What Will Happen During an Alcohol or Drug Detox Treatment?

By: Harmony Staff

Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Deja Gilbert, PhD, LMHC, LPC

Updated on 30/11/2021

Table of Contents

Thinking back on all the times when you were out partying with your friends and waking up the next morning not knowing where you were at – the dangers of drinking and driving or sharing needles with people when you were high. All of this is part of the addictive lifestyle for millions of people, but it can change. You can get sober, clean and into recovery starting today. The alcohol and drug detox treatments at Harmony Health Group can help you to overcome the addiction and work on your recovery process. All you need to do now to get going in the right direction is to pick up your phone and contact our team today.

Defining Detoxification

Detox, or detoxification, is when the body gets rid of the alcohol and drugs the person had consumed. The main goal of detoxing when it comes to addiction rehab programs is to help the person safely withdraw from alcohol and drugs, as there are numerous withdrawal symptoms that could take place.

It is important, however, to note that not everyone has the same experience with detoxing from these substances. For some people, it might only take days to make it through the withdrawal process. Others might need months before they stop having withdrawal symptoms. The exact length of detox for you will be dependent on various factors.

Do you have an addiction to alcohol or drugs? If so, you can reach out today to speak with someone here at Harmony Health Group. We will help to ensure that you are able to detox from these substances safely and appropriately.

More About the Length of the Detox Process

As noted above, there are varying lengths for the detox process. They can actually change rapidly from one person to the next. In addition, some people who have severe withdrawal symptoms in the first few days may have minimal symptoms in the last part of that first week. Some people who have severe withdrawal symptoms may experience uncomfortable ones for months. There isn’t just one answer for this.

However, there is a general timeline that people can use for an estimation for moderate cases of alcoholism or drug abuse. Generally, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will start leveling off within one week of quitting drinking. The problem is there could be some serious health risks in that first week which is why professionals highly recommend people go into a safe detox center to get through this process. Now, if you were taking drugs such as benzodiazepines and abusing those, the detox process might take 2 weeks or even longer.

In almost all cases, though, the length of time it takes for alcohol and drugs to leave the body isn’t as important as helping the person lower their chances of a relapse. While you are detoxing, you are likely going to have triggers and it is important that these are managed properly and effectively. Both outpatient and inpatient addiction rehab center programs can help you to do this. Here at Harmony Health Group, we can help you detox as comfortably as is possible in your case. We can also teach you coping techniques, relapse prevention tips and other addiction recovery methods to stay clean and sober.

There are, unfortunately, many people who relapse after trying to get clean and sober. It is important to know that if you have a relapse, the withdrawal process will need to start all over again. You would need to go through the withdrawal symptoms again. It is best if you can build a strong foundation to your sobriety and recovery the first time around, so you can better prevent a relapse.

Possibility of Detoxing at Home

It is vital to know that choosing to detox from drugs and alcohol at home can be very dangerous or even deadly. If you stop using drugs or alcohol cold turkey (without weaning yourself off from them), especially without any medical supervision, you might encounter serious health issues such as severe dehydration, seizures or even a heart attack.

There are outpatient and inpatient detox treatment center programs to help prevent these dangerous issues while people are withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. If you have a moderate to severe addiction, you should really consider attending an inpatient detox and treatment program as those would be most effective. You would get around-the-clock supervision and support, as well.

The Detoxification Process

Have you been abusing drugs or alcohol? No matter how long you have been doing that for, if you are ready to overcome an addiction to these substances, it might help you to know what to expect with the detoxification process. In most of the cases, there are 3 steps throughout this process.

Detox Side Effects

As noted above, during the drug and alcohol detox process, the patient is likely going to have some side effects. Oftentimes, they are painful and can even be dangerous. However, don’t let this deter you from getting clean and sober and into recovery. Through out Harmony Health Group treatments, we can help you to get your recovery started on the right track.

There are even medical detox programs that can help you to make it through the detox process more comfortably. In these programs, you will receive medical supervision in a safe, comfortable environment. Depending on whether you are attending an outpatient or inpatient program, however, the supervision you receive may vary. Inpatient treatment always providers more supervision.

While medical detox programs can help to reduce the number and severity of withdrawal symptoms you have, that doesn’t mean you won’t experience any side effects. Some of the ones that you might have when withdrawing from drugs or alcohol include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Body discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Poor sleep
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Chills

These side effects may last a few days to weeks. It depends on the severity of your addiction, how your body responds to the detox process and how well you respond to the treatments being given in the medical detox program.

