low-impact cardio exercises
For those who are able, more vigorous activities may be available, depending on individual health assessments.

Self-Care Practices

Alongside physical exercise, we encourage self-care practices that promote well-being. This includes:
  • Adequate rest
  • Proper hydration
  • Engagement in relaxing and enjoyable activities such as reading or engaging in creative arts
These practices are essential for mental health and contribute to a more positive and productive detox experience.

Supporting the Body's Natural Healing Process

The holistic approaches employed at Vista Taos Renewal Center aim to alleviate symptoms and support the body’s natural healing processes during detox. These therapies help activate the body’s innate healing capabilities, promoting recovery at a cellular level.
Integrating holistic modalities into the detox process helps to:
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve mood and emotional well-being
  • Improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
These benefits make the detox process more manageable and can also provide people with valuable coping skills for maintaining sobriety in the future.

Family Education and Support During Medically Assisted Detox

We understand that the detox process can be stressful for clients and their loved ones. When a client starts their detox journey, we provide them with an orientation to the medically assisted detox process.
This includes detailed explanations of:
  • What to expect during detox
  • The role of medications
  • How detox fits into the larger addiction treatment plan
To further support and educate families, Vista Taos Renewal Center provides a variety of educational materials and counseling services, including:

Educational Workshops

We host regular workshops that focus on topics such as:
  • The effects of substances on the brain
  • How detox works
  • Strategies for effective support during and after the detox process
These workshops are designed to help families gain a deeper understanding of what their loved one

Family Counseling

Recognizing that addiction affects the entire family, we offer family counseling sessions. These sessions help address the emotional and psychological impacts of addiction on family dynamics.
Counseling provides a safe space for families to express their feelings, ask questions, and learn healthy ways to support each other.

The Importance of Family Involvement in the Recovery Journey

Family involvement is essential in the recovery journey for several reasons:
  • It provides emotional support to the person undergoing detox, which can significantly influence their motivation and overall mental health.
  • Engaged and informed families are better prepared to offer the practical and emotional support needed during this challenging time.
  • Involving the family in the recovery process helps to mend and strengthen relationships that may have been strained by substance abuse
  • It opens up lines of communication and fosters a deeper understanding among family members.
Family participation also helps to create a network of accountability. When families are involved, they can monitor the person’s progress and provide encouragement and accountability for maintaining sobriety.

Aftercare Planning and Relapse Prevention After Medically Assisted Detox

The transition back to everyday life after detox can be challenging. Aftercare planning includes various forms of support that cater to each person’s needs post-detox. It helps them apply the skills learned during treatment to real-world situations.
If someone completes our detox program, our team will work with them to create an aftercare plan that may include:

Relapse Prevention Strategies

The first step in relapse prevention is to identify triggers. A trigger can be a person, place, thing, or situation that raises a person’s urge to use substances.
Once triggers are identified, the next step is to develop robust coping mechanisms. They can include mindfulness techniques, stress management, or engaging in a hobby.
It’s also likely people will encounter a scenario where they may be in a situation where access to drugs or alcohol is present. In these cases, having a plan in place beforehand can help prevent relapse.
This could include:
  • Reaching out to a sponsor or support group
  • Removing oneself from the situation
  • Finding alternative activities to do

Alumni Program

Our alumni program connects clients with a network of peers who have gone through similar experiences. Alumni events and meetings provide an opportunity to share experiences and challenges, offering mutual support and encouragement.

Tips for Practicing Self-Care and Coping Strategies in the Recovery Journey

Maintaining recovery requires consistent effort. As you continue your journey, make sure to prioritize self-care and practice coping strategies to stay on track.
Here are some tips to help you do so:
  • Schedule regular check-ins with yourself to assess your emotional and mental well-being. This could be through journaling, talking to a therapist or trusted friend, or simply taking some time for introspection.
  • Develop a support system of people you can turn to for help and guidance when needed. Ask for help when you need it, and offer support to others when they do the same.
  • Practice self-compassion and forgiveness. Recovery is a journey, and setbacks may occur. Be kind to yourself and remember that progress is not always linear.
  • Find healthy outlets for stress relief such as exercise, art, music, or other hobbies that bring you joy.  These activities can also serve as a distraction when cravings arise.
  • Set boundaries with yourself and others. It’s important to know your limits and communicate them assertively. This may mean saying no to social events or situations that could potentially jeopardize your recovery.
  • Celebrate your progress and accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
medically assisted detox

How to Begin Your Journey to Healing at Vista Taos Renewal Center

Embarking on the path to recovery is a brave and life-changing decision. We are committed to supporting you every step of the way through our medically assisted detox and comprehensive recovery programs.
To learn more about our programs or to begin the admissions process, you can reach out to us in several ways:
  • Fill out our contact form: Visit our website and fill out the contact form to get in touch. Our team will respond promptly to discuss your needs and how we can help.
  • Call us: Dial (575) 758-5858 to speak directly with one of our admissions specialists. They can answer any questions you have about our treatment options and what to expect.
  • Visit us: Our facility is located at 259 Blueberry Hill Road, El Prado, New Mexico, 87529. You are welcome to visit us and see our facilities firsthand.
  • Email us: Send your inquiries to, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Admissions Process

Understanding the admissions process and available insurance options can make your decision to seek help easier and less stressful:
  • Initial inquiry: Whether you call us directly or fill out an online contact form, your journey begins with an initial conversation. This is your opportunity to ask questions, express concerns, and learn more about our medically assisted detox and other treatment options.
  • Pre-assessment: A confidential pre-assessment follows, which helps our team understand your specific needs.
  • Insurance verification: We understand the importance of affordability. Our team will help verify your insurance coverage and discuss any available options. We work with most major insurance providers and will navigate the specifics with you to minimize out-of-pocket costs.
  • Admission scheduling: Once everything is set, we schedule your admission into our program at a time that works best for you, ensuring a smooth transition into treatment.

Take the First Step Toward Wellness Today

Taking the first step toward recovery can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Vista Taos Renewal Center, you will find a supportive community and a team of dedicated professionals ready to guide you through every phase of your recovery.
We invite you to reach out to us and begin a conversation about how we can support you on your journey to healing. Whether you are seeking help for yourself or a loved one, Vista Taos Renewal Center offers a compassionate environment where healing is not just possible, but expected.
Join us and take the first step toward a healthier, fulfilling life free from addiction.
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Ready to Renew Your Life and Well-Being?
Reach out to Vista Taos Renewal Center today and let us guide you toward sustainable recovery. We will help you heal from the addictions and substance use challenges that hinder you from leading your most fulfilled life through personalized, whole-person treatment.