By Arthur Kazanchian August 16, 2021
Detoxification or detox is the primary step towards recovery. Detoxing involves cleansing the body of all the toxic substances (drugs or alcohol). This cleansing is a mandate to combat the impact of withdrawal symptoms and to achieve long-term sobriety. Detox prepares you for recovery from addiction. But the process is definitely not easy! Mind you, it is extremely painful too! So, the wise are advised to undergo a detox process by enrolling at an inpatient detox center with amenities such as round-the-clock attendance of medical staff, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, fitness experts, nutritionists, physicians, and the like.
The length of an average stay at a detox center is varied based on factors such as:
- Type/types of substance abuse
- Duration and frequency of abuse
- The quantity consumed during each abuse
- Demography of the patient
- Comorbid mental/physical health conditions
Wanna Know the Myths and Myth-busters:
If you want to know more about the residential experience at the inpatient detox center. Here are some myths and myth busters that will help you learn more about an inpatient detox:
Myth #1 Successful detox means recovery from addiction. Detox includes rehab and aftercare.
Myth #1 busted: Detox is only the first step to recovery, but this is not the end of all. This is followed by a rehabilitation program which could be an inpatient program/outpatient program/IOP (intensive Outpatient Program). This is followed by an aftercare program.
Myth #2 Home is a good place to detox; there are no fatal side effects.
Myth #2 busted: Cleansing the system from toxic substances can induce certain changes in the brain. The brain responds to no alcohol/drugs by moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms such as body pain, mental instability, uncontrollable temptation, impulses, destructive thoughts, irritability, insomnia, Hallucinations, and the like. It is advisable to undergo a detox process under medical supervision at a good drug/alcohol detox center. When the duration/quantity/frequency of substance abuse is higher, there are higher chances of seizures or even cardiac arrest or death. This is especially true in cases of alcohol, heroin, and other opiates, Benzos (Xanax, Klonopin), and Cocaine too. Most often, the addictive power of opiates, cocaine, and Benzos can strongly act on psychological and physical health. Their withdrawal symptoms too are extremely painful. But, they are not unmanageable. Medically-assisted detox at a good drug and alcohol detox center can help you detox successfully.
Myth #3 Detox process totally takes about 24-48 hours.
Myth #3 busted: Detox process takes around 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the type/s of substance abuse, duration, and frequency of abuse, quantity consumed during each abuse, demographical specifications of the patient, comorbid mental/physical health conditions. The longer the duration and/or larger the quantity of abuse, the longer is the time taken for detox.
Withdrawal symptoms and the varied patterns:
The process of alcohol detox program can induce varied withdrawal symptoms alongside varied degrees of pain. The symptoms can range from fever and irritability to hallucinations and seizures. You should know that, if you have a case history of 10 years of alcohol/drug abuse, your recovery battle in comparison to someone with a case history of only 2 years of substance abuse is voluminous.
Let’s look at the different patterns of withdrawal for different types of substance abuse:
- Withdrawal symptoms are at its highest point between the 24 -120 hours of detox.
- Symptoms include:
- First stage: Abdominal pain, tremors, diarrhea, mild sweating, numbness and tingling in fingers and toes, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations (sensory/auditory/visual), anxiety, and paranoia.
- Second stage: Increased heartbeat and high blood pressure, restless legs, profuse sweating, mental confusion, Goosebumps, paranoia, insomnia
- Third stage: Intense auditory, touch, and visual hallucinations which lead to extreme paranoia and a delirious mental state, memory loss, intense confusion, grand-mal seizure, involuntary nervous system instability.
Opiate and Benzos withdrawal:
- Withdrawal symptoms that erupt after 24 hours of the last consumption will reach their pinnacle between 48-120 hours days of withdrawal. The symptoms inhabit your body for one/two/three weeks. This depends on the demographic peculiarities as well as duration and frequency of substance consumption. In critical cases, the symptoms such as cravings, sleeplessness, and irritability can prevail for up to 6 months. It is no surprise that pain-relieving prescription pills (Opiates such as Heroin and Benzos) soon transform into an addiction for numerous people. This makes an Opiate-detox/Benzos-detox extremely tricky because the remedy for the withdrawal symptom for these would be the administration of more opiates/benzos. It is, therefore, advisable to undergo this detox under medical supervision.
- Symptoms include:
- First stage: Crippling anxiety, mild sweats, intense drug cravings, crawling skin, sneezing, muscle spasms, restlessness, irrational thoughts.
- Second stage: Goosebumps and cold sweats; diarrhea and vomiting; watering eyes and headaches; abdominal, muscle, and joint pain; heightened restlessness and anxiety.
- Withdrawal symptoms for cocaine can emerge within10 minutes from withdrawal because of its instant-kick feature. It largely acts psychologically than physically. These symptoms can prevail for a few days or even extend up to few weeks. This pattern is highly individualistic and cannot be generalized.
- Symptoms include:
- First stage: Immense cravings, irritability, mood swings, depression, and restlessness.
- Second stage: Physical exhaustion and weakness, immense cravings, poor concentration due to cravings
Wanna detox? Find the best drug and alcohol detox center near you:
Detoxing from any of the abused substances is extremely challenging. In certain severe cases, it can be fatal if conducted without medical assistance. So, it is advisable to undergo detox under skilled medical assistance to avoid any fatalities or serious injuries. Good detox centers will hand-hold you in your journey towards sobriety through the gradual tapering method. Tapering involves a gradual reduction in the quantity and frequency of doses of the abused substance until the body is psychologically and physically capable of independently functioning without dependence on that substance. This gradual tapering will highly reduce the pain associated with withdrawal symptoms, reduce chances of relapse and also reduce chances of fatalities/seizures; thus it makes the detox process easier. If you or your loved one is looking for a drug/alcohol detox, please do not choose a cold turkey detox! Reach out to an alcohol detox center for skilled medical assistance and attain success through recovery.