Recovering from a substance abuse problem doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a multi-step process with several distinct phases. And detox is how it all begins. But if you’re not familiar with the substance abuse recovery process, you may have lots of questions about how detox works.
How long will you be in detox? What will your time there be like? And what types of options for detox do you have?
If you’ve been trying to figure out the answers to questions like these, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn how long you should expect to spend in detox and everything else you need to know about the process.
Detox is the first step in most peoples’ recovery processes. It’s when your body clears out the last traces of the substance you’ve been abusing from its systems. The technical meaning for the term is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from the human body.
So what does that mean?
Generally, patients will spend some time in a detox center. Here, they can receive support from addiction specialists who will do their best to ease withdrawal symptoms and make the process as comfortable for the patient as possible.
It’s technically possible to detox at home, as the only requirement for doing so is not taking the substance you’ve been abusing. But this isn’t usually advisable. Depending on the nature of your addiction, your detox may involve dangerous symptoms that you don’t want to risk experiencing without professional support nearby. Additionally, detoxing at home tends to increase the risk of relapse.
Average detox length
Now that we know what detox is, let’s look at how long it typically takes. There are a number of factors that can impact this, including:
- Which substance was being abused
- What dosage the patient was taking
- The presence of any underlying medical conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders
- The user’s medical history
With that in mind, here’s a look at the average detox length for various substances. Just remember that your actual detox timeline could vary from this.
- Alcohol – 24-72 hours
- Sleeping pills – 2-7 days
- Opioids – 1-2 weeks
- Prescription painkillers – 2-3 days
- Cocaine and meth – 1-2 weeks
Keep in mind, these timelines are for when you should expect the peak of your symptoms to pass. You may still experience relatively minor withdrawal symptoms and cravings for some time after this.
Who needs detox?
Detox is a necessary part of every substance abuse recovery plan. That’s because the body will always have to clear out the remnants of the substance from your system after your last use of it.
You may think that if your addiction wasn’t severe, you don’t need to go to a professional facility to detox. But most experts advise everyone to detox under the care of a physician.
This is because some detox symptoms can be life-threatening. These symptoms can be rare or common depending on the nature of your addiction. But if the risk is there, then it’s always advisable to make sure that you have a professional nearby to respond to the symptoms just in case. It’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with your health.
There are lots of different symptoms that you may experience while detoxing from drugs or alcohol. The specific symptoms that you get will vary based on the substance that you’ve been using, how you’ve been using it, and your personal health factors.
But here are some of the more common signs of detox:
- Body pain
- Changes in appetite
If you think you need to detox, then it’s a good idea to look up the common symptoms for the specific substance that you’ve been abusing. This can give you a better sense of what to expect while you detox.
For example, common symptoms of alcohol detox include:
- Higher heart rate
- Higher sensitivity to light
For detox in Southern California, choose The House of the Rising Son
Completing your detox is the first step towards recovering from a substance abuse disorder. If you’re ready to do that and to start working towards a brighter tomorrow, then get in touch with The House of the Rising Son today.
We’ll provide you with a personalized detox plan, which you will complete under the watchful eyes of our trained addiction specialists. They can guide you through the process to make it as easy and painless as possible.
So why wait? Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help.