Home Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy How Long Does a Detox Take: Guide to Alcohol and Drug Detox

How Long Does a Detox Take: Guide to Alcohol and Drug Detox

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Imagine waking up after a crazy night of partying and discovering that you had no memory of the previous night. Sure, you had a good time, but as the days pass, you begin to feel guilty and nervous, not to mention that your body is inactive. You could think of detoxing, but how long does detox take?

With our thorough guide to alcohol and drug detox, you’ll be back to feeling like your best self in no time. Detoxification is often known as detox. It is the process by which the body rids itself of toxic chemicals such as alcohol and narcotics to reestablish balance and operate correctly.

Understanding the detox process

It is a very personalised procedure. The length varies depending on many things. The type of drug abused, the duration of the addiction, the individual’s general health, and the presence of any medical or mental health conditions all factor into how long detox will take.

Clearing the body of harmful chemicals is sometimes referred to as detox. Detox is the first and most crucial step in recovery. It can be hazardous, even fatal, if not treated properly.

Choosing the right treatment centre is as essential as the detox itself. It would help to verify that you are signing up for the appropriate degree of care. The majority of rehabilitation programmes endure between 30 and 90 days.

Each one of them starts to detox. Medical personnel will control withdrