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How Long is the Drug Detox Process?

How Long is the Drug Detox Process?

Detox is only intended to help keep you comfortable and safe during withdrawal. Withdrawal is what happens when your body has built up a tolerance to drugs or alcohol, and then you suddenly stop; the remaining toxins that have built up over time will need to be flushed from your system. 

This process can be incredibly uncomfortable, painful, and even life-threatening without professional detox services. Thankfully, you can get help from detox centers like Liberty House, no matter the length of your drug detox process.

What is Detox?

Detox is the process where your body removes toxins accumulated over time with repetitive drug and alcohol abuse. It can manifest with severe withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle spasms
  • Bone pain
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens

Do I Need MAT?

When you are ready to get treatment, detox can take one of two forms:

  1. The first is regular detox, where you’ll be given over-the-counter medications like anti-nausea or anti-spasm to manage your symptoms and keep you as comfortable as possible.
  2. The second is medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, which uses FDA-approved prescription medications. These medications are used during the detox process and during the secondary therapy you are required to participate in as part of the program.

Most people participate in regular detox, but medication-assisted treatment is available specifically for opioid addiction or alcoholism, which have some of the highest risks during withdrawal and the most severe cravings. 

How Long is the Detox Process?

The average length of time for detox is one week. Most clients complete detox in one week and continue with ongoing treatment for several weeks or months thereafter. 

The length of your detox process is greatly influenced by the substances you have used; the more substances you have in your system, the longer it can take for all of the toxins to be removed. 

The average length of detox is between five and seven days, though some programs offer shorter, two or three-day programs. 

Additionally, if you have struggled with a severe addiction, the amount of drugs and frequency of drugs or alcohol consumed can influence how long the process takes. For example, if you come to a detox center like Liberty House immediately after your last night of drinking, your symptoms will begin while you are under care. This means you can receive treatment for the duration of your withdrawal. 

If, instead, you come to a detox center a few days after your last dose, some of your more moderate symptoms may have already begun, in which case your overall withdrawal timeline won’t have changed, but the amount of time you spend in detox will have shortened. 

Drug Detox Process: What to Expect

The length of detox is contingent upon your withdrawal management program. Several factors influence the type of withdrawal management you’ll receive and the length of your drug detox process. Some factors include the following:

  • Substances you are using
  • How long you have used each substance
  • Your physical and mental health

For example, clients who are addicted to opioids or alcohol have a much higher risk of serious withdrawal complications and need medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with FDA-approved medications.

Length of Detox

Below is a list of the average drug detox timeline for different substances:

SubstanceWhen Withdrawal BeginsLength of Detox
AlcoholWithin 24-72 hours of last drinkUp to 8 days
Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax)Within 1-4 days of last doseUp to 14 days
CocaineWithin 24 hours of last doseUp to 10 days, with cravings managed for several months
Opioids (heroin, prescriptions)Within 8-24 hours of last dose4-10 days

If you struggle with addiction to multiple substances, this timeline could be longer. On the other hand, if your addiction is mild, the timeline might be shorter. 

Choose Liberty House for Detox

Whatever your situation, you can get answers to questions like “How long is the detox process” with Liberty House. Our residential treatment center provides comprehensive detox services for all of our clients. We are licensed to provide medication-assisted treatment as well. 

With our program, all clients start their detox process in-house and transition from detox into the remainder of their treatment. With our inpatient services, clients begin reflecting on the circumstances and life events that contributed to addiction and learning coping strategies so that they can move forward with a sober, productive life. 

Reach out to Liberty House to learn more about our detox process and how we keep you as comfortable as possible.

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*We currently do not accept medicaid or medicare.

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