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The first step toward living a sober life
is going through a detoxification program.
Find a safe reputable medical detox facility
before going into rehab.


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A person who abuses alcohol or drugs will inevitably experience a number of different effects within their body, caused by the continual absorption of substances into their system. The adverse effects are not just physical: they create psychological and emotional problems as well. A person’s system strives to maintain an optimal level of functioning that allows it to operate efficiently with the least amount of stress. It naturally monitors and attempts to maintain levels of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other regulatory substances and systems. Eventually, the body reaches a point known as homeostasis, which is a system of balance wherein the body operates efficiently without taxing itself.

Taking drugs or alcohol even for short periods of time can throw off this whole balance. These substances create alterations that the system now has to adjust to and compensate for. Similarly, a person’s emotional state normally moves toward a state of balance where there are no significantly fluctuating emotions or extreme emotions expressed. Drugs and alcohol also disturb this emotional balance.

For most drugs, using the substance over and over again results in diminished effects. The individual who is taking the substance finds that they need more of it just to experience the same euphoric high that they were used to. This is called tolerance. The development of tolerance may lead to physical dependence and eventually, addiction.

Drug detox is the first weapon used against addiction. Here we will discuss everything there is to know about drug detox: how it works, what it’s like, and why you should not try it at home.


Detoxification, also known as detox, is the process of eliminating the drugs within a person’s system. More specifically, drug detox allows the body to remove the drugs within it in order to reestablish its natural balance. The body does all the work. The purpose of drug detox is to make sure the person gets through this process safely by managing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. Sometimes they can be life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms occur when a person who is addicted or dependent on a certain substance suddenly stops taking it.

When it comes to detox, everyone has a different experience. The type of drug and how long it was used will affect what detox will be like. The length of withdrawal depends on a number of factors such as the severity of addiction, the duration of addiction, the type of substance used, the method of abuse, the amount taken at one time, the user’s genetic makeup, their family history, their medical condition, their underlying mental health conditions, and so much more.

Medications may be used during the detox process to help keep the patient comfortable while the drugs leave their body. It can take days or months to get through withdrawal symptoms for most drugs. Depending on the severity and duration of the patient’s substance abuse history.

How Drug Detox Works

The process of medically-assisted detox uses specific types of medications to assist the individual in detoxing the drugs from their system. Eventually, the body will flush out these harmful substances on its own. But this is an extremely uncomfortable process because of how drugs or alcohol have altered the body’s natural systems.

During the detox process, the body has to readjust to the absence of the drug, meaning it will have to balance everything out again. In some cases, when an individual is on a tapering program, this may lengthen the overall time period associated with the detox process because the physician will gradually reduce their intake over time. Suddenly quitting a drug can be very dangerous. This is why this process is often done slowly. It allows the body to adjust its level of homeostasis slowly, instead of dropping it all at once.

A tapering program will significantly decrease any discomfort and potential dangers associated with withdrawal. However, this type of program should only be done under the supervision of a licensed physician who has experience in addiction medicine or psychiatry. Attempting a self-induced medically-assisted detox program is potentially dangerous.

How Long Does Detox Last?

The impact of addiction varies from person to person. Therefore, the treatment process will also be different for everyone. When it comes to detox, a number of different variables contribute to the timeline for the detox process. For example, if a person has been using a certain type of substance for a long period of time, they will likely experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to quit. This means detox might take longer. The amount they typically used also plays a role. These factors usually determine the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

The type of substance a person used will affect the length of time spent detoxing them. Substances such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and narcotic medications are associated with high levels of physical dependence when abused. On the other hand, cocaine, marijuana, and certain amphetamines have less potential for severe physical dependence. However, these drugs still produce emotional and psychological issues during the withdrawal process, so they are not completely harmless.

