Drug detox is the process where drugs you have consumed are given time to flush away from your body. Because drugs you consume alter brain chemistry, you will experience a number of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms during a drug detox. The severity of symptoms depends upon the specific drug you are addicted too and the duration and seriousness of your addiction.
During early detox, you may be offered prescription drugs such as Buprenorphine and Naltrexone to ease withdrawal symptoms. You are able to opt for ‘cold turkey’ based drug detox when no medications are consumed.
What are the stages of a drug detox programme?
By far the hardest part of any drug detox is the initial 48 hours. During this time, withdrawal symptoms are likely to peak. However, when you attend a drug rehab clinic, you will be given medications to help offset these withdrawal symptoms to a comfortable level. During a drug detox, you will benefit from medical supervision. This helps to ensure your needs are met during this testing time.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary in severity depending upon the drug you are addicted to. Some drugs are merely psychologically addictive. This means no physical withdrawal symptoms will be experienced during such a detox. Other drugs, such as opiates, are physically addictive, and so you will suffer from physical withdrawal symptoms during this type of drug detox.
Some examples of opiate withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, muscle aches, anxiety, sweating, watering of the eyes, and uncontrollable kicking of the legs. These symptoms are best treated by consuming a partial opiate agonist such as Subutex.
In contrast to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, the symptoms you may experience during a typical drug detox are not life-threatening. However, since withdrawal symptoms are highly discomforting, we must not diminish the importance of seeking out the assistance of drug rehab clinic in helping you detox off drugs.
If you suffer from an underlying mental illness, it is essential for psychological withdrawal symptoms to be addressed during a drug detox programme. Many drug detoxes will only serve to aggravate mental illnesses. For instance, when you detox from certain drugs, you are likely to become paranoid. You may even experience psychosis. These psychological withdrawal symptoms could mean you become a danger to yourself or to others.
The severity of drug detox withdrawal symptoms
Drug detox essentially involves the managed cessation of drug consumption. The intensity of these symptoms varies vastly from person to person. The key factors that affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms include the length of your addiction to drugs; the existence of co-occurring mental or physical health problems; the half-life of the drug you are addicted to; if you are addicted to more than one drug; and the number of drugs you consume.
What are the most common drug withdrawal symptoms?
The most common drug withdrawal symptoms include:
- Those of a physical nature: this includes intense sweating, chills, tremors, runny nose, flu-like symptoms, and nausea
- Sleeping problems: this includes suffering from insomnia and associated fatigue
- Those of a psychological nature: this includes mood swings, agitation, and irritability
- Cravings: you will likely experience intense cravings to continue using your drug of choice
The specific withdrawal symptoms you will experience will vary depending upon the type of drug you are addicted to. For instance, if you are addicted to alcohol, you may also experience hallucinations and you may even suffer from a seizure. If you are addicted to opiates, you will experience muscle ache, gastrointestinal problems, and bone/joint pain during your detox.
Although withdrawal symptoms vary according to the type of drug you are addicted to, what is clear is that you will benefit from a medically assisted detox no matter which drug you are addicted to. At Rehab 4 Addiction, we firmly believe your needs will be best served when you elect to undergo a detox at a drug detox clinic.
What are my drug detox options?
The term ‘drug detox’ is an umbrella phrase to capture a broad array of medical interventions designed to assist in coming off a range of legal and illegal drugs. A drug detox may take place in either an outpatient or inpatient environment:
- Inpatient detox: when you undergo an inpatient detox, you will live in the rehab clinic whilst you come off drugs. Here, you will benefit from round-the-clock medical care. You will also be removed from your drug using environment
- Outpatient detox: an outpatient detox takes place in your home. Because of this, you are highly likely to relapse because access to drugs will not be removed. As stated above, you will experience powerful cravings whilst you detox, and having access to drugs whilst you experience cravings is too much of a temptation for most drug users
For the above reasons, we strongly recommend you undertake a drug detox on an inpatient/residential basis.
What happens during an opiate detox?
Many people seeking out the services of a drug detox clinic will do so because they are addicted to opiates. During an opiate detox, you will be given partial opiate agonists such as Subutex (buprenorphine). These allow the detox clinic the ability to slowly taper you off opiates without you experiencing highly discomforting withdrawal symptoms.