Attending a Drug Detox Program While Pregnant

If you are pregnant and need to get off drugs, it is important that this is done the proper way. The drugs are harmful to the fetus as you already know. However, quitting cold turkey can be dangerous for the fetus, as well, since they are used to getting the drugs. You don’t want to cause that much stress on the baby as it could lead to preterm labor or even major fetal distress.

If you are getting clean for you and your baby, going to a medically-supervised detox program is the best option. There are many pregnant women who have attended these programs and overcame their addiction. You can do this, as well. The primary goal will be to get you clean and sober and help you to prevent a relapse. It is vital that you work your recovery program after the detox, so you can increase your chances of staying clean and sober.

Here at Harmony Health Group, we can help to keep you and your baby safer while you are going through the detox process. Our doctors are used to prescribing medications that help to stabilize a pregnant woman’s body during this process.

It may also be helpful to know that detoxing from opiates and alcohol causes the most distress and harm to the fetus. If you have been abusing these substances or have an addiction to them, be sure to reach out for help today.

Detoxing by Drug Type

Detoxing can be more difficult for certain people, depending on which substances they were or are using. In addition, depending on which drugs you are abusing, the withdrawal symptoms may be more mental or physical.

For instance, when it comes to cocaine withdrawal, you will more than likely experience a higher number of psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and stress, than you might with alcohol. However, if you have an addiction to alcohol, you will more than likely have a higher number of physical symptoms rather than the mental health symptoms. Some of the physical symptoms you might have when detoxing from alcohol including tremors, shaking, dizziness and nausea.

The detox process does, however, usually include some medications that will mimic any effects the drugs had on your body. The purpose of this is to help lower the withdrawal symptoms your body will have. The medications can also help to treat co-occurring disorders such as an addiction and anxiety disorder.

If you are abusing alcohol or benzo drugs, it is best to detox through a professional program as the withdrawal symptoms are more severe and dangerous. If you are addicted to heroin, it is important to get medically supervised detox to avoid some of the very uncomfortable, but non-life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

No matter which drugs or substances you want to quit using, the sooner you reach out to our Harmony Health Group for help to stop taking them, the better it will be for your body and your lifestyle.

Risks of Rapid and Ultra-Rapid Detox Programs

Rapid detox is a way of getting substances out of the patient’s body quicker than the basic detox programs. The advocates for rapid detox and ultra-rapid detox programs, say it is a great way to avoid having painful withdrawal symptoms that last.

However, it is crucial to know that rapid detox can be extremely dangerous and very expensive, too. In the rapid detox program, people who have a substance use disorder are sedated using anesthesia. They are then given some medications to replace the substances they are no longer using. Originally, the rapid detox program was used to help people stop abusing opiate drugs such as pain medications and heroin. However, there are too many severe risks of rapid detox that aren’t worth the benefits.

The ultra-rapid detox programs can be done in a few hours or just over that. However, they are even more dangerous. Around 1 in every 500 people die while they are undergoing an ultra-rapid detox program, studies show.

The traditional rapid detox programs are generally 2-3 days to get through and have fewer dangers, but they are a quite expensive and still do have more harmful effects than good ones.

The majority of people who go through a rapid or ultra-rapid detox program do report they still have withdrawal symptoms when finished, they just aren’t as severe. The other problem is that people who generally go to the rapid or ultra-rapid detox programs don’t usually feel as if they need any more treatment after the detox program.

Detox programs are not substitutes for recovery programs. People who are abusing or addicted to alcohol or drugs do need help to stop using these substances, That is what the detox programs are for. However, having a recovering lifestyle is not just about being clean and sober. It is about making healthier, positive decisions in life and enjoying life in a sober, fun way. When you attend an outpatient or inpatient recovery program after detoxing, it can further amplify your success and happiness in recovery.

If you are thinking about going to a detox program, talk to a member of our Harmony Health Group team today. We are here to help you make the best decisions for your recovery from an addiction.

Living Life After Detoxing

Detoxing is the first part of any addiction recovery treatment. However, most people who detox by themselves do have a relapse and end up living an addictive lifestyle again. If you want a better chance of being in a successful recovery, going to a professional detox program would be best.

Here at Harmony Health Group, we can get you into a medically-supervised detox program, if that is what is needed in your case. Then, you can work through the withdrawal with the help of trained doctors, nurses and addiction recovery professionals.

After you get through the detox process, hopefully, you can start your recovery program on a stronger foundation.

Contact us today, here at Harmony Health Group, to enroll in a detox treatment program.