Interestingly, the method of ingestion also affects the duration of detox. Certain individuals inject or snort drugs. Some people take them orally. Tolerance develops more quickly with more direct means of administration such as injecting and snorting. People do this because it intensifies the high and makes it kick in faster. But these methods are also more dangerous. Individuals who use these methods will often face more complicated withdrawal issues.

The method of discontinuation will also create different effects on the body. Quitting drugs altogether may result in a more intense reaction compared to just gradually tapering down the amount used over time. Those who participate in a medically assisted detox program will have a more comfortable recovery experience. Although it will take longer than quitting and taking a “cold turkey” approach, proper detox will at least be far less dangerous.

Of course, everyone is unique and this alone makes all the difference. Individual differences in emotional makeup and physiology will determine the length and duration of drug detox. Some people respond to the detox process better than others. Some are more determined to recover. Many times, individuals with similar abuse backgrounds will still demonstrate different experiences during detox. It’s all about genetics, health conditions, and overall attitude towards recovery.


Detox is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of any addiction treatment program. That’s because it deals with all the physical effects of addiction: the withdrawal and the cravings—on top of all the adverse health effects of substance abuse. The exact withdrawal symptoms will depend on the type of drug abused. Depending on the substance, withdrawal symptoms may be more physical or more mental. Cocaine withdrawal, for example, is more psychological. Detox involves dealing with cravings and anxiety.

Alcohol withdrawal includes physical symptoms that can cause seizures or death in some cases. Detox often includes medications that mimic the effects of drugs in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Some medications also target co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or general discomfort. Benzodiazepines and alcohol are some of the most dangerous substances to detox from. They often require medication. Opioids, especially heroin, are considered the most uncomfortable to detox from. Over time, as the body readjusts to the lowered quantities the harmful substances, the detox process becomes more bearable and the person starts to feel healthier. They will be on their way to a full recovery in no time.


Medical detox is designed to limit the symptoms of withdrawal. Unfortunately, some of them are unavoidable. Common withdrawal symptoms include nervousness, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, discomfort, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. So while drug detox is meant to reduce the pain of withdrawal, it is not a guarantee that the whole process will be a smooth ride. However, drug detox is still much safer and much more comfortable than trying to quit and then struggling with the withdrawal symptoms without proper medical assistance.


There will be bad days. That is what makes recovery so challenging—and that is why drug rehab treatment  is necessary. Individuals dealing with substance use disorders, will sometimes feel weak. However, that is why after care or outpatient programs and sober living houses are so effective in helping people in recovery stay sober.

Obstacles are common and to be expected. There are so many problems along the way that need to be dealt with. Payment for treatment is perhaps the biggest obstacle. But the good news is that most rehab facilities work with insurance. Rehab costs are often picked up by your insurance program. If no insurance is available, there are several payment options for treatment. Financing options, insurance coverage, financial assistance from friends and family—these are all on the table. Not to mention the fact that many rehab facilities are actually more affordable than others. Steer clear of luxury rehab, unless there are funds available for it. The traditional rehab should work wonders.


Getting sober alone is extremely difficult and also dangerous. Not only is the risk of relapse high, the cravings and withdrawal are also very challenging to deal with. Detoxing on your own is not advisable. Qualified medical detox centers will provide a comfortable and medically safe environment in order to rid yourself of the drugs or alcohol in your system so that you can begin inpatient or outpatient rehab.


Rapid detox is a method of eliminating substances from a user’s system faster than regular detox. Advocates of rapid detox say it is a faster way of getting drugs out of the body while also avoiding painful withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, rapid detox can be both dangerous and expensive. In rapid detox, the addicted person is sedated with anesthesia and given medications that replace the drugs in the body. The method was originally developed for people addicted to opiate drugs like heroin and painkillers. However, the risks of rapid detox often outweigh the benefits.

Rapid detox can cause the following effects: heart attack, paranoia, high body temperature, infection, nausea, vomiting, choking, or even death. There are even variations called “ultra-rapid detox” programs that can take as little as a few hours. Approximately 1 in 500 people die from ultra rapid detox, according to the Coleman Institute. 

