Last updated: June 14, 2018

What Does Detoxification Mean?

Detoxification, within the context of occupational health and safety, refers to the process by which an individual is cleansed of intoxicating or addictive substances found in the body. These may be the results of severe substance abuse, alcoholism, or misuse of prescribed medications. The process by which a person is detoxified can occur in several steps. An individual may be involved in group therapy, and also may be prescribed various medications to help purge the body of toxic traces.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Detoxification

While detoxification can be used for individuals in a non-work environment, the importance of detoxification in the workplace cannot be underestimated. The entire process is seen as a means by which safety in the working area is enhanced. Furthermore, substance abuse has been known to alter the decision-making and cognitive skills of the individual. Detoxification in this sense clears the mind and allows for creative thought processes that are not encumbered by a psychological or physiological addiction.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, and employee may be referred to a controlled program that is separate from the workplace. The process may be covered by the corporate insurance health plan, or part of the employee assistance program. Ordinarily, the company will have at the head of the detoxification program an individual who is a trained specialist in drug rehabilitation or detoxification.

Given the continued recreational use of drugs, and the overall use of medication in society, detoxification is something that will remain a standard part of employee assistance programs and efforts to assure safety in the workplace.


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