FAQ: How Long Is Drug Detox?

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Drug detoxification, more commonly referred to as detox or drug treatment, is just the first part of a thorough, comprehensive, tailored program designed to equip a recovering addict with everything needed to return to normal society. Proper treatment can stop severe side effects that would happen from abruptly quitting the drug, and it helps a patient become stronger at abstinence.

What is Detoxification?

This initial stage of treatment begins when you last consume the drug, lasting for a varying length of time as the toxins are filtered out of the body. This period gives a patient the ability to begin true treatment without any drug influence.

In all cases, the goal is to provide long-term protection and healing for patients who have suffered from addictive abuse for an extended period of time. During detoxification, the primary treatment goal shifts from stabilization to monitoring the patient to ensure there are no adverse side effects to ridding the body of the drug. Drug treatment centers are readily available to help you go through detox and through rehab.

The First Stage

Many patients find the beginning of treatment to be very intense, which is why it is vital to have professionals standing by to provide the support necessary for a smooth transition. For reference, it only takes a few hours for a heroin addict to enter a state of withdrawal, experiencing symptoms including:

  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Anxiety
  • Watery eyes
  • Excessive yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Agitation

These symptoms aren’t necessarily dangerous, but they’re discomforting at best, and patients would still benefit from the relief that professionals can provide during detoxification.

How Long is Drug Detox?

Most of these symptoms occur in the first few hours of last using the drug of choice. Over the next several days, a value which varies depending on the individual, the age of addiction, and the specific drug, the patient completes the withdrawal process. During drug addiction treatment, support is provided on a need-by-need basis depending on the urgency until the addict is no longer suffering.

The Rest of Treatment

As previously stated, detoxification is just one stage of an ongoing process. In many cases, the addiction arises as a result of major life changes, including but not limited to divorce, sexual trauma, violent attacks, grief, or loss of employment. These issues don’t go away just because the toxins leave the body; it is important to unpack these feelings in therapy to prevent the likelihood of relapse.

Effective therapies include:

  • Individual therapy: These one-on-one sessions allow you to pinpoint underlying concerns.
  • Family therapy: Addiction also hurts an addict’s family, and family therapy helps address a broken home.
  • Educational classes: Learning the chemistry of alcohol or drugs and their effect on the human body can help strengthen willpower.
  • Skill classes: This type of class teaches valuable skills, including how to handle normal societal responsibilities.

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