Detoxing From Drugs

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Detoxification, or detox, is a crucial stage in preparing a person for recovery from addiction. Detoxification may be described as the intervention in the event of physical dependence on a substance. Detox can also refer to the treatment and programs used to ease withdrawal. Detox also encompasses when a person abstains from a specific addictive substance to rid the body of the chemicals and toxins associated with substance misuse.

The detox process can happen naturally if enough time has passed after a person stopped taking a drug, but detoxing at a medical center is a faster and safer drug detoxification method. Medical professionals can prescribe medications and other effective treatments that alleviate withdrawal symptoms when receiving treatment at a medical facility.

The detoxification process might vary depending on an individual’s unique needs. Ultimately, drug detoxification can effectively assist patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) through withdrawal, the most physically and mentally taxing phase of addiction recovery.

How Detoxification Takes Place at The Haven?

Everyone’s detoxification needs are unique. Our detoxification program assists addicts in receiving individualized treatment. Typically, the detox process consists of three steps:


If someone chooses a medically assisted drug detox at The Haven, they will first be evaluated by our medical professionals, who will then determine the most appropriate treatment option for them. During this phase, our specialists will collect necessary information about the client, including their medical history, the drug used, their usage frequency, any mental illness they may have, and their physical and psychological condition.

Our skilled doctors will assess the client’s acute intoxication levels to estimate the likelihood of withdrawal, prescribe medications to alleviate detox withdrawal symptoms, and provide therapeutic support to aid in detoxification. After that, an individualized treatment plan will be put into action.


The stabilization process includes the implementation of treatment determined during the evaluation of the client. The stabilization process may involve taking medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and using other treatment options to guarantee a safe withdrawal.

Benzodiazepines are often administered in detox to relieve anxiety, antidepressants to boost mood, and clonidine to alleviate trembling and nausea. Our doctors may also perform blood tests, EKGs, and MRIs to analyze the patient’s health and treatment in greater detail.

Preparing Entry Into Treatment

The last phase of detoxification is the preparation for a treatment program. We guide our patients to the next phase in their recovery, their treatment plan. Treatment programs vary from person to person but often include longer-term interventions such as rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and support groups. Detox is a crucial component of substance abuse treatment, but additional treatment is necessary to stay sober.

ongoing medical support is helpful for most people in recovery

How Long Does Detox Take?

There is no fixed timeframe for the drug detoxification process. It differs from person to person and substance to substance. Factors that might affect the duration and intensity of the detoxification process include:

  • The method of drug use
  • Genetic makeup
  • The amount of substance per dose
  • The timeframe of substance abuse
  • Overall health and mental wellbeing
  • Comorbidity

While the physical withdrawal symptoms subside quickly, psychological symptoms and cravings can linger considerably longer. Therefore, ongoing medical support is helpful for most people in recovery.


Opiate and opioid withdrawal and detoxification (codeine, fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone) might take longer. Symptoms may emerge within a day or more than a week after cessation. Depending on the amount and duration of the drug’s presence in the body, withdrawal symptoms might last up to two weeks.


Stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines) may be quicker to detox. These chemicals enter and exit the system rapidly, and drug cravings will diminish after a week or so of detoxification.


Alcohol withdrawal symptoms often peak around the three-day mark. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin around one day after the last drink. The symptoms of heavy drinkers may be more severe and long-lasting. Most individuals start to feel better and more energized within a week.

Prescription Drugs

Symptoms of prescription drug withdrawal (Valium, Xanax) begin within a day of abstinence and can linger for up to a week. By the two-week point, the most acute withdrawal symptoms and cravings have often subsided.

Image showing the three steps of the process of detoxification

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to detox your body?

Detoxification from alcohol or drugs entails eliminating harmful chemicals and toxins from the body while simultaneously controlling withdrawal symptoms. Typically, detoxing lasts between three and ten days. However, a more severe addiction might delay detoxification by many weeks or months.

Which drug has the most withdrawal symptoms?

Opiates, heroin, and methamphetamine are some of the most powerful substances that result in withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal. During withdrawal, extreme delusion and hallucinations may force a person to harm oneself or others.

How do you detox fast?

To detox fast, here are the six things to look up for:

  • Check into a certified detox center
  • Increase your water intake
  • Stick with a nutritious diet
  • Stay physically active
  • Lean on your support system
  • Practice breathing exercises

How can I detox from drugs safely at home?

The following tips can increase your chances of safely detoxing at home:

  • Remove all alcohol/drugs from the home
  • Stay physically active
  • Ask for support from a loved one
  • Set aside time to focus on detox
  • Schedule relaxing activities
  • Consider attending 12-step meetings

What is it like to detox drugs?

Despite severely low energy levels, your body will feel like it is battling itself, worsening your exhaustion. Withdrawal causes discomfort in the body. You may even feel as if your body is on fire. But it must be known that detox is an essential first step toward recovery, and relapsing would only make things worse for you.

The Haven Can Help You Restore Your Fun Life

Addiction can be challenging to overcome by yourself. If you or someone you know has been struggling with drug addiction and are unsure where to turn, The Haven is here to help. Our proven detox methods and effective therapy treatment have helped hundreds of patients reach a successful recovery from addiction. We offer residential and outpatient options to best match the specific needs of each one of our patients. 

If you have any questions regarding the process of natural drug detoxification or are interested in medical detox, please get in touch with our team of treatment specialists at (561) 328-8627.