Traditional rapid detox programs take about two to three days to complete. And while it carries less danger, it is still more expensive than a typical detox and it can cost up to $10,000. Generally, it is not covered by insurance. Many people who complete rapid or ultra rapid detox report continuation of withdrawal symptoms, albeit at a lower intensity. They are also less likely to continue in treatment, meaning their risk of relapse is high.

That is another reason why medical detox takes a bit of time. During rehab, medical detox is done alongside behavioral therapy and counseling. These methods tackle the emotional and psychological effects of addiction while detox handles the physical effects. So rehab is a more complete experience because it gets to the root of addictive behavior. Rapid detox may encourage patients to skip all of that hard but necessary work that will enable them to stay sober once they have regained their sobriety.


The withdrawal symptoms from some substances aren’t as dangerous as others—so it may be possible to be managed with support at home. But when it comes to “do it yourself drug detox” it is very important to be prepared. Making a safe plan is essential. At home detox should only be performed after a doctor or a medical professional has approved the process. Someone who is struggling with any form of addiction should never decide to just try it on their own. The withdrawal stage is very dangerous, so detox without medical supervision is not advised. Doing so could have serious health repercussions and could even be fatal in severe cases.

To begin a safe detox, be sure to check with a medical professional or addiction expert, preferably someone with addiction treatment experience and expertise. This specialist can provide a thorough assessment of the patient’s status and risk, so they know how to approach the detox. When determining the appropriate treatment plan for the patient, the medical professional may ask questions about the following: the types of substances used regularly; the frequency and dose; any preexisting mental health conditions; the person’s physical health or medical history; and previous detox attempts.

They may also inquire on how much support the patient has at home. These questions will help the medical professional determine an appropriate level of care. In very limited instances, natural detox may be an option for a healthy person who does not have significant physical dependence on the substance. It may also apply to people who do not have a history of substance use or history of taking drugs that are associated with dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinogens and certain inhalants.

Additionally, do it yourself drug detox should only be attempted by people with a lot of support at home. Alternatively, outpatient detox programs may work well for those who have a lot of responsibilities that they can’t leave behind. For patients whose addictions are somewhat more severe but whose symptoms do not require intense supervision, outpatient detox is a great choice.

In an outpatient treatment setting, the recovering individual is able to return home after each treatment session—which is perfect for patients with strong family and community support in their recovery. For those who have a significant history of substance abuse involving alcohol, heroin, and prescription sedatives, inpatient programs may work best because of the round-the-clock care from trained medical professionals. Inpatient treatment also provides continuous emotional support throughout the detox process, which a lot of patients need.

How to Drug Detox At Home

Attempting natural detox at home is challenging, to say the least. Detox leaves many people feeling absolutely terrible. However, detox at home is a desirable option for certain people because they can go through this very difficult time of their life while surrounded by people they care about. The familiarity of their normal environment and the presence of their loved ones can make the process easier.

In the right situation, natural drug detox at home may even enhance the process, making the experience much more bearable for the individual.

Drug cravings will be the most difficult thing to resist when withdrawal symptoms start manifesting. Patients can do a natural detox process with therapeutic support of professionals by staying in touch and contacting them when they are in need of support.

Natural detox will not involve the usual medications that can provide comfort for certain withdrawal symptoms, so it is still quite risky. If complications arise, be sure to contact your doctor or medical professional. Remember that while there may be relatively few expected medical dangers, some unexpected dangers may still arise.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there are several medical complications that can occur during detox. The person may experience nausea and vomiting.

When doing drug detox at home, loved ones should make sure to help the person stay on the right track. Do not enable bad behavior as this will only make things worse for the recovering individual. Due to the uncomfortable nature of withdrawal symptoms, it is very common for addicted people to relapse and return to their use of drugs or alcohol.

Getting professional support can make a big difference in preventing relapse and making it to the next step of treatment.

