You’re here because you want things to change.
You’re reading this because there’s a small part of you that feels ready.
You’re open to the idea because you know that on the other side of drug detox lies hope, joy and a future full of potential.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ve come to us because you’re also a little scared.
Can we start by saying we’re so glad you’re here? Seeking out information takes courage. And as a result of your courage, you’ll spend a few minutes learning what it looks like to detox your body from drugs.
We’ll cover all the basics:
- What you can expect to happen in your body and brain.
- How long detox might take.
- How our team of medically-trained staff is here to help.
Our hope is that you’ll find yourself a little less worried and a little more motivated to begin your detox journey. Let’s dive in!
5 Things To Expect During Drug Detox
In so many areas of life, we often find that our fears are rooted in the unknown. You might be approaching the idea of drug detox with a few preconceived notions based on television, social media or the experience of a close friend or family member.
That’s why it helps to stick to the facts. Today, we’ll look at what you can expect based on our own experience working with thousands (is this number correct?) of patients as well as what researchers in the field of addiction tell us.
Then, you can move forward in confidence.
Drug Detox Looks Different for Everyone
We promised to give it to you straight and we will. As disheartening as this statement might seem, the facts are: each person’s experience going through withdrawal looks a bit different from the next.
Your own experience detoxing from drugs may take on a more simple or a more complicated route than so-and-so’s cousin. That’s because your story is unique. As noted by the Recovery Research Institute, detox times and intensities vary based on the substance used, duration of addiction and more.
We’ll look at the ways different drugs show themselves during detox below. For now, keep in mind that detox is not a one-size-fits-all package.
And that’s okay. Here at The Right Step DFW, we work hard to combine our medical expertise with a thorough understanding of you as an individual. We’ll bring these two important pieces together to come up with the best drug detox plan possible.
You Don’t Have to Do a Drug Detox Alone
Detoxing your body from drugs won’t be easy. But it will be worth it. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping in any way we can—from easing the pains associated with withdrawal to monitoring your vitals and offering encouragement as you work to reach recovery.
We also know that because substances change our brains and bodies, coming off of them can trigger uncomfortable and even dangerous responses. These include:
- Hallucinations and other grave changes to the mental and nervous system during alcohol withdrawal
- Seizures when attempting to detox from benzos
- Life-threatening anger affecting a small number of people withdrawing from meth or cocaine
That’s why we encourage round-the-clock support in our drug detox center.
Our medical team can also prescribe evidence-based, modern medications proven to ease withdrawal symptoms and enhance recovery outcomes. With opioids, for example, we administer methadone and then monitor to ensure proper dosage and effectiveness.
As you can see, it’s not only true that you don’t have to do a drug detox on your own, but that perhaps you shouldn’t. Having a reliable and medically sound resource on your side allows you to stay safe and healthy on your journey toward healing.
Drug Detox Causes Temporary Physical Changes
For a brief time, you may feel as though you don’t have complete control of your body. That’s because the substances you’re kicking to the curb aren’t quite ready to leave.
Think of it like this: Every time your boyfriend comes over, he leaves something on his way out; a coffee mug here, a lone sock there. But he’s not the right guy for you, so you decide to call it quits. You pick up the phone and make the call. You both cry, but you stick to the plan.
You hang up, relieved, and then you see: the book he’s in the middle of reading, the blanket that smells just like him, the pan he always uses to make you eggs. Without warning, a lump appears in your throat.
A few minutes later, you’re texting to see when he can come to get his stuff and—well, we all know what happens next. Congrats! You’re back together again.
This is drug detox. If instead of a mug on the counter and a sock on the floor, it’s every imprint of every memory attached to your very DNA.
And the only relief available: see him now or never again. Now sounds better. Now sounds doable. Now might just get rid of the pain.
Tough to shake, right? Just so there are no surprises, let’s get nice and squared away with how a substance might try to worm it’s way back into your life during the detox period.
Opioids: You may feel sick to your stomach or even throw up, feel anxious, be unable to sleep, experience temperature fluctuations, sweat, ache, cry, have a runny nose or diarrhea.
Benzos: You might be anxious, unable to sleep, restless, achy, easily frustrated and have trouble with focus or memory. Because these symptoms are less obvious than others, you may need to vocalize what you’re experiencing to loved ones who can’t observe changes.
Meth or Cocaine: You may sleep and eat more than usual, become easily frustrated, feel depressed or paranoid, and experience body aches.
Alcohol: You might feel anxious; sweat more than usual; experience tremors, a fast heartbeat or high blood pressure; have trouble sleeping; become dehydrated, or feel nauseous to the point of vomiting or diarrhea. (2)
This list probably looks overwhelming to you, and that’s okay. Because, as the saying goes, knowledge is power. You know that on the other side of the breakup—with the not-right boyfriend and especially the harmful substance—lies the life you really want.
You also now know that when you start to sweat or when you’re having trouble sleeping at night, that’s just a dirty sock leftover by a drug that isn’t quite ready to leave your side. Stick with it and, with time, you’ll shake off the effects that the substance left behind.
And remember, we’re here to help.
Drug Detox Brings Mental Clarity
In the same way that addiction to drugs and alcohol clouds the brain, removing those toxins from your body clears the mind.
The misuse of substances messes with our good-feeling threshold. A hearty laugh, a beautiful day, a long hug—these things begin to diminish in power. Our brain tells us,quite convincingly,that the easiest way to be happy is to reach for our drug of choice.
This disparity only grows over time. As a result, a person struggling with addiction also struggles to make wise decisions and prioritize their actions appropriately.
When you decide to enter a drug detox center, you may experience this struggle to the max. For a time, your brain will nudge, whisper and shout: “There’s only one way to be happy!” Your mind will go into survival mode, the stress-activation systems on full alert.
Stick with it, friend. Because eventually—oh eventually! You’ll reach the other side.
And here at The Right Step DFW, we’ll partner with you as you work to clear your mind. While research shows that substance misuse damages the brain, we also know that cognitive retraining works. Our brains are complex and nimble organs, capable of changing and changing again.
Through detox, and with the right support, you can once again enjoy good feelings that come with ease and the confidence of well-made decisions.
Detox Times Can Differ
While the average person spends between 7 to10 days detoxing drugs from their body, the actual length of time can vary slightly depending on the substance used, level of addiction and other present health-related issues.
Keeping in mind that while the substance used isn’t the only determining factor, you might get a more realistic expectation by reading through the timelines according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)::
- Opioid detox lasts between 4 and 10 days.
- A benzo detox lasts around 2 to 4 weeks (up to 8 weeks for diazepam and nitrazepam).
- Meth and cocaine detox lasts for 3 to 5 days.
- Detoxing from alcohol takes between 2 and 10 days.
You might look at these numbers and think to yourself, “There’s no way I can handle a detox.” Can we take a moment to encourage you? Many of our staff know what you’re going through because they’ve been there too.
Yes, you’ll experience challenging, difficult days. But those tough days open you up to beautiful, purpose-filled years. Years!
Of course, it’s okay if years isn’t what you’re focused on today. Today, we want to encourage you to do what it takes to start the next 7 to 10 days of your journey right. And you won’t have to do it alone. We’ll be right there with you every step of the way.
When it comes to drug detox, finding a safe, medically-based environment is a crucial element of recovering from drug addiction. We want to help you or your loved one as you walk this out.
For more information on our treatment options, call us 844.768.1161.