Drug rehabilitation can not be pursued without first undergoing a drug detox program that safely and effectively eliminates drugs from the body. Drug detox helps to clean out the system and free the individual from the physical dependency on a drug so that upon leaving drug detox and entering a drug treatment program the primary focus can be on psychological healing. Once drug detox has been completed, the individual will be physically stabilized and ready to being drug treatment and counseling.
Drug Detox Program Lengths
The length of a drug detox program is largely dependent on the type of drug that the individual is detoxing from. For instance, certain prescription medications will take longer to detox from than say cocaine or other drugs. Another common factor that determines the length of time needed to safely detox from drugs is the length of time that an individual used the drugs as well as how often the drugs were used. Every person’s chemical makeup and composition is different, each addiction and drug is different and therefore some people will complete drug detoxification faster than others. In most cases, drug detox takes anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks but could take longer if detoxing from multiple drugs, alcohol or depending on the severity of the addiction.
Why Drug Detox is Necessary
Drug detox is the vital first step to the addiction treatment process. It’s also an important safety measure to take as detoxing from drugs can be very dangerous if not done under proper medical supervision. The withdrawal symptoms that come as a result of drug detox can be painful, uncomfortable and even, in severe cases, life threatening. The following drug detox withdrawal symptoms are commonly managed by professional staff at drug detox centers:
- Depression or anxiety and other mental or psychological issues.
- Seizures or convulsions that can result from withdrawing from heroin or alcohol addiction.
- Insomnia which is often caused as a result of opiate withdrawal.
- Drug cravings that can result in immediate relapse.
- Mood swings or irrational behavior and irritability.
These drug detox withdrawal symptoms are most common a few days into drug detox and may last a period of a day or two, several days or more depending on the individual. For some, the withdrawal symptoms associated with drug detox will last for weeks but in most cases these symptoms become manageable and reside within just a few days.
Types of Addictions Treated at Drug Detox Centers
Drug detox centers provide a safe environment for drug detox from all different types of drugs. The most common types of drug detox programs are aimed at helping the individual to safely detox from the following drugs:
- Prescription Medications
Drug detox is vital to the success of any individual entering into a drug treatment program. While this first step of drug treatment is very important, completion of a safe drug detox program does not mean that you are no longer addicted to drugs. Physically, the dependence on a drug is gone once drug detox has been completed but psychologically there is still much work to be done in order to be fully recovered from drug addiction. Statistics show that those who attend a detox program followed by a long term drug treatment program are most likely to sustain sobriety for the long term.
What to Expect at Drug Detox
Depending on the type of drug detox program that you admit to and also depending on your specific drug addiction you can expect to feel withdrawal symptoms that vary in type and severity. If you attend a medical drug detox than you will not have such severe (or at least won’t feel as many) withdrawal symptoms than if you detox “cold-turkey.” Psychologically, many people experience depression and anxiety as well as irritability during drug detox. These symptoms are very common and can be treated or alleviated with medication provide by the physician at the drug detox center.
Drug detox centers provide you with the monitoring and care that you need to know that you will be detoxing safely. If any dire medical needs arise as a result of the drug detox such as seizures, the detox center staff is prepared to properly care for you and medicate you to maintain your safety. While detoxing from drugs may be scary and painful, you can expect to be safe and well treated at a drug detox center.