What The Detox Process Looks Like

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The process of recovery is not an easy step to take, and it takes a lot of patience. Detox from drugs and alcohol can be dangerous, and to ensure safety you have to get assistance from medical professionals.

The risk of at-home detox, or when detox is done on your own, is high. If an individual miscalculated the detox process and did not properly filter the chemicals, it can severely damage the body.

What is Detox?

Detox, or detoxification is a process of removing toxins/substances from the body. For anyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the purpose of this medical process is to manage withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking their substance of choice. A person can enjoy a more personalized treatment while in medical detoxification.

For someone who uses detoxification as part of their recovery treatment, the process will relieve them from serious withdrawal symptoms which a person will experience once they try removing the habit of taking drugs or drinking alcohol.

How long does the detoxification process last?

The timeline of detoxification depends on what chemicals have been consumed by an individual and how long the person has been exposed to it. There are a lot of factors that a doctor considers before giving you medical detoxification, that is why you must see a doctor before doing detox. Avoid cutting substances out cold-turkey or doing the process without the supervision of your doctor as much as possible.


Below, we have what a timeline through detox looks like. Of course, some cases will be unique, but this timeline is commonly seen in most detoxification processes.

6 Hours after starting a detoxification

Mild signs of withdrawal usually start about six hours after last use. A person with a long history of substance abuse may even experience serious withdrawals after just six hours of not drinking or using drugs.

12 hrs to 1 day of Detoxification

During this part of detoxification, some people may start to experience paranoia, restlessness, etc. Some may even experience symptoms of delusion. Though this can be an extremely uncomfortable thing to deal with, anyone who is looking to detox must learn to fight against these symptoms.

1 to 2 days of Detoxification

During this time, moderate symptoms of withdrawal usually continue. Headache, tremors, and stomach discomfort may occur, among other symptoms. If a person is has a more mild substance abuse problem, their symptoms usually peak in 18 to 24 hours and begin to diminish after 4 to 5 days.

3 to 4 days of Detoxification

People during this stage continue to experience withdrawal symptoms similar to ones they experience on the first 2 days clean. One common thing that many addicts struggle with during this time is delirium tremens (DTs).

4th day of Detoxification

This is when the effects of withdrawal appear to be at their worst. Moderate withdrawal may last for a month, and it may include rapid heart rate and delusion.

Many withdrawal symptoms will occur. Such symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Sweating and Shivering
  • Tremors

What is the process of detoxification?

The detoxification process differs based on what substance a person has used and how long they have been using it for. Each person experiences different effects from detox, each case is different. There are three steps that are commonly used such steps include:

  • Evaluation: The first step is to evaluate a new patient’s physical and mental health state. They also use complete blood count (CBC) to measure the level of toxins in the body. Doctors will take several tests to determine the substance most frequently used. Also, by doing so, medical professionals can determine what medication and what sort of treatment is needed to best help a person through the detox process.
  • Stabilization: The second step is to stabilize the patient with both medical and psychological therapy. The purpose of this step is to avoid any sort of relapse from happening. Along with detoxification, doctors can prescribe medications to help fight against serious withdrawal symptoms.
  • Entry into Treatment: The last step is the preparation for the treatment process. The best treatment after detoxification is inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment is also good for patients.

During the process of detoxification, you are advised not to take any substance because that would be considered a relapse, undoing all the hard work you’ve done to cleanse your body.

When to seek help?

The best time for a person to consult their doctor about their addiction, treatment processes, and medical assistance with detox, is when you realize you have an addiction. For some, it may be hard to realize that you have developed a dependency on substances. When people around you are begging you to get help and life around you seems to be crumbling, it’s time to think about what is causing these issues. In this situation, substance abuse is the culprit. Going through rehab may be hard, but it is worth it. Believe us when we say that medical detox and addiction recovery is the best thing you could ever do for yourself. No matter how far gone you think you are in addiction, there is always a way out.

Always remember that detoxification is not a cure for treating substance addiction but it can help reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms for a person. It is the first stage in every recovery treatment process. In order to progress, you’ll need to go through this process.

Detoxing is not an easy thing to do, but it’s necessary. The symptoms one experiences during withdrawal can be extremely comfortable, but they can be handled with proper medical assistance. Through medically assisted detox, a person can have a good footing on their new life in sobriety. This process can help launch them into full addiction recovery, making long-term sobriety much more possible. If you or a loved one is considering living a life in sobriety, consider the detox process first. it’s the best thing you can do for your sober-self.