• Detox
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Residential
  • Transitional housing

Drug and Alcohol Information

What to Expect During Detox Treatment

What to expect during

Detox Treatment

Recovery from drug addiction is a journey and detox is usually the first step to sobriety. It is natural to have certain questions if you or a loved one is thinking to go for alcohol detox or drug detox. Here is a brief review of the process to answer your questions and settle the anxiety that might be associated with the decision.

Detox Treatment

Signs & Symptoms

Benzodiazepine abuse in america | Addiction Treatment Helper

The types of detox: Inpatient VS. Outpatient

Detox for substance abuse broadly falls into two categories; inpatient and outpatient. The best type of treatment option can only be decided after the careful evaluation of the patient and individual needs. Both types have their own pros and cons. Inpatient detox programs offer extensive, residential treatment best for severe drug and alcohol addiction. Outpatient programs, on the other hand, do not require the patient to live in the facility thus offering the freedom to keep their day to day life going as usual. 

How to get into Detox?

Detox can be carried out either naturally or with the help of medications. However, for either type, it is very important that you seek professional help. Going cold turkey with hard drugs can be very dangerous and even life threatening in worst case scenario. A medical professional can help you design a plan to safely taper off the drug.

Naturally, your body goes into detox as soon as you quit taking the drug or alcohol. The remnants of the addictive substance are actively metabolised and removed from the body as the time passes. Depending upon the half-life of the drug, this process can take several days and can even be extremely uncomfortable.

Seeking medical assistance can make the process far less unpleasant. A number of detox facilities are available that can help you with the process. Many of them accept insurance so you do not have to worry about the finances. Usually, for an inpatient detox, the following protocol is followed:

  • Thorough examination by the detox team can determine the kind of support and treatment you need. They may ask questions about your substance abuse history, get the blood work done, carry out certain lab tests to assess your physical and mental health.


  • Once your physical and mental state is assessed, your treatment plan is devised that fits your needs. Medications can be given to suppress withdrawal symptoms and make the process less uncomfortable.

The effects that benzodiazepines have on the body can range from minor impairments to, at worst, fatal symptoms.

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Withdrawal symptoms:

What to expect?

Once dependence on a drug is established, withdrawal symptoms appear when its use is discontinued. The specific symptoms and the time period they last for vary depending upon the substance abused. Other factors that influence withdrawal symptoms and their timeline include:

  • The type of substance abused
  • Time duration the substance was abused for
  • Amount and frequency of drug use
  • Route of administration e-g swallowing, smoking, injecting, snorting etc.
  • Genetic makeup
  • Family history
  • Age and gender
  • State of physical and mental health

For someone with a long history of drug abuse and propensity for addiction, it may take longer to detox compared to someone who took small doses over a small duration of time with no family history of substance abuse. 

Some commonly experienced withdrawal symptoms with most frequently abused drugs are given below.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Seizures

Marijuana withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Reduced libido
  • Dizziness

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Increased appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Mood swings

Opioid withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive tearing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dilated pupils

Ecstasy/MDMA withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Body aches
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion

It can be extremely uncomfortable dealing with these symptoms on your own. Professional help and the support of a loved one can significantly help successfully go through the process.

Drug And Alcohol Information

National Statistics


of americans

have benzos in their medicine cabinets

5.2 Million


have abused benzodiazepines


of people

Who abused benzos became addicted.

Withdrawal symptoms:

Where to call?

If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and need help, consider calling a loved one for support. You can also get yourself signed up for a detox program. In case of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

Withdrawal symptoms:

State funded VS. Private detox:

Here is a comparison that can help you decide, if you are unsure whether private or state funded detox will work best for you or a loved one:

State funded treatment options are low cost or sometimes free and thus work best for families with no insurance. The amount one needs to pay may vary depending upon one’s financial stability. Such facilities are closely monitored by the government to ensure that quality care is being delivered to all patients. Although these facilities are safe, the usually do not offer tailor-made treatment plans and generally go by one size fits all. The care provided may also not be very thorough compared to the private facilities due to low funding and huge patient load. 

Private facilities, on the other hand, provide more personalized treatment plan after examination of the patient, keeping individual needs in mind. The patient load is also not more than what can be effectively managed thus ensuring the best possible care for each patient. Private facilities also often work with insurance companies and payment plans to make the treatment more affordable.

Withdrawal symptoms:

The length of stay:

The length of stay in a detox centre may vary depending upon a number of factors such as the drug abused, the duration it was abused for, the quantity it was abused in etc. On average, the length of stay in a detox centre is 10 days. However, in case of severe dependence, it can take longer. Use of supportive medications such as buprenorphine can help cut short the time period.

Alcohol: three to 14 days on average

Heroin: four to 10 days on average

Benzodiazepines: two to eight weeks on average

The fight against substance abuse does not end at detox. This, in fact, is merely a start. Further treatment and medical care may be needed to maintain sobriety and prevent a relapse.

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