How Long Does Detox Take?

Detoxification, the process of the body ridding itself of toxins, can range from uncomfortable to severe depending on a person’s addiction. After a sudden halt in a person’s usage of drugs or alcohol, withdrawal symptoms may start to appear within 6 to 24 hours and can become extremely serious which is why medical assistance is recommended.

Detoxification is the first step in the recovery process, but it is a means to an end and must be followed up with treatment, as it builds the foundation for the rest of the program. Withdrawal can be the most unpleasant part of recovery, but you don’t need to go through it alone. 

What Factors Impact the Length of Detox?

The entire process of detoxification can last days or months, again depending on the severity of the addiction. 

The length of time depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Which substance, and how many substances, were used
  • How often the substance was used
  • How much of the substance was used
  • Underlying mental health conditions
  • Medical history
  • Age
  • Gender

The way that these factors do or do not occur in combination is essentially what determines the length of detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms may peak at 72 hours after the last usage, but moderate symptoms can continue for extended periods of time after this three-day timeframe. Medical monitoring and assistance is the safest way to approach your detox.

One unexpected factor which can result in a lengthened timeframe for detoxification is a medical emergency. This can include sudden changes in blood pressure, breathing, or heart rate, and medical intervention should take place so that the person can be monitored and stabilized. 

What Does Detoxification Treatment Look Like?

Upon arrival at Starbridge Recovery, you will be evaluated so that the best course of action can be planned out for you. 

When a mental health condition co-occurs with drug addiction, known as Dual-Diagnosis, detoxification may be lengthened, and inpatient treatment is called for where you will receive great care and individual attention. 

By assessing things like family history and co-occurring conditions, we can gain a better understanding of current physical and mental health, leading to a higher likelihood of successful treatment. 

Being honest during this assessment is vital, because leaving out details may result in a detox program that is more challenging than need be. Detox programs are comprehensive and individualized to meet the needs of each client, taking into account what drugs have been used and when, how long the addiction has lasted, and past attempts to detox. 

A person with dual diagnosis often exhibits overlapping symptoms of a mental health disorder, including:

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Delusional behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts

These symptoms will co-occur with drug and alcohol abuse, and in this case it is extremely important to seek inpatient treatment like that which is offered at Starbridge. Around-the-clock monitoring and care greatly benefits dual diagnosis clients, especially in cases where a person is in denial. Denial is common in these instances, and can result in neglecting your own needs and care due to mental illness negatively impacting your perceptions. 

Throughout detoxification, treatment will include medication, nutritional, emotional support, counseling, alternative treatments, and withdrawal supervision according to each person’s specific needs and concerns. Adjustments will be made as necessary in order to lessen discomfort, and open communication is largely encouraged. Treatment plans are unique because everyone has different needs.

After your initial consultation and assessment, you will meet with your staff and receive a tour of our facility. During your stay, you will reside in a private room in our homelike facility, and you will be given the opportunity to settle in. We want you to feel as comfortable and familiar with our treatment center as possible.

How Severe Will My Symptoms Be?

The same way that usage patterns impact the length of detoxification, they also determine the severity of symptoms. 

Common symptoms of detoxification include:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating, particularly night sweats
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heart rate

These physical symptoms are the earliest side effects of withdrawal, and they are often experienced most intensely within the first few days or first week. They can be managed with medication and it is always encouraged that detoxification takes place under medical supervision. 

At Starbridge Recovery, you will have 24/7 access to highly trained doctors, medication, and alternative treatments so that your recovery path is the best that it can be. Monitoring allows for intervention to occur when needed in order to ensure comfort, which is the key to a successful victory against your addiction. 

Mental health problems can also occur as part of the symptoms of detoxification, and these can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability/agitation
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances

These psychological side effects can last for weeks or months compared to physical symptoms. These can also be managed with medication, but a combination of medication and therapy may be used in order to more successfully ease discomfort. 

All of the items listed above are the most common symptoms, and though they can be very uncomfortable they generally do not result in life-threatening conditions or complications. 

That being said, though, there are some more serious symptoms that must be closely monitored due to their potential for permanent damage. These include:

  • Tremors – These often start a few hours after the last usage and may peak 24-48 hours later. Tremors may be accompanied by heightened blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures – It is important to note that seizures can be life-threatening.

These symptoms also vary depending on the substances in question, and close monitoring will ensure your safety and success throughout recovery. Detox can be distressing, but it is necessary and important. Effective detoxification incorporates emotional and medical support, and attempting to detox at home without such things can result in relapse.

How Do I Know If I Need Treatment?

Continued drug use can, over time, change the brain systems pertaining to reward, memory, and motivation, resulting in a higher release of chemicals associated with pleasure. 

Once these brain system changes occur, there may be a physical need for the substance in order to feel normal, leading to extreme cravings for the substance and usage of the substance in spite of the unwanted consequences. 

Signs that treatment is necessary lie in psychological and behavioral signs. These can include:

  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Increased tolerance – A person requires larger quantities of the substance in order to achieve the same desired effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms – As described above
  • Lack of control – Finding yourself unable to slow down or lessen usage, even if this is desired
  • Stealing in order to continue supporting your habit
  • Continued use of the substance despite consequences
  • Social, financial, and/or legal problems

Anyone experiencing these issues is highly encouraged to seek a residential inpatient program, and Starbridge Recovery in Los Angeles is a safe and homelike place to embark on your journey to recovery.

Our luxury inpatient detox program will ease you through the detoxification process in order to comfortably guide you through your recovery.  Everyone’s detox experience is different, and at Starbridge Recovery we can ensure that someone will always be nearby so that anything you need along the way is taken care of. 

Summary

Overall, the detoxification process can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Length and severity of symptoms experienced during detoxification vary depending on factors such as severity of substance use, family and personal health history, and co-occurring mental health conditions. 

Physical side effects of withdrawal occur within the first week, and are most intense during the first few days. Psychological side effects can last for weeks or months, and should be monitored by a professional. 

A person who is diagnosed with a mental health condition co-occurring with drug addiction should seek inpatient treatment, as this dual diagnosis can result in more severe detoxification symptoms. 

Detoxification can be distressing, but you do not have to go through it alone. 

Detoxification is the first step, and the foundation, to a successful recovery process, and is often the most unpleasant part of the journey. Once detoxification is done, the rest of your treatment program will begin, and your treatment plan will be unique to your specific needs and concerns. 

An inpatient program like ours is there to help you work towards victory over your addiction, as well as to make the journey as comfortable as possible. 

Some signs that you or a loved one may require treatment include, but are not limited to,  loss of interest in activities, loss of control, tolerance for the substance, and continued use of a substance despite consequences or despite the desire to stop usage. 

If you believe that you or a loved one require treatment, reach out to us and we can work towards a brighter, healthier future today. At Starbridge Recovery, we are here to help.

Sources:

https://www.addictioncenter.com/rehab-questions/how-long-does-detox/

https://dualdiagnosis.org/guide-drug-detox/alcohol/how-long-does-it-take/

https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/how-long-does-it-take-to-detox-from-alcohol#withdrawal-symptoms