What happens During Drug Detox?

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on August 31, 2020.

Most people who go through recovery receive detoxification (detox) as their first step. Your addiction treatment plan will depend on the type of addiction you have and your personal circumstances, but the majority of treatments begin with detox. Detox aims to relieve the physical effects of addiction (withdrawal) so you can work on the emotional and psychological symptoms.

By understanding what happens during detox, you can feel better prepared for your recovery journey ahead.

What Is Detox?

Detox refers to the range of medical interventions meant to manage withdrawal symptoms and intoxication. During the detox process, your treatment provider will minimize your withdrawal symptoms while your body adjusts to lower substance levels. When you get detox at an addiction treatment center, your care team will strive to make your experience as safe and comfortable as possible.

How Does Detox Work?

Since detox covers a wide range of treatment services, it works differently depending on your symptoms and situation. Your experience might include one or more of these processes:

  • Detox with medication: In some types of addiction, medication can relieve withdrawal symptoms as the person works on other aspects of recovery. This approach works more effectively for certain addiction types, such as opioid addiction, than for others.
  • Detox without medication: Due to the type of addiction or the person's medical profile, some people need to detox without medication. In this situation, the person's care team will provide as much support as possible to make detox more comfortable.
  • Additional care and support: During detox, some patients need help with the physical and emotional effects of addiction and the detox process. They might require psychological or medical care to improve their chances of a successful recovery.

What Are the Symptoms of Detoxing?

The symptoms that you will experience during detox depend on the severity of your symptoms, the type of addiction you have and how long you've been using the substance. They may include:

  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sweating and hot flashes
  • Concentration issues
  • Digestive problems
  • Cravings

How Long Does Detox Last?

Your detox program's length will also vary based on the type of addiction you have and your symptom severity. While some people will go through detox for a few days, the process can take weeks for others. In the case of opioid addiction, medication-assisted treatment continues as the person goes through the next steps of treatment.

What Happens After Detox?

Ongoing medical and psychological care can help you stay in recovery after detox. Once detox manages the initial physical symptoms, it's up to you to continue recovery in support groups, therapy or another supportive service. Your detox provider can recommend the next course of action and help you find a treatment center that fits your needs.

Detoxification Services at Diamond House Detox

At Diamond House Detox, we offer residential detox services in a comfortable environment to ease the first major step in recovery. If you need detox in Northern California, call us at 800-205-6107 or contact us online at any time.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet