Are you wondering how long does detox take? If yes, you should check out our helpful guide here on the important things to know.
Roughly 31.9 million people 12 or older in the U.S have used some sort of illicit drug in the past month according to The National Survey on Drugs Use. Meaning that about 10% of people 12 and older can be current drug users. 56% of people aged 18 and older have had alcohol in the last 30 days.
Drug and alcohol use is a common practice that brings about feelings of euphoria and relaxation. The more of these substances used, the more your brain chemistry changes to adapt which leads to tolerance and dependency.
Tolerance results in an individual needed more of the same substance to get the same effects and dependence is the need to use a substance to keep withdrawal symptoms away.
Detox usually refers to either a detox program or the act of detoxing from drugs or alcohol. If you make the decision to stop using a substance altogether, you’re probably wondering what detoxing will entail. The process of detoxing can take anywhere between a few days to many months depending on the substance.
Wondering how long does detox take? Read our helpful guide to get the facts.
In the detox process, dealing with withdrawals is unavoidable. Withdrawal symptoms will happen when a person stops taking a substance that they are physically dependent on. These symptoms are very unpleasant and sometimes can even be dangerous.
The symptoms experienced will depend on the substance used, the length of time using that substance, the way the substance was consumed, the amount of the substance used, the individual’s family and medical history, and their health at the time of detox.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms also depends on the user’s gender, age, and if multiple substances were used at the same time.
How Long Does Detox Take?
The time it takes to detox varies depending on the substance but on average it’ll take users about a week to stop feeling withdrawal symptoms although cravings can last for months afterward. Here is a list of substances and the length of time it usually takes to detox from them:
How Long Will It Take to Detox From Cocaine?
With a cocaine detox, a user will experience their withdrawal in 3 phases. The first phase is the initial crash which can begin 9 hours to 4 days after the last time the drug was used.
The first wave of symptoms includes depression, erratic sleep, and frequent hunger. The second phase lasts for 2-3 weeks. The user will experience anxiety, insomnia, depression, drug cravings, difficulty focusing, and irritability. The last phase includes depression and drug cravings.
The withdrawal symptoms of cocaine aren’t life-threatening, they are mostly psychological. The patient should seek out professional psychological support through detox and recovery treatment. This will prevent relapse from drug cravings and manage other psychological symptoms.
How Long Will It Take to Detox From Alcohol?
The usual symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- rapid heartbeat
More severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
The more severe symptoms are called alcohol withdrawal delirium. More severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include hallucinations, fever, illusions, seizures, and paranoia. The more severe symptoms are called alcohol withdrawal delirium.
Minor symptoms usually begin within 8 hours after having the last alcoholic drink but can occur up to a few days later. The peak of the symptoms begins between 1-3 days and minor symptoms can last for up to a few weeks.
Going through alcohol withdrawal is an uncomfortable experience that can be deadly at times. It is extremely important for those going through alcohol detox to do it under medical supervision.
Dehydration is a huge risk because of sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting that occurs to remove toxins from the body. The combination of withdrawals and dehydration can lead to seizures which can cause death.
How Long Does a Prescription Pain Medicine Detox Take?
Withdrawal symptoms from prescription pain medications are similar to heroin withdrawal symptoms. They include:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Aches and pains
Someone detoxing from painkillers can feel symptoms of withdrawal from 8-12 hours after their last dose. The peak of symptoms should be anywhere between 12-48 hours after the last dose. Symptoms will remain present for 5-10 days.
Prescription painkiller detox varies depending on the medication the user had a dependency on. This detox is usually not lethal but it is recommended to detox under medical supervision due to the possibility of complications.
How Long Will It Take to Detox From Heroin?
Heroin tends to leave the body rapidly, so people who are detoxing from heroin experience withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours of their last dose. These symptoms often peak at 24 to 48 hours, but they can last anywhere from one week to a few months.
Similar to painkiller withdrawal symptoms, heroin withdrawal includes flu-like symptoms. Symptoms can include watery eyes, runny nose, excessive yawning, and dilated pupils on top of all the symptoms for prescription painkillers.
Can You Detox From Home?
People wanting to come off drugs or alcohol may consider detoxing on their own, but it is strongly advised that they do not. Self-detox can be deadly, or simply ineffective.
Although alcohol is the only substance that has a high risk of being lethal, all substances will be unpleasant to detox from leading to mental strain and anguish. What is needed through detox is emotional and psychological support as well as proper medical attention.
Finding a facility that offers medical detox & medication management can mean the difference between life and death. Since detox is the first step of addiction recovery, people need to be in the right hands to prepare them for success.
Inpatient care is the most successful form of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Inpatient treatment facilities are designed to help lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms and lead patients to safe recovery.
Detox Is Not the End to Recovery
Now you know the answer to the question, “how long does detox take?”.
Even if people believe that they can safely recover from a detox on their own, there is way more to recovery than stopping the use of a substance. Through a treatment facility or with professional help you get the support of likeminded people who know and understand what you’re going through.
Having healthy social relationships and a strong support system can be the difference between relapse and full recovery from substance abuse.
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