The recommended minimum amount of time to complete an opiate detox is two weeks. The precise amount of time that’s necessary in your specific case will depend upon the severity of your opiate addiction and how long you have been addicted to opiates for. Some opiates, such as methadone, have a long half-life. In practical terms, this means it will take longer to detox off methadone compared to opiates with a shorter half-life.
What are the various methods for drug detoxes?
There currently exist many diverse methods when it comes to detoxing off drugs. No method is considered ideal, and a full assessment must be carried out to confirm which of these methods is best suited to your unique needs.
Broadly speaking, drug detoxes fall into one of the below categories:
- A social or ‘cold-turkey’ detox: this is when you come off drugs without using any medications to ease withdrawal symptoms. This lack of pharmacological input is rarely recommendable. Undergoing a cold turkey detox means you will unnecessarily suffer from a range of highly discomforting withdrawal symptoms
- A short-term detox: this is when you spend around 7-14 days in a rehab clinic so that you merely seek treatment for the physical aspect of drug addiction
- A long-term detox: this is when a short-term detox is followed up by a robust programme of therapy and aftercare. This ensures the mental, as well as the physical aspect of drug addiction, receive ample treatment
To discover which form of detox is applicable to your situation, contact Rehab 4 Addiction today on 0800 140 4690.
Is it possible to complete a home drug detox?
Many people will elect to undergo a drug detox from their own home. This detox is typically cold turkey in nature. This is because general practitioners are ever more unwilling to prescribe drugs intended to allow their patients to detox from home.
From our experience, undergoing a detox from home is highly inadvisable because it is generally unsafe to do, and you are highly likely to relapse during the course of a home detox. Furthermore, a home detox is very seldom backed up with therapy to treat the psychological aspect of addiction. For these reasons, we do not recommend you to undertake a drug detox from home.
How long does a drug detox last for?
A drug detox generally requires 7-14 days to complete. In practice, your drug detox programme should continue until all physical withdrawal symptoms have faded away. It’s also important to continue your drug detox until you are mentally strong enough to re-integrate into life outside of the drug detox clinic.
Is a drug detox enough for long-term recovery?
For the vast majority of people, merely undergoing a drug detox will not be enough preparation for long-term recovery. Addiction is predominately a psychological disease. A drug detox is designed to treat the physical symptoms of addiction and not the mental cause of addiction itself.
In order to treat the mental aspect of drug addiction, it is important for you to continue treatment at a drug rehab clinic even once your detox is complete. Clients typically spend an additional fortnight in a drug rehab clinic in order to undertake a period of re-adjustment. To achieve this, all rehab clinics we recommend offer therapy and counselling sessions to meet this aim.
Therapy sessions you will benefit from during this time include:
- Family therapy
- One-to-one therapy
- Group therapy
- Educational workshops
- Holistic therapies
- Life skills and relapse prevention workshops
What are the benefits of a drug detox?
The benefits of attending a drug detox clinic in the United Kingdom are many. Below, we list some of the most prominent benefits you will receive when you invest in quality drug detox services:
- Medical care during detox
- Personalised detox and therapy plan
- Psychiatric assistance
- Aftercare & relapse prevention
- Drug addiction education
About our drug detox programme
During your drug detox programme at our rehabilitation centre you receive 24-hour a day medical observation on an ‘inpatient’ basis. Withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored and since our detox programme is residential you are physically removed from bad influences which encouraged drug-taking behaviour. Those addicted to opiates are offered sedation based withdrawal, where a number of opiate blockers are administered into the bloodstream. Other medications are available to lessen withdrawal symptoms for other drugs such as prescription drugs. All detox plans are fully personalised and so medication you receive during this time is decided on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.
What happens after drug detox?
Once your drug detox programme has concluded, your programme will continue in the form of various counselling and therapy sessions. Psychotherapy is carried out by a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist in the form of group therapy and individual therapy. This stage of rehabilitation is designed to help you build powerful coping strategies to avoid relapsing once you leave.
Contact Rehab 4 Addiction
If you are ready to enter residential treatment for drug detox then call Rehab 4 Addiction today. Drug addiction treatment could save your life and the cost of the treatment is usually minuscule in comparison to the cost associated with the continuation of addiction. Call today on 0800 140 4690 or complete the enquiry form.
- Information about drug rehab
- Staging an intervention
- Aftercare: What happens after drug rehab
- Learn more about drug addiction