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Signs You Need Help Detoxing From Drugs

Drug addiction is a serious medical illness affecting thousands of Americans. Addiction, sometimes called substance use or substance use disorder, does not discriminate. It affects people of all ages, genders, economic or employment situation, race, or ethnicity. Drug addiction harms the body and disrupts normal functioning while impacting the family and friends of those who are battling dependency. If you have any concerns about how to get off drugs, the first and most critical step in recovery is recognizing and accepting the addiction. The subsequent stage is a detox from drugs or substance detox. Drug detox is a pivotal stage in the recovery process.

A male patient talking to a healthcare specialist about detox from drugs and recovery.

What Exactly is a Substance Detox? 

Detoxification, or detox, is the body’s natural process of removing toxins from the body. For those struggling with substance abuse, detox refers to the period in which their body metabolizes drugs and alcohol. 

Once the body fully processes these substances, drugs or other substances are no longer in the bloodstream. 

Detoxing from drugs readies the body and mind for the recovery journey, reducing the discomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms. 

Six Signs of Needing Detox From Drugs

Recognizing the signs that indicate the need for drug detox is crucial for individuals struggling with substance abuse. These signs often manifest in various aspects of life, affecting physical health, relationships, and overall well-being. By understanding these signs, individuals who need help getting off drugs can seek the necessary support to begin recovery. 

Here are six signs that suggest the need for drug detox:

  • Physical dependence: Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug.
  • Increased tolerance: Needing larger doses to achieve the desired effect.
  • Failed attempts to quit: Difficulty quitting or controlling drug use despite efforts.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Drug use interferes with work, school, or home responsibilities.
  • Health issues: Experiencing physical or mental health problems related to drug use.
  • Cravings: Strong urges or cravings to use the drug, especially in stressful situations.

Types of Drug Detox Programs

There are different detox programs available tailored to individual needs, such as:

  • Medical Detoxification: For severe addictions, a medically supervised detox is essential. This method should always be under the strict watch of healthcare professionals.
  • Self Detox: Some people choose to detox independently by abruptly stopping substance use, known as “cold turkey.” This method often fails. Undergoing detox in a regulated setting like a detox center is more likely to succeed.
  • Holistic Detox: This approach integrates alternative treatments such as nutritional advice, group and private counseling, yoga, and meditation to tackle both the physical and psychological sides of addiction.

Regardless of the detox method selected, it should always occur in a detox center, where specialists can safely and effectively help eliminate drugs and alcohol from the body.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxing from drugs is only the beginning stage for someone trying to get control of an addiction. Although detoxification is a natural bodily process, it can lead to intense and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms affecting one’s physical and mental health.

Typically, drugs leave the body within a few days. However, the withdrawal symptoms someone experiences may last longer.  Sometimes, it takes several months to get drugs out of the system, depending on the individual and the severity of their addiction.

What a person experiences during detox depends on the individual and the type of drugs they’ve been abusing. Furthermore, the severity of an addiction affects withdrawal symptoms. 

Some common side effects that individuals detoxing from drugs may experience include:

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Delirium tremens (DTs) is a life-threatening issue that causes restlessness, confusion, fever, hallucinations, and seizures.
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Problems sleeping
  • Shakiness, especially in the hands
  • Unstable changes in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent yawning
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Runny nose
  • Goosebumps
  • Muscle cramps/body aches
  • Panic
  • Seizures
  • Mood swings
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Irritation
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Thoughts of self-harm 
  • Ongoing tiredness or lethargy

You mustn’t resort to detoxing at home as it could have serious consequences for your health. Instead, you need to be in a monitored and stable environment to ensure your heart and respiratory rates are normal. Additionally, detoxing outside of a licensed facility makes it more likely that you will be unable to cope with withdrawal symptoms and end up relapsing despite your best efforts.

Family supporting young man struggling with withdrawal symptoms to begin detox from drugs.

Drug Detox Timeline

The length of time The length of time at a detox program depends on different factors. Although there’s no such thing as a typical detox period, those who are addicted to drugs such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, or Ativan) may require up to ten days. 

While a detox from drugs varies with each individual, these are typical factors that affect the timeline: 

  • Some short-acting opioids, such as certain painkillers and heroin, cause withdrawal symptoms within eight to 24 hours, with symptoms peaking after four to 10 days.
  • Methadone and other longer-acting opioids may not cause withdrawal symptoms until two to four days into detox and may fade around 10 days.
  • Withdrawal symptoms from any benzodiazepine drug, such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, or the recreational drug cocaine, usually happen within one to four days and peak after about two weeks.

Without medical detoxification, some people may experience withdrawal symptoms for months or even years.

Once a patient is stable during a substance detox, they’ll be encouraged to participate in therapy. Types of therapy include individual, group, or family therapy, depending on a patient’s needs and interests. 

Patients also have the opportunity to meet with other like-minded individuals through support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous.  

Additionally, there are opportunities to participate in holistic therapies, such as relaxation, yoga, pet therapy, music, and art.

What Happens After Detox?

Detoxing is just the first step of recovery and works in conjunction with a treatment program as well as medication. What happens afterward is just as important. 

Detoxification alone is very rarely sufficient to sustain long-term recovery. It is more of a preparation for someone to begin participating in a detox program.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, successful treatment has several steps:

  • Detoxification.
  • Behavioral counseling.
  • Medication (for certain addictions).
  • Evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
  • Long-term follow-up to prevent relapse.

Detox from prescription drugs is a necessary process that can help effectively assist in defeating addiction. Prescription drugs often leave behind harmful toxins in your body, making it crucial that you undergo the detoxification process before starting your treatment program. This helps to ensure that your body is cleansed of toxins to maximize the recovery process. The process of detoxification is theoretically simple but can become dangerous if not properly monitored and conducted in the proper conditions. Untreated and unmonitored withdrawal symptoms can cause severe reactions such as trouble breathing, hallucinations, seizures, and even death.

How to Get Help With Detox From Drugs

Those in the thwarts of drug addiction need guidance on how to get off drugs and how to get help with detox. Understanding how detox works plays a crucial role in the path to recovery, as it’s a comprehensive approach to overcoming substance dependency. Detox programs ensure clients’ health and prepare individuals for the next steps in their journey to lasting sobriety. 

Seeking help for detox is a courageous and vital step to recovery. The decision to reach out for assistance in overcoming substance dependency demonstrates a profound commitment to healing and well-being. 

Confronting detox challenges requires strength and resilience, and it’s a powerful testament to the value placed on a healthier and brighter future. 

A man hugging a loved one during group therapy session, part of holistic detox from drugs.

Start Your Detox From Drugs Today

With the right level of care and a variety of therapeutic services, detox is the first stride toward a healthier, substance-free life. It’s essential for those who need help getting off drugs to engage with these programs to gain the full benefits of a supportive and structured start to their recovery.

When you choose Brentwood Springs to detox from drugs, our priority is your health and safety. We’ll evaluate your current medical condition and monitor your safe progress throughout withdrawal. Medications will help ease your symptoms or cravings.

Our drug detox programs provide you the time to heal, both physically and emotionally. We provide integrated, medically supervised care to help your body adjust to change while helping your mind learn new ways to cope with the stressors in your life.

Contact us today to learn more about our detox programs.

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