Also keep in mind that patients can still live at home while going through outpatient detox. This means it’s not necessary to go through detox entirely without medical support. Patients can have the best of both worlds by attending treatment and then going back home afterwards to continue receiving support from their loved ones. It’s a win-win scenario.

Outpatient treatment is a safer option than going without assistance. Patients can have regular check-ins where their health can be monitored and they will have professionals who can provide guidance and support throughout the difficult process of drug detox.

There are many detox needs that can only be addressed while under the care of medical professionals. So while drug detox at home is possible under certain scenarios, there is never a situation wherein it is more viable than receiving care from trained medical experts. It is also not without risks because relapse is likely—and this can result in overdose or even death.

Trying to detox without treatment can negatively affect a person’s mental health, resulting in problems such as anxiety, anger, irritability, depression, suicidal ideation, hopelessness, delusional thinking, paranoia, and hallucinations.

In some cases, these mental health symptoms can get so severe that the person detoxing threatens harm against themselves or the people around them. Still, the symptoms will depend on the substance of abuse and the person’s physical and mental health. The detox experience is different for everyone.

How to Drug Detox While Pregnant

Pregnant women have a strong motive to quit drugs. It is for the safety and well-being of their baby. It is widely known that drinking alcohol or using drugs while pregnant can harm not only the mother, but also the unborn child. This is because the substances cross the placenta to the baby.

Detox can create stress on the unborn child, causing preterm labor or severe fetal distress. This is especially true if the mother goes the cold turkey approach when it comes to detox. The goal of proper medical detox is for pregnant women to avoid relapse and manage their pain.

Detox specialists know how to keep babies safe and healthy by treating pregnant women in detox. Doctors often prescribe medications to stabilize pregnant women in detox. Alcohol and opiate detox usually pose the most risks to unborn children, which is why medical assistance is a must.

What is the Drug Detoxification Process

The idea behind proper medical detox is simple: gradually lower the person’s drug or alcohol intake and manage their withdrawal symptoms until their body readjusts to being free from these substances.

However, everyone’s detox needs are different. Therefore the process of detox isn’t always straightforward. The drug detox process helps addicted people get personalized treatment. All rehab facilities try to use this personalized method because every patient is different. There is no single solution that will help everyone.

For starters, withdrawal symptoms are different for everyone, even if they abused the same type of drug for the same period of time, and took the same dose. The intensity of these withdrawal symptoms will also vary from person to person—mostly based on how long they abused a substance and what their current health condition is.

So while there is no absolute process being followed, there are generally three major steps that need to be taken: evaluation, stabilization, and preparing for treatment.

Evaluation is the stage wherein the medical team screens incoming patients for physical and mental health issues. Doctors use blood tests to measure the amount of drugs in the patient’s system. This helps determine the level of medications needed for the detox.

In addition to this, there is also a comprehensive review of drug, medical, and psychiatric histories. This information sets up the basis for the patient’s long term treatment plan. After all, the goal of detox is not just to cure the person today—but to help them stay sober in the future.

This information paints the whole picture for the medical team before detox even begins. The evaluation stage allows them to come up with a treatment plan that is suited to the person’s specific needs.

The next step is stabilization. During this stage, the patient receives medical and psychological therapy. The goal is to prevent any form of harm to the patient. Doctors may prescribe addiction treatment medications that can prevent complications as well as reduce the impact of withdrawal symptoms.

The final step of detox is preparation for a treatment program. Doctors work to familiarize their patients with the treatment process. The patient will then learn what to expect in inpatient or outpatient rehab facilities. For those with more severe addictions, inpatient rehab offers the highest success rate after detox.

What is a Drug Detox Program

The specific details of a drug detox program depend on the factors mentioned previously: dosage, frequency of abuse, etc.

In most cases, the actual detox process only takes a few days to a week to complete. Only those with more serious addictions have to detoxify for months. With some drugs, the drug may be tapered off slowly over time so that withdrawal symptoms remain manageable. Drugs that are short-acting tend to produce stronger withdrawal symptoms that are also shorter-lasting.

