It takes a lot of courage for a long-term substance abuser to finally wave the white flag and reach out for help. It’s something that should be a great source of pride. However, the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol presents a couple of mountains that the individual will need to climb.
Ultimately, they will have to make a complete and honest commitment to the treatment process. They will need to be open with their counselors in their effort to learn the truth about their addiction. Learning the truth and how to cope with personal issues is always the pathway to recovery from addiction. Before addiction sufferers can get to the therapy portion of treatment, they have a smaller mountain to climb. It’s called going through withdrawal.
The detox process is all about the body revolting because it is not getting the drugs or alcohol it needs. It revolts by causing the drug user pain and discomfort. The pain and discomfort come in the form of withdrawal symptoms like:
- Difficulty with breathing
- Problems with an increase in heart rate and blood pleasure
- Difficulty with stomach cramping
- Hallucinations and nightmares
- Tremors and body convulsions
- Concentration issues and loss of some motor function
As bad as some of these withdrawal symptoms seem, it’s not all bad news. There are medically monitored detox programs that can help addiction sufferers get through the detox process with a minimum of discomfort. Taking all of the above information into consideration, your top concern might have something to do with how long you would have to endure these detox symptoms. With that in mind, we offer you the following information on the normal detox timelines.
How Long Should Detox Symptoms Last?
First of all, detox does not follow the same path for every person. There are a lot of different factors that will play a part in how each addiction sufferer goes through the detox process. Some of those factors include:
- The duration of the addiction
- The substance the individual has been abusing
- The amount of the substance the individual uses each time
- The frequency of the substance abuse
- The possible presence of psycological issues that could be intermingled with the addiction
With all of this said, it is possible to draw a general picture regarding the detox process. In most cases, it takes 8 to 16 hours before the addiction sufferer’s body starts to rebel. By the end of the first day of abstinence, the individual will start to show mild withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, agitation, and sweating.
During days two and three, symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramping will become apparent. Those symptoms will be joined by profuse sweating, issues with concentration and body control, a maybe depression. Heading into day three and over the next few days, the more serious issues could kick in.
That might include nightmares, hallucinations, body convulsions, tremors in the extremities (arms and legs), and feelings of desperation. After day five, most people will start to feel a little better. The fog they have been living in will start to lift, they might be able to sleep out of pure exhaustion, and that sense of desperation should start to dissipate. A week. That’s how long most detox symptoms will last. However, there could be some ongoing issues as the body continues to adjust to functioning with drugs or alcohol.
However, these ongoing issues should not have an effect on the individual’s ability to start therapy and handle personal responsibilities. We would be remiss to not mention that it could take several weeks to detox for someone with a severe addiction to opioids or alcohol.
Should things get too dangerous, it’s possible a doctor will put said individuals in a tapering program. Tapering programs are centered on the use of tapering substances like suboxone. The use of these substances will give the addiction sufferer a chance to go through the detox process in a controlled and safe manner. We encourage you to not let the threat of detox symptoms deter you from saying no to drugs and alcohol. Instead, we hope you will embrace the chance to beat your addiction, knowing there are detox programs available to help keep you safe and comfortable. If you would be willing to call us at 833-364-0736, we would be honored to offer you help with both the detox process and therapy.