How Long Does Detox Last?

The length it takes your body to detox from drugs and alcohol depends greatly on the substance used. For instance, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal tend to begin subsiding after a few days, but sometimes they will not even start for at least a week. Likewise, while most drugs only take between one and two weeks to fully detox, some drugs such as methadone may take much longer. Meanwhile, fentanyl can clear the system as quickly as two days, yet withdrawal sometimes persists afterward because the body still expects another fix. The substance used will therefore play a role in how long patients must stay at a medical detox facility.

How Long Is Withdrawal?

With most drugs, the worst withdrawal symptoms occur within the first few days. However, the body continues to flush itself out, and some symptoms may persist. Additionally, withdrawal sometimes continues after the initial detox period, as is often the case with opiates such as heroin and fentanyl. Even in the event that the worst withdrawal symptoms pass within the first few days, post-acute withdrawal symptoms may continue to cause discomfort long afterward. This is why many seek the aid of medical detox facilities, as they can provide treatment for ongoing symptoms in the event of a delayed start or a prolonged period of post-acute withdrawal.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms depend on many factors. Not only do they depend upon the substance used, but also the amount taken and the method by which the drug was administered. Alcohol withdrawal may result in nausea, tremors, muscle aches, irritability and a condition known as delirium tremens. Opiates, on the other hand, may result in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, anxiety and possible seizures. In rare instances, withdrawal from various prescription drugs may actually prove fatal, thus necessitating care at a medical detox facility.

When entering detox in a state of malnutrition or sleep deprivation, withdrawal symptoms are often much more severe due to the influence of these conditions. Due to the variance in symptoms and severity depending upon the substance used, it is strongly advised that you directly contact a professional with any questions about the medical detox process.

Standard Medical Detox Procedures

Certain medications can ease withdrawal symptoms. These medications, such as Suboxone for opioid withdrawal or Librium for alcohol withdrawal, lessen the severity of withdrawal by detoxing the patient more slowly. Not all medical detox facilities use these medications, although they usually provide medication to mitigate symptoms by lessening anxiety and promoting general physical health. Detox patients are provided with excellent nutrition and are carefully monitored in the event that their withdrawal symptoms require emergency medical care.

Medical detox patients who plan on graduating to residential treatment or day/night care may not begin this leg of their treatment in earnest until they have completed their detox period, as they will not be in the mindset to benefit from processes such as therapy and support group meetings. Once they complete their detox, however, they will be ready to begin the next chapter of their recovery. A facility such as First Choice Detox can help those who wish to receive high-quality medical care leading into a full continuum of addiction treatment.