How Long Does Detox Take

Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

How Long Does Detox Take?

Table of Contents

Detoxing from drugs and alcohol can be a long process, with many people spending anywhere from three days to several months in detoxification. In 2021, marijuana was the most frequently used illicit substance among people aged 12 or older in the United States, with 18.7% of this population (totaling around 52.5 million people) using it within the past year. Detox is important for anyone who has become dependent on drugs or alcohol as it helps to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and sets the individual up for successful long-term recovery.

What is the Detox Process?

Detoxing from drug addiction is cleaning the body from the remaining toxins left by the drugs. It’s an essential step in resisting temptation and breaking free from addiction. The detox process also helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and reduces physical cravings, which can be difficult for someone recovering.

The detox process will differ depending on the substance abused. Some substances require medical detox interventions, such administering of certain medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Other substances may not require medical intervention and can be detoxed at home with the support of family and friends.

It’s important to remember that the detox process is only a step in addiction recovery; it does not mean you are cured. Long-term treatment and support are required to recover from drug addiction fully. This includes counseling, therapy, self-help groups, and other forms of ongoing support.

Withdrawal Symptoms for Common Drug Addiction

When detoxing from drug addiction, one can experience withdrawal symptoms. They can be a combination of psychological signs and physical withdrawal symptoms. These vary by the type of drug abuse and may include:

  • Nausea/Vomiting

  • Insomnia

  • Muscle pain or tension

  • Sweating or chills

  • Anxiety or restlessness

  • Depression

  • Hallucinations or delusions

  • Seizures

Not all withdrawal symptoms are equal. Cocaine addiction withdrawal symptoms are somewhat stronger than alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This is because of how the brain’s dopamine reward system becomes dependent on the drug and its effects on the body. This is why detox treatment programs need to be monitored.

To avoid the onset of drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to consult with a medical professional as you approach the detox process. By doing so, your treatment team can prescribe medications to help manage some of these symptomatic effects and make detoxing from drug and alcohol addiction more bearable. However, the best way to ensure a successful detox is by following through with your medical treatment plan and sticking to it.

Withdrawal Symptoms for Common Drug Addiction

Detox Process Timeline

The time it takes to complete the detox process depends on each individual and the severity of their substance abuse. Generally speaking, a successful drug detox can take 7-10 days. During this timeframe, a medical professional will monitor your progress and ensure you follow your treatment plan.

The timeline for detox programs according to the days it takes and the significant changes one may feel are as follows:

  • Day 1: Most of the noticeable symptoms will begin to surface. You may feel anxious, nauseous, weak, and discouraged.

  • Days 3-7: The severe withdrawal symptoms begin during this period. This is usually the most difficult stage, as these physical and psychological effects are very powerful.

  • Days 7-10: As the detox process nears, most physical symptoms should start to subside. You may still experience bouts of depression and anxiety, but they should be more manageable now.

Throughout this process, it’s essential to have a proper mental health services administration program to keep the determined mindset of the patient.

Detox Process Timeline

Detox Aftercare

Completing the detox process is only the first step in recovery. Developing an aftercare plan that includes regular therapy and support group meetings is essential to ensure successful long-term sobriety. This will help lower the risk of relapse and help you maintain your sobriety for years.

It’s also important to remember that addiction is a chronic illness and requires ongoing management. Having a support system of friends, family, or medical professionals can help you stay mindful during times of difficulty and prevent relapse in the future.

The detox process can be an intimidating experience, but with the proper guidance and assistance, it’s possible to break free from addiction. Dedication and perseverance can heal you physically and emotionally, allowing you to reach a healthier lifestyle.

Detox Aftercare

Medically Assisted Detox

When detoxing from drugs, an important factor to consider is using medically assisted treatment. Medically assisted detox can be a valuable tool in combating addiction as it helps reduce drug dependence’s physical and psychological effects. This type of treatment may involve certain medications or replacement therapies that help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for the substance abused.

It’s important to consult with a medical professional before initiating medically assisted treatment, as this type of treatment must be specialized to each individual’s needs. The doctor will assess your condition and prescribe medications or therapies based on the severity of your addiction. It’s also essential to have support from family and friends throughout the process, as it can help you stay committed to the plan and reduce the risk of relapse.

