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How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol & Other Substances

What is a detox?


A detox is a procedure to get rid of a toxic or hazardous chemical to which your body has grown addicted.

Most frequently, people make an effort to detox from a drug or alcohol addiction. During a detox, you might feel sick, tired, and have mood swings. Nevertheless, if you want to get better, you must persevere.

To start the process of recovering from substance misuse, most people start by detoxing. Detoxing can take some time, depending on the chemical on which you are dependent.

This page describes what to expect during the detox process as well as the typical time frames for getting off some of the most widely abused drugs.

How Long Does the Substance Detoxification Process Take?

The length of detox depends on the individual. Your age, gender, the substance you were dependent on, and how long it has lasted are all important considerations.

The most frequently abused substances are listed here, along with information on how long detoxing from each can take.

Getting Rid of Alcohol

After drinking alcohol for a long time, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, trouble sleeping, tremors, and mood swings. According to certain studies, the process of detoxing from alcohol often happens as follows:

Within the first six hours: Six hours after your last drink, you’ll probably start to notice your first withdrawal symptoms. Expect a headache, some mild nervousness, and nausea.

After 12 to 24 hours: Around this time, your withdrawal symptoms will probably start to get worse. Hallucinations are sometimes reported, although they usually go away as the detox process progresses.

After one to two days: Around this time, seizures and tremors are likely to start.

Your withdrawal symptoms will probably worsen after two to three days. Alcohol use can lead to delirium, hallucinations, hypertension, and fever.

On day three: During this time, you’ll probably exhibit the most severe withdrawal symptoms. After starting your detox, these symptoms may last up to five days.

Elimination of Stimulants

Stimulants are man-made chemicals that are meant to speed up the activity in your brain and stimulate your central nervous system. Cocaine and amphetamines are the stimulants that are used most frequently. You can have sensations of anxiety, sorrow, or anger just after you stop using stimulants.

You will likely feel worn out and depressed between 24 and 36 hours into your detox. You’ll probably fall asleep for a very long time. According to research, the optimal time for an intervention is right now. Habitual stimulant users can anticipate a three-week or longer detox phase. Anxiety, exhaustion, and paranoia are stimulant withdrawal symptoms.

What to Expect During a Detox

Withdrawal symptoms are to be expected when detoxing from any substance. Depending on what you were addicted to and how long you were addicted to it, these symptoms can be different and worse.

When you are withdrawing from most substances, you may experience the following negative effects:

  • Mood changes
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Reduced appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea and diarrhea

Understanding the Detoxification Process

Going through detox in a detox treatment program or facility is strongly advised. When your withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, you can go to these locations for the support you need to get through the most difficult portions of the detox process.

They offer a well-organized treatment plan that is customized for you. In order to help you better manage your withdrawal symptoms, if they are severe, you might also be prescribed medication.

Can You Cleanse Yourself?

It can be quite challenging to try to detox from chemical dependence on your own. Medical professionals always advise doing it in a facility with medical assistance.

However, some narcotics, like marijuana, can be detoxed on your own. Other medications, like opioids, necessitate medical care since the withdrawal symptoms can be lethal.

Either a hospital or a rehabilitation facility can perform this. When attempting to detox on your own, the risk of relapsing is also raised. You are more prone to relapse while your withdrawal symptoms are at their worst.

What Happens After Detoxification Is Complete?

The first step on your road to recovery is detoxing. What comes next requires months or maybe years of tenacity to continue on that path. Don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned; recovering from substance misuse or dependency takes time.