How Long Does It Take to Medically Detox?

Are you or a loved one engaged in regular, heavy drinking or drug use? Have you recently tried to quit drinking or using but found that you could not stop without getting sick or experiencing discomfort? If so, you are probably a good candidate to consider medical detox from drug or alcohol dependence.

What is Detox?

Detox is not rehab. Although detox is often pursued as an option for people intending to then go to rehab or another type of treatment facility, detox is also available to those who are unable to attend a drug or alcohol rehab program.

Known to the medical community as “alcohol and drug detoxification,” detox is a safe and clinically-managed method of treatment used to help heavy drinkers and alcoholics safely quit using over a period of days. It is often achieved with the assistance of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines.

Do I Need to Go to Detox?

The question of whether or not you need to enter a detox facility depends on several factors. The most important question, however, is whether or not you have become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol.

When someone is engaged in repeated heavy drinking or drug use, their brain chemistry can become changed. Common evidence of this change in brain chemistry is an increased “tolerance,” which is to say that the individual can use a greater quantity of alcohol or drugs before appearing drunk or blacking out.

Eventually, the brain develops a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol so that, when the individual abruptly stops, withdrawal symptoms occur. These symptoms can be dangerous or even deadly, and they often require that the individual enter detox in order to quit safely.

If you are an addict or alcoholic or are otherwise physically dependent substances, is important to understand that quitting on your own is dangerous and potentially deadly. Studies indicate that quitting is fatal for as many as 5% of addicts and alcoholics who try quitting without the help of medical detox or rehab.

How Long Does an Individual Stay in a Detox Facility?

In general, medical detox from drugs like opiates and benzodiazepines may take several days, and detox from alcohol may take up to two or more weeks. Each case is different, however, depending on factors such as the quantity of drugs used and the individual’s broader history of addiction or alcoholism.

If you believe you may be physically dependent on alcohol or drugs or have experienced withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking or using, it is important that you seek medical help as soon as possible. Contact us to discuss your situation as well as options for detox and/or enrollment in a rehab program. We look forward to speaking with you.