Medically Assisted Detox

Detox at Home Vs. at a Facility

When detoxing from drug addiction, you have two primary options: detox at home or a medical facility. Each option has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before making a decision.

Detox at Home

Detoxing from drugs at home can provide several benefits, including more privacy, control over the environment, and typically lower costs. However, detoxing at home can be dangerous if you are unfamiliar with withdrawal symptoms or cannot access medical help in an emergency. It’s also important to remember that even if your withdrawal symptoms may seem mild, they could still lead to serious health risks and should always be monitored by a professional.

Detox at a Facility

Detoxing at a facility offers medical supervision and support during detox, which can be incredibly helpful in managing withdrawal symptoms. The physicians and nurses are trained to monitor your progress and provide resources to ensure a successful detox experience. Many facilities also offer psychological support to help you manage any underlying mental health issues that may be connected to your addiction. However, detoxing at a facility can be costly, and waiting lists for available beds may exist.

No matter which path you decide to take when detoxing from drug addiction, it’s important to remember that seeking professional help is always the best option to ensure your safety during the detox process.

Detox at a Facility

Tips for Making Detox Easier

Detoxing from drug addiction is never easy, but following a few simple tips can help make the process smoother and more successful:

  • Seek professional assistance. Detoxifying from addiction on your own can be dangerous, so enrolling in a professional treatment program that includes medical supervision is important when available.

  • Develop a support system. Talk to family, friends, or other people in recovery and ask them for advice on how to cope with the challenges of detoxing.

  • Get plenty of rest. Sleep is essential during detox, as it can help speed up the process by restoring your body’s natural balance and assisting with managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise can help with the release of endorphins, which can reduce stress and ease withdrawal symptoms.

  • Eat healthy foods. Eating a balanced diet during detox can give your body the nutrients it needs to recover and repair itself.

  • Avoid triggers. Identify situations that might lead to relapse and avoid them as much as possible to stay on the path of recovery.

  • Stay positive. Remind yourself that although detox can be difficult, you’re taking an important step towards a healthier lifestyle and a better future.

Tips for Making Detox Easier

Addressing Detox and Fatality

Detoxing from drug addiction is a long and difficult process that requires professional medical assistance to ensure the highest level of safety. It’s important to be aware of potential risks during detox, including possible fatalities due to complications associated with withdrawal symptoms. To reduce the risk of fatality, individuals need to seek help from trained medical professionals when detoxing from drugs.

The best way to ensure a safe and successful detox is to seek out an addiction treatment center specializing in providing medical supervision during detox. These centers can provide comprehensive care and support, allowing individuals to safely detox from drugs while receiving counseling or other treatments.

Family members and friends of those suffering from addiction must be supportive and understanding during detox. A strong support system can make all the difference in a successful recovery from drug addiction.

Addressing Detox and Fatality

Finding a Detox Center Near You

Choosing to detox can be exhausting and emotionally draining and even threaten one’s own life. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help those in need. With a team of professionals, medical assistance, and proper monitoring, detox facilities are always the safer choice for long-term sobriety. You can even turn to facilities for alcohol treatment for a loved one.

At NuView Treatment Center, our team of dedicated professionals is here to help individuals in recovery find the resources and support they need to return to living a life free of drug dependence. Contact us at (323) 307 – 7997 or email us at to learn more about how we can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

The length of time that detox will take varies depending on the individual and the type of drug they were using. Generally, it takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks or months to complete detox.

Withdrawal symptoms are physical or psychological reactions when an individual stops using drugs. These can include headaches, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and cravings for the drug.

Detoxing from drugs provides many health and lifestyle benefits. It can reduce your risk of overdose, improve your mental clarity and emotional balance, strengthen your relationships, and help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Professional treatment programs, 12-step groups, therapy sessions, or other peer groups can provide valuable support to individuals going through detox. It’s important to reach out for help when needed to stay on the path of recovery.

Relapse is always a risk when detoxing from drugs, but it can be minimized with proper treatment and support. Developing a strong support system and avoiding triggers can help reduce the chances of relapse during this process.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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