Most often, treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction will require the individual to go through a detoxification program in order to ensure that all traces of drugs or alcohol are removed from their body, and any withdrawal symptoms can run their course prior to embarking on the rehabilitation process. The detoxification process is also intended to remove all of the toxins from the body. The detox process can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis, however, an inpatient detox allows for the individual to be more closely monitored.
How Long Does The Detoxification Process Take?
The detoxification process takes a different amount of time for each individual and will also be influenced by what types of drugs or alcohol are in the body, how much they have been using it and how long they had been taking the substance. In some instances, medication may be introduced to help counteract the withdrawal symptoms that an individual is experiencing that are common with certain substances like opiates and heroin. During detoxification, especially if an individual has been using a substance for an extended period of time, their system will go into shock from that substance being withdrawn suddenly from their body.
Common Detoxification Withdrawal Symptoms
While some individuals may encounter little or no withdrawal symptoms during detoxification, most will have some form of withdrawal once the substance that they have been using is no longer introduced into their system. Withdrawal symptoms and severity will differ from person to person during detoxification. Some common symptoms include headaches, lack of concentration, severe depression, sweating, diarrhea, shaking or trembling, nausea, hallucinations, agitation, lack of appetite, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing, trouble sleeping, among others. In some cases, more severe reactions such as seizures, stroke or heart attack may be present. Withdrawal symptoms may occur very quickly after the cessation of the abused substance or could take up to 24 hours.
Why DIY Detoxification Is a Bad idea
Due to the possible extreme and potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms that may occur during the detoxification process, it is very important to ensure that an individual not attempt to go through the process alone. Should a seizure or other life-threatening symptom occur during withdrawal, the time involved in obtaining medical assistance is crucial. A professionally supervised detoxification process will provide a much safer and more comfortable environment to start on the road to recovery from a substance addiction.