The first step in recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is detoxification. The withdrawal process that happens during detox can be dangerous, even life-threatening. Therefore, it is vital to detox in a medical setting, supervised by trained professionals. These professionals, or detox specialists, have the crucial job of guiding addicts through the detox process, making sure they’re as comfortable as possible during withdrawal.

How Long Does Detox Last? Is It Painful?

The symptoms of detox and withdrawal from drugs or alcohol depends on factors such as the particular substance being abused, the frequency and duration of abuse, and the overall health of the alcoholic or addict. The length of the detox process can vary between two days to two weeks and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms may be mild or severe.

Why Undergo Medical Detox?

If an individual has become physically or psychologically dependent on a substance, quitting it can be a traumatic experience. Most medical professionals do not recommend self-detox or “quitting cold turkey,” as it can send the body into shock. They do, however, recommend enrollment in a medical detox facility where the patient can be supervised by a professional staff who will prescribe medications that can help with withdrawal symptoms, monitor vital signs, and act quickly in the case of life-threatening symptoms.

The withdrawal symptoms that patients may endure differ from person to person and may include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Extreme cravings
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Tremors
  • Exhaustion
  • Cardiac arrest

Effectiveness of Medical Detox Programs

An effective medical detox program will do more than just alleviate the symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal. It will also encourage spiritual and emotional healing. Regardless of what brought the patient to detox, the addiction professionals at Nova Vitae can help them to understand that they have a problem that is destroying their life, uncover the underlying issues that have brought them to this point, and encourage them to continue into treatment that will lay a foundation for long-term recovery.