For people with drug & alcohol problems

Your Guide to Rehab: Why it’s necessary and why it could save your life.

Drug Detox

Drug Detox: withdrawal, treatment

Drug Detox: Common Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatments

Dealing with drug addiction can have a massive impact on your daily life, occupation and relationships with others.

We understand that facing up to your addiction is hard, but it is the important first step to a sober life.

If you need support, or if you have any questions, our team are always here. Call us any time for confidential help: 0808 1150 446

What is drug detox?

It is vital to undergo a drug detox in order to move onto the next stage of your rehab treatment and recovery.

The detox process allows the substances consumed time to leave your system.

This is not an easy process, and because the body of an addict has become used to, and dependent on drugs, and you will experience a number of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms – both physical and psychological.

Some withdrawal symptoms can even be fatal, so it is vital to detox under the care of medically trained doctors and nurses who can monitor your progress and medicate you accordingly.

How serious your withdrawal symptoms are will depend on the type of drug you have become addicted to, and the severity of your substance addiction.

What kinds of drugs can you help me detox from?

Though detox is the first and most worrisome stage of the rehab treatment process, it helps remove any kind of substance or drug from the body of an addict. Detoxing is essential if you are addicted to the following drugs:

  • Ambien
  • Amytal
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Crystal Meth
  • Ecstasy
  • GBL
  • Heroin
  • Ketamine
  • Lunesta
  • Painkillers/Prescription drugs
  • Restoril
  • Sleeping Pills
  • Xanax

Learn more about why it is important to detox.

How long does drug detoxification last?

The following drugs can be detected in a standard urine test for the following time periods:

This is how long the substances remain in your system, but detoxing will last anywhere between 3-10 days, and withdrawal can last much longer.

How long it takes to detox will depend on the drug type, how much of the drug has been taken, and if you are addicted to more than one substance.

The detox treatment for addiction to prescription drugs can also vary significantly. Some prescription medications can take longer to leave the body as they are intended to metabolize at a slower rate.

What happens during a drug detox?

The first symptoms begin within the first 24 hours when your body notices lower levels of the drug in your system. The worst withdrawal symptoms occur during the first 48 hours of detox treatment.

Physical withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Feverish chills and a high temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart palpitations
  • Severe headaches
  • Sweating, shaking and shivering
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)
    • Extreme disorientation
    • Shaking or shivering uncontrollably
    • Visual/auditory hallucinations
    • Seizures

Psychological symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating
  • Intense cravings
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Agitation

Each individual will experience detox differently and will experience different withdrawal symptoms. Read more here.

The entire withdrawal process can last anywhere between 3-28 days. This is called the acute stage of treatment, after which you may continue to experience some milder withdrawal symptoms in the long-term.

Addiction support
Our team are available 24/7 for confidential and compassionate support. Contact us.

What kinds of drug detox are available?

  • Inpatient detox: Will remove you from your drug-using environment. You will live in a rehab hospital during the detox, with 27/4 compassionate medical care and support to help you detox in the safest and most comfortable way possible.
  • Outpatient detox: A process that takes place in your home or drug-using environment. As the drugs will not be removed, the temptation to relapse is very high, especially as drug cravings are a predominant withdrawal symptom.

The withdrawal symptoms can be changeable, severe and dangerous, so it’s highly recommended that you undertake inpatient or residential detoxification in a rehab hospital.

Read a full overview PDF here.

What are the benefits of a medically-assisted detox?

  1. 24/7 medical care throughout the detox process
  2. Detox and therapy plan that is tailored to your needs
  3. Psychiatric care
  4. Aftercare and relapse prevention
  5. Drug addiction awareness and education
  6. Holistic therapies made available
  7. Nutritional support
  8. Closed and safe environment

Is a drug detox alone enough for long-term recovery?

Drug detox is the important first step to long-term recovery. Detoxification will stabilise the body and mind enough to transition to long-term treatment programmes.

Detox alone is not enough to ensure a full recovery; it is part of a longer rehab and therapy program which is tailored to each individual.

Following the initial detoxification process, rehab programs offer:

  • Personal therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medical services
  • Educational classes
  • Relapse prevention
  • Life skills classes
  • Group counselling
  • Aftercare plan and support

If you need support, or if you have any questions, our team are always here. Call us any time for confidential help: 0808 1150 446

Last Updated on April 29, 2021 by Alison