Friday, August 9, 2013

How Lengthy Does Detox Last

Making a lifestyle change such as quitting smoking cigarettes or marijuana, not drinking or using any illicit drugs or no longer overmedicating with prescription and over-the-counter drugs is a huge step. Understanding the detox process and the length of time it takes to overcome the worst of detox will help you be much more successful. Detox is a difficult time, and there are many things to take into consideration, but it is a great reward to get through this stage of recovery.

The Facts

Detox, or detoxification, occurs when the prolonged use of a substance such as tobacco, methamphetamines and other drugs is stopped. The body begins to eliminate the substance, and cells and organs begin to adjust. The amount of time that it takes to complete detox will depend greatly upon the type of substance use and the length of time used. During the detoxification process the body will go through withdrawal symptoms. Some of these can cause a health risk, so seeking medical assistance is strongly suggested.

Time Frame

Detox happens in stages and should be supervised, especially if you are detoxing from alcohol such as vodka, gin, whiskey and chronic beer abuse. The decision to stop using tobacco, alcohol and drugs means you should make a plan for success. The first seven days after you stop using can be the most difficult. Withdrawal symptoms can include severe cravings; changing the behaviors that lead to cravings can help reduce them. The next seven days becomes easier as you learn to overcome the cravings and your body begins to heal, with a decrease in shakes and an increase in awareness. The greater risk for relapse is within the first 30 days, when the discomfort and cravings are the strongest. Overall, the first 90 days after last use is considered a detox period because it takes time for the body to adjust.


Different drugs and alcohol can result in health issues such as cirrhosis of the liver, kidney and bladder infections and problems with memory, hearing and seeing things that are not there, among other issues. The choice to stop drug and alcohol abuse is a major lifestyle change; besides physical problems, there are life problems to consider. A detox program is designed to help with facing these issues and should be seriously considered. Most detox programs consist of three- to seven-day residential living with supervision and referrals for medical and psychological assessments. Once the detox program is complete, enrolling in an outpatient or residential program is strongly suggested, as well as attending 12-step meetings. With support it is easier to remain drug- and alcohol-free.


It takes time to overcome addictions, whether it's to drugs, alcohols, tobacco, gambling, overeating or any other. Because addiction becomes a way of life, seeking help in creating a lifestyle change should be considered. The first 7 to 14 days of detox is difficult, both physically and mentally. Even if you do not attend a detox program finding support from those who have experienced what you are going through will make it a bit easier to get through. Being alone during detox is not a wise decision, as the risk of using again to ease the symptoms is valid. No amount of resolve will keep you from being tempted to use again, but with someone available that you can call during the detox period the chances are greater that you will succeed.


Each drug offers its own set of problems during detox; for instance, alcohol withdrawal includes shakes, hallucinations and possibly seizures. Other health risks can include heart, kidney and liver problems, making it very important to seek medical advice when planning an alcohol detox. Prescriptions such as Oxycodone, morphine and Valium require a supervised detox because the withdrawals can be life-threatening and result in similar health issues.

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