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What is Detox?

Medical detox programs provide a safe environment with around the clock monitoring to ensure your safety while you detox from drugs or alcohol. Programs will develop an individualized plan with the user, based on their own substance abuse history and immediate needs during withdrawal and early recovery. With the help of a physician, drugs or alcohol are slowly detoxed from the body. Removal of substances from a person’s body will oftentimes cause physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms, which is why it can be so difficult to limit use or abstain from the substance. Medical detoxification is the process in which chemical dependency is treated. All of this is done while in an environment that is supervised by a staff of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Many drugs have significant withdrawal symptoms once you stop using them that can cause a considerable amount of discomfort or pain. Without proper medical attention, medications, and monitoring, these withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous to the individual’s health and could even become life-threatening.

What is Withdrawal?

Physical withdrawal is caused by substances that create physical dependency after prolonged regular use. When physical dependency occurs, it can be painful and even dangerous to abruptly quit “cold turkey.” Substances that can cause physical dependence and drug withdrawal include:

  • Alcohol

  • Heroin

  • Oxycontin, fentanyl, hydrocodone, and any prescription opioid

  • Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, and any prescription benzodiazepine

  • Barbiturates

  • Ambien, Lunesta, and many prescription sleep aid medications

  • Many tranquilizers and sedatives

How long is detox?


There are many factors that can influence the length of time someone needs to fully recover from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. Generally speaking, the detox process from alcohol can last anywhere between 5-14 days, but this is all determined on a case to case basis. Factors that determine the length of detox can include the length of time you have been abusing alcohol, the amount of alcohol you consume, your age, height, weight, physical health, and mental health.

Round Shape

While the time it takes to detox from substances varies from person to person, detox programs are generally 5-14 days long.


When referring to a drug detox, there are many factors that come into play when deciding the length of the detox itself that are similar to the factors that influence an alcohol detox. These include what substance they are abusing, if there were multiple substances, how often they abused the substance, how much they generally took of the substance, if there are any underlying co-occurring mental health conditions, their medical history, their age, and their gender.

Medications used for Detox

There are a few different medications that can be used to help and individual that is addicted to come off of the drug they use. These drugs are administered and prescribed by a medical professional and can be helpful but also, however, can be abused themselves. These medications include:

  • Suboxone

  • Subutex

  • Sublocade

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