Many people wonder how long it takes to detox at a drug detox center. This question might arise from your desire to detox from a substance or enter into a residential addiction detox program. When you detox from a substance, it involves clearing the body of those substances while simultaneously managing the resulting withdrawal symptoms. How long detoxing takes varies according to the individual and can range between several days to several months. Atlanta Detox Center is here to answer all of your questions about detox.
Factors Contributing to How Long Detox Takes
Even though those who detox from alcohol no longer have this substance in their body after a few days, that does not mean they are no longer experiencing cravings. That leads to many people to wonder how long detox takes. The length of time it takes for detoxing at an alcohol addiction treatment program varies according to the following factors:
- Age of the user
- Gender of the user
- How much of the substance was in use
- How often the user abused the substance
- If the user abused more than one substance
- Medical history of the user
- Presence of any underlying co-occurring conditions with mental health
- Which substances the user abused
Understanding the Length of a Detox
When you need programs such as addiction treatment therapies, detoxing is always the first stage. If you are someone who abused alcohol for multiple years, that could mean enduring a longer timeframe for detoxing. However, if you used alcohol for several months, this could mean a shorter timeframe. A report presented by the New England Journal of Medicine outlines that, following approximately 72 hours, alcohol withdrawal affects peak. Following that period, they begin subsiding over the next five to seven days.
We learn from a literature review published in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal that there are expectations for withdrawal symptoms you might experience on a specific time table. They include the following:
- Six hours: Expect to feel mild withdrawal symptoms at least six hours after taking your last drink
- 12 to 24 hours: It is not uncommon to experience hallucinations during this timeframe
- 24 to 48 hours: You might experience headache, stomach upset, and tremors at this point
- 48 to 72 hours: You could be experiencing a high body temperature, high heart rate, or tremors
- 72 hours: Because withdrawal symptoms are peaking at this point, they tend to be at their worst
What Happens During Detox
You might also be wondering about what to expect from the actual detox treatment. The first thing you should understand is that your detox might not look the same as someone else’s. This could be due to how long you abused alcohol, as well as the other factors already mentioned. However, it is still possible to have a basic understanding of how long it takes to detox and what happens during each stage.
- Within the first few hours: The best way to tell that your body is cleaning itself of alcohol is if you experience cravings. You might also experience anxiety, depression, irritability, restlessness, nausea, and tremors.
- During the first couple of days: While you are detoxing, it is still possible to experience withdrawal symptoms after the 72-hour peak. Those symptoms could include hallucinations, seizures, rapid heart rate, chest pains, and delirium tremens.
- The following days: After the initial withdrawal symptoms occur, detoxing can continue for several days. That might mean the intensification of anxiety, cravings, and restlessness. After 48 hours pass, the threat of severe symptoms, like seizures, lessen.
- After the first week: You might continue experiencing cravings, but that is possible to manage by participating in a treatment program and therapy.
How Atlanta Detox Center Can Help
If you, a loved one, or someone else you know is struggling with detox and is wondering how long it may take, you are not alone. The idea of detoxing is scary for many who suffer from substance abuse and addiction. Now is the time to contact Atlanta Detox Center at 833.631.0534 for guidance and to learn how we are available to help through the detox process.