Recovery from drug addiction is a two-stage process. The first stage, called detoxification, focuses on allowing the body an environment in which it can begin to return to a greater level of physiological homeostasis. This stage begins with the patient entering drug abstinence and withdrawal. Withdrawal can be defined as a reactive process of the cells of the body attempting to readjust to functioning without the presence of drugs or chemicals or any of the by-products of their chemical breakdown. This stage can express itself on a polaric continuum of benign to deadly malignant to terminal. Many variances, including type of drug, progressed stage of disease, sex, state of physical health, and age, play a significant role in the degree of vehemence with which it occurs. This stage often requires medical intervention and management to protect and sustain life. Its acute duration is generally accepted medically as extending from five to seven days, unless physiological crises occur.