If you’re considering entering treatment or are attending because you are legally required to do so, the initial step of detox may be daunting. Detox can be painful, and depending on what you’re shedding, it can be dangerous. Getting professional help can mean the difference between successfully detoxing and returning to using because it’s the only way to handle the symptoms. Timing is also critical. How long does it take to detox from drugs and alcohol?
Detoxing occurs in stages. For example, the first 24 hours of an alcohol detox can include a hangover. With medical supervision, the next 72 hours can be uncomfortable. However, if you try to quit alcohol cold turkey, the next 72 hours can include delirium tremens and other hallucinations. Never attempt a detox alone, and avoid detoxing with the help of a friend or a loved one. When you are in the throes of the mental and physical pain of detox, you may say things that can badly damage even the most loving relationship. Detoxing with the help of medical professionals who know what to expect can protect that relationship.
Protecting Your Body and Brain
In the early stages of detox from some drugs, such as opiates, the first 30 hours can include
- anxiety and insomnia
- muscle aches and stomach spasms
- eye tearing and sweating
This misery can be compounded by nausea and diarrhea. As you move into the third day of some detox plans, your blood pressure can get dangerously high, it may become impossible to keep down food and your pulse may increase to frightening levels. It is never a good idea to detox alone, but an opiate detox can be fatal without supervision.
During detox, dehydration is always a worry. If you can detox with the help of a professional, you can get an IV of liquids when necessary. You can get medication to lessen the cravings. You can get treatment for the nausea and vomiting to at least lower your misery level so you can keep your eyes on the big goal of getting the drugs out of your system.
Protecting Your Spirit and Mind
One of the common factors in many forms of detox is anxiety. Anxiety can contribute to
- suicidal ideation
A supervised detox can include access to a counselor, a spiritual support system, and caring professionals to monitor your body and brain through the changes of detox. Detoxing on your own will only contribute to your anxiety and stress levels, as well as increase your sense of isolation. Submitting to the care of others in this very vulnerable and difficult time may be extremely tough, but it will protect you from the truly hazardous mental stress and physical anguish of withdrawals.
<h3>The Ability to See a Future for Yourself</h3>
As you work through the challenges of detox, you will reach a point when nausea lessens; you will be able to eat healthy food and drink water. You will start to feel better with real food in your stomach. The sweating and agitation will lessen; your muscle aches will ease and you will be able to shower without assistance as your balance improves. Once you’re clean and able to care for yourself in some privacy, you will feel stronger and more confident.
Part of the stress of detox is actually putting yourself in the hands of others. If you are a trauma survivor, the idea of turning your well-being over to people you don’t know can be terrifying. However, a supervised medical detox is the best investment you can make in a drug and alcohol free future. It is critical to remember that detox is just one step in the treatment and rehab process. Detox is about cleansing your physical system. Healing your brain and spirit will take quality treatment, a healthy community, and continuing support.
Your detox timeline will depend on what’s in your system. With a medically supervised detox, you can expect about 7 days of general misery and specific pain. Getting drugs and alcohol out of your system will include chemical changes in your body and brain. For example, your nausea levels may rise. Healthy food and fluids may not appeal for the first 3 to 4 days. Medical professionals can help you fight dehydration and malnourishment. Ready to get started? Call us today at 772-266-5320.