What Is the Process for Drug Detox?

Undergoing drug detox for substance abuse can potentially be dangerous; it’s important to do it safely.

What Is Drug Detox?

The drug detoxification process refers to treating chronic use of drug substances. SSAMSHA reports that at least twenty-five thousand individuals twelve years or older need substance or alcohol detox each year. The detoxification process seeks to expel all traces of drug use or alcohol intake from the body. More importantly, detox is medically proven to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms when they halt drug and alcohol intake.1

Drug Detox


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The Drug Detox Process

People have different experiences with the detoxification process due to each individual’s personal needs. First, however, patients need medical assessment, withdrawal aversion, and stabilization to help overcome drug and substance use abuse.

Medical Assessment

If you or a loved one plan to stop being dependent on drug use or alcohol intake, you must seek medically assisted drug detox programs. This is because detox centers offer the safest and most comprehensive form of detoxification from drugs.

This process requires medical health experts to evaluate patients and diagnose their physical and mental state. In addition, doctors may conduct drug tests by analyzing patients’ blood or urine to gauge the type and degree of medication needed in order to help with the substance abuse. Also, the doctors usually study the drug use and medical and physiological history to draft a long-term therapy.2


The next step is for the medical experts to prescribe detox treatment or medications to reduce patients’ withdrawal symptoms.

Although detox reduces the symptoms of withdrawal to a significant degree, there are still some common physical and physiological symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Some common physical withdrawal symptoms include:
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Hand tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • High heartbeat rate
  • High temperature

Physiological Withdrawal Symptoms

Also, there are physiological symptoms of withdrawal such as:
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Irritation
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of concentration
  • Extreme thirst for addicted substance
In extreme situations, the patient may experience seizures, difficulty breathing, hallucinations, delirium, and suicidal thoughts or tendencies.3


After the medical assessment and withdrawal process, doctors must ensure that the patient is stable through therapy to prevent medical or physiological harm.
Of course, this crucial stage is where detox centers come in. In the final detoxification stage, patients are recommended to a treatment program. This essentially involves the expertise of a drug rehabilitation center to help with a patient’s drug addiction detox process.

Side Effects & Risks Involved

The detoxification process can be tedious and potentially dangerous, so it is best to seek proper medical assistance. There are also certain risks and side effects that are specific to different instances, such as some of the following examples.

Drug Detox During Pregnancy

Knowing it is dangerous for women to continue drug use or alcohol intake after becoming pregnant, most try to stop. However, severe alcohol detox without medical supervision is particularly hazardous.

Instead, pregnant women should detox with the help of professionals. Ultimately, such treatment will benefit your health and that of the unborn baby as well.

Quitting Cold Turkey

This refers to when someone abruptly quits drug or substance use without attempting to wean themselves off of the substance, and this can result in harmful or fatal consequences. Please do not attempt to stop taking substances using this method under any circumstance.

For instance, abrupt withdrawal from alcohol intake can cause diarrhea, seizures, and death in extreme cases. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that alcohol withdrawal symptoms, if not treated, can be fatal and has a 37% mortality rate.4

Drug Detoxing at Home

As the name suggests, this involves undergoing a drug addiction detox process at home. Though potentially more comfortable, this may not give the best possible outcome, as many patients tend to use substances or drink alcohol at home. This usually results in patients needing monitoring for the duration of the detox process.

Other Side Effects

Some of the other side effects of detox include lethargy, body pain, erratic behavior, difficulty concentrating, lack of coordination, and poor body movement. These can occur whether one detoxes at home or in a treatment center, but doing so at a detox center helps the patient manage side effects better and get the care they need if necessary.

What Are the Advantages of Drug Detox?

There are some great advantages to detoxing from drugs, beyond cleansing the body of harmful substances. Detoxing helps patients with their overall health, along with assisting them to lose weight, boost their immunity, and improve their overall mental health as well.

Begin Recovery with Drug Detox at Concise Recovery

At Concise Recovery, we offer one of the best and safest drug detox processes. Those with substance use disorder can reach out to our detox center for outpatient or inpatient rehab.

Both inpatient and outpatient rehab offer patients medical supervision during the detox process, along with monitoring of new withdrawal symptoms, and helping patients develop coping mechanisms.

Begin Recovery with Drug Detox

How Long Does Detoxification Take?

Detoxing usually lasts for one week or more, but in other cases, it may take even months to completely detox the body of drugs or alcohol and for patients to overcome their withdrawal symptoms.

Factors that Influence Withdrawal Timeframe

However, the duration of withdrawal generally depends on the following factors:
  • The type of drug or alcohol consumed
  • Method of drug use (ingestion, injection, inhalation, etc.)
  • Pre-existing medical condition(s)
  • Degree of severity of alcohol or drug withdrawal
  • Duration of alcohol or drug consumed
Therefore, the drug detox process usually ranges from a couple of days to weeks, based on the drug in question and the severity of usage by the patient.

Life After Detox

It is important to note that detoxing is just a phase in the entire recovery journey from substance use disorder. Aside from the body’s physiological and physical needs, patients also need to cater to the psychological effects of addiction.
Following detox, patients may need to enroll in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program to get some more support or counseling from licensed therapists. Many patients also join a support group or drug rehabilitation center.

Get Free Consultation Today

At Concise Recovery, our team of experts is equipped to guide you or your loved one through the drug detox experience as you take steps towards a seamless recovery. If you are interested, you can sign up for any of our drug detox programs by simply contacting us today. We are here to help every step of the way on the journey to recovery.