Timeline Detoxing Off Different Drugs

Detoxing from drugs and alcohol can be possibly the most difficult thing that someone attempting to get sober can do. The uncomfortability that comes from withdrawing from a substance that you have become physically dependent on can be overwhelming and it is this that keeps many people in their addiction longer than they need to be. As frightening a proposition as withdrawal is, the medical community at this point is well equipped to handle anything that may arise and can offer a comfortable and safe environment in which to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Part of the fear that comes with detoxing is not knowing exactly what to expect, or even how long you will experience withdrawal symptoms for. This not knowing, many times, can be worse than the actual withdrawal symptoms because our minds can create scenarios far exceeding reality. If you are currently at the stage where you are thinking about going to detox, but are worried about what to expect, don’t fret, below is information that will allow you to go to detox with a full understanding of what’s to come, and in doing so, hopefully will make your detox process easier.

Timeline for the Detox of Different Drugs

Depending on which substances you are addicted to the detox process will vary as different substances require different medical components for a safe detox. For instance, opiate withdrawals are very uncomfortable, but usually do not result in life-threatening conditions, whereas withdrawing from alcohol can be exceedingly dangerous. Regardless of what substance you are withdrawing from you will experience some level of uncomfortability but with the right supervision, these symptoms are manageable.

Opiate Detox

Withdrawal from opiates, whether that be heroin or prescription drugs usually results in flu-like symptoms which present themselves anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours after the last usage. These flu-like symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Yawning
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea

These symptoms usually persist for 24-72 hours and begin to diminish after the 3rd day. At which time your appetite will start to come back and the hot and cold sweats should begin to dissipate.

Many times in a 7-10 day detox setting you will receive Suboxone or an equivalent for the first few days, with a decrease in dosage every day. This tapering off allows for a slow transition to complete removal of the opiates from your system and usually makes the detoxing process easier.

There are a few instances where withdrawal symptoms from opiates can last longer and that is usually with extended usage of Suboxone or Methadone. These substances used for an extended period of time can result in withdrawal symptoms persisting for a few weeks and methadone detox may require special medical attention.

detox timeline image

Alcohol Detox

Detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous and so it is always suggested that you seek the appropriate medical supervision when attempting to quit. If the correct measures are not taken, withdrawal from alcohol can produce seizures that can result in death.

Withdrawal from alcohol usually takes 5-7 days and it can be broken down into three stages.

Stage 1

  • Stage 1 usually begins about 8 hours after the last drink and it is characterized by an increase in anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Stage 2

  • Stage 2 lasts from 24-72 hours after the last drink and without the proper medication a person can experience an increase in blood pressure, body temperature, and confusion.

Stage 3

  • Stage 3 is the most dangerous time for alcohol detox and is mostly avoided due to medication that a person receives upon intake at a detox center. In Stage 3 a person can begin to experience hallucinations, fever, seizures, and increased agitation. This stage usually begins at around 72 hours after the last drink and can persist for a few days.

Due to the dangerous nature of this withdrawal process, medications like Librium and Valium are used in the detox process in order to avoid seizures or other serious complications. This regiment is usually followed for 5-7 days at which point a person will normally begin to feel better. 

Benzodiazepine Detox

Like alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepines are also a dangerous drug to withdrawal from. Its effects are similar to alcohol and a person can experience seizures that can result in death if the proper medication and medical supervision are not followed. The difference is that the detox process from benzodiazepines is longer than it is for alcohol and a person can experience seizures weeks or even months after their last usage. Due to this, it is extremely important that if you are attempting to get off of benzodiazepines you seek professional help so that they can make sure you do this safely.

Cocaine Detox

Cocaine is different from many other illicit drugs in that there are no severe physical withdrawals from discontinuing its usage. That being said this does not mean that withdrawing from cocaine is easy. Many times the mental aspect of detox is equal to, if not worse than the physical symptoms experienced, and this can be the case with withdrawal symptoms from cocaine.

Withdrawing from cocaine can result in depression and restlessness that last for 7 to 10 days and these symptoms can be treated and lessened if they are experienced within the confines of a detox center.

Seeking Treatment for Substance Abuse

While going through withdrawal symptoms is never pleasant, it does not need to be an impossible task. Knowing what you are going to face and then getting the professional medical help you need is a great way to help alleviate some of the struggles that occur from withdrawaling from substances. Many people who attempt to do this alone are unsuccessful and this is because when the proper support is not in place getting sober can be exceedingly difficult. If you are afraid that is okay because the trained professionals at Coastal Detox know exactly what you are going through and know how to best help you through this trying time. So call Coastal Detox at 1-877-978-3125, and begin the process of recovery today.

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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