How Long Does It Take To Detox From Drugs?

By Midwest Detox Staff

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As you can imagine, there’s no precise timeline for how long a detox from drugs will take. It would be great if a healthcare professional could tell you that you just need to detox for 48 hours to be free and clear, but that’s just not how it works. The process can take different lengths of time for each individual. So, in today’s guide, we will go over some standard drug detox timelines and help you learn what to expect from a drug detox clinic.

And remember, if you or someone you love is currently in need of inpatient drug detoxification, please reach out to us at Midwest Detox as soon as possible.

In This Article
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    How Drug Detox Works

    Drug detox is the process of removing toxic substances from your body. Unbeknownst to many users, drugs actually build up in your body over time, which is what causes dependence and higher tolerance levels. When you make an effort to stop using drugs, it is the dependence that can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Since drug withdrawals can be severe and unpredictable, it is vital that you check into a drug detox center for help. Here is what you can expect during the detoxing process:

    • Initial Evaluation - When you first arrive at a detox facility, the staff and healthcare professionals will want to know about your medical history, the kinds of drugs you have used recently, as well as any mental health issues you’re aware of. This information helps the clinic develop a detox treatment plan that is personalized to fit your needs.
    • Alleviation of Withdrawal Symptoms - Since withdrawal symptoms can begin very early in the detoxing process, alleviating these symptoms will be a top priority. Fortunately, trained healthcare professionals and substance abuse counselors can prescribe medication and provide a comfortable environment to make the process as painless as possible.
    • Monitoring of Progress - As previously mentioned, each individual will move through a detox program at their own pace. Clinic staff will monitor your vitals and your overall progress so that they can adjust your treatment as needed.
    • Therapeutic Support - Drug withdrawals can make you feel anxious, depressed, and irritable. For this reason, counselors are made available to provide emotional and therapeutic support. Many clinics also offer individual or group therapy to help you cope with the difficulties you are facing.
    • Help With Post-Detox Transition - Finally, detox clinics do not just wean you off drugs and then send you on your way. Instead, they help you move on to the next step in your treatment, which often includes inpatient or outpatient rehab.

    Drug Detox Timeline

    Generally, you can estimate the amount of time needed for a drug detox by the severity of your dependence on the drug, the type of drug (or drugs) you have used, the current state of your overall health, as well as the presence of any co-occurring mental health issues. Again, it is important to remember that the time needed to fully detox from drugs will vary for everyone. That said, you can use the following guidelines to get an idea of the duration of your drug detox:

    • Alcohol - If you’re entering detox for alcohol addiction, a standard stay will usually be anywhere from 7 to 10 days. However, more severe cases may require two weeks or longer to help your body fully cleanse itself of alcohol and overcome Delirium Tremens (DTs).
    • Benzodiazepines - Drugs like Valium, Xanax, or Ativan typically have a shorter detox timeline, but it all depends on the severity of your addiction. It could take a few days or a few weeks to detox. Keep in mind that “benzos” often require you to taper off of the drug slowly, which could prolong the duration of your detox.
    • Opioids - Opioids like fentanyl or heroin can produce severe withdrawal symptoms, though they are generally short-lived. You can expect an opioid detox to last for up to 10 days before you will be transitioned to the next step in your treatment plan.
    • Stimulants - Drugs like cocaine or crystal meth usually require a detox that lasts between 7 and 10 days. This period could be longer depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

    Remember that these are just general guidelines; your detox could be shorter or longer. If you’re addicted to more than one substance and/or you have a dual diagnosis, it may take longer for you to become stable enough to leave a detox program. A healthcare professional can provide you with a more accurate assessment of your needs based on your drug use habits and your medical history.

    What Happens When You Detox From Drugs?

    Knowing that detox involves withdrawal symptoms can be scary. You don’t know exactly what to expect, which might make you hesitant to enter a detox facility at all. However, it is vitally important to begin detox as soon as possible so that you can end your addiction for good. To have a better idea of what to expect, here are some of the changes that occur in your mind and body:

    Physical Changes During Drug Detox

    • The drug or drugs, as well as any associated toxins, are eliminated from your body, often through the liver, kidneys, and digestive system.
    • In the absence of drugs, your body will begin to go through withdrawal. The exact symptoms and severity will vary depending on the substance and how long you used it before entering detox. Some of the most common symptoms of drug withdrawal are nausea, sweating, tremors, and headaches.
    • Once you get over the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, your body will begin to stabilize.

    Mental Changes During a Drug Detox

    • Drug addiction can cause changes in your brain chemistry, and when you don’t have access to drugs, you may experience anxiety, depression, and rapid mood swings.
    • Your brain will work to rebalance neurotransmitters that were unbalanced by prolonged drug use; this process may result in more intense emotional reactions and difficulty coping with the absence of drugs.
    • Intense cravings are almost always a part of the detoxing process, as your brain is trying to return to a state of “normalcy” that was created by drug dependence.
    • The difficulty of withdrawal often creates temporary cognitive issues that can include memory problems, poor concentration, and difficulty making decisions.
    • As the detox progresses, your emotional state should stabilize along with your physical state, leading to an improvement in your ability to think clearly and regulate your emotions.

    How A Drug Detox Center Helps You Detox

    A drug detox center is a vital first step that you’ll need to take to beat addiction. When you check into an inpatient drug detox center, you’ll get help managing your withdrawal symptoms, dealing with difficult emotions, and developing the skills you need to leave drugs for good. At Midwest Detox, we offer compassionate care and work with you to develop a detox plan that is effective, supportive, and aligned with your long-term goals. When you choose Midwest Detox to begin your recovery, you’ll get the highest level of care, providing you with the tools and resources you need to achieve lasting freedom from addiction.

    Are you in need of a private drug detox center to begin your recovery? If so, Midwest Detox can provide everything you need to detox in a safe, comfortable environment. Visit our site or call us directly at 414-409-5200 to take the first step toward sobriety.