The detox process may require the administration of medication such as methadone, which acts as a substitute for certain drugs—such as heroin, for example. The medication essentially tricks the brain into thinking the body has received the right amount of drugs, when in fact it has been substituted with a less addictive substance.

Once the initial addiction is broken, the user must be weaned from the substitute drug as well, which should be easier because the substitute is not as potent or as deadly as the original substance.

Can Drug Tests Detect Detox Drinks

Detox drinks are special beverages that are designed to cleanse the system from all toxins, including drug metabolites. Some people take it to increase their chances of passing a urine drug test, since most of these drinks are designed to produce clean urine as soon as possible.

Detox drinks come with a blend of natural ingredients that are known for their cleansing properties—mostly herbal components that help with urination. These drinks also contain B vitamins that are meant to color the urine yellow to make it look natural and not diluted. Many formulas also include creatine, which helps the urine pass the adulteration check that is conducted if a sample is considered suspicious.

Many people wonder if a detox drink will be detected in a drug test. These drinks do not actually remove the drugs from the system. This is a misconception. Detox drinks do not leave the body completely clean. A detox drink flushes the toxins in the bladder and further down the urinary tract. But that does not mean the body is free from toxins. They will still potentially be in the liver, the kidneys, in the cells, and in your blood.

The detox drink itself will not be detected by drug tests because it is just like drinking any other beverage. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the detox products that do work are able to be identified on drug tests. Passing a drug test this way will only create more suspicion.

Instead of faking drug test results, it is ultimately much better to just get clean and go through proper medical detox.

Do Drug Detox Pills Work

The same can be said for drug detox pills. The pills that work can be detected in drug tests. This will still create suspicion that the user has been taking drugs.

Drug detox pills are considered masking products—they claim to help users pass or distort drug tests. Most of these products are directed at passing urine tests. Newer products aim to help users pass tests on oral fluids or hair as well. Many of these products are not only expensive but they also do not work.

If the user passes a drug test because of a detox pill or any other masking product, they will be under suspicion of drug use. Some testing programs even consider the presence of a masking product to be a positive drug test.

Does Drug Detox Work

Because masking drug abuse is neither effective nor good for the person, it is important to discuss whether or not proper medical detox programs actually work. The answer is yes—it does work, which is why it is a core part of the entire rehab process.

A medical detox facility is equipped with medications, tools, and facilities that will help make the detox process more comfortable and safe. These facilities are staffed by experienced medical professionals who are experts in handling addiction and its many effects. The doctors and nurses and trained in helping patients cope with different withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Without medical care, these withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant, dangerous, and even life-threatening. People enter a medical detox facility so that they can withdraw from drugs or alcohol safely and in relative comfort.

Drug detox is effective because of two main reasons: round the clock care, and medications. Medications help control withdrawal symptoms, which is the biggest obstacle patients face when recovering from an addiction. Round the clock care means that patients get the proper support they need at any given time.

How Much Does Drug Detox Cost

The cost of drug detox varies depending on a number of factors including insurance coverage, the type of addiction, amenities offered in the facility, the location, etc. In general, outpatient care is less expensive than inpatient care, but inpatient care also has a higher success rate because of its focused and structured nature.

Patients should consider drug detox as an investment for their future. Instead of spending money on harmful substances that will just destroy their life, they need to invest on addiction treatment now and cut their losses. Detox is an essential part of the rehab process. It is the first step in the journey towards addiction. It also has a huge impact on the patient’s health.

Contact a treatment specialist to find a treatment center near you today.


Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs again, only to overdose because they did not uncover the root of their addiction. “Go Deep” is the motto for many treatment programs that do the hardwork and help patients uncover the emotonal trauma and issues that often lead to substance use disorders. Let’s help make you another success story. Call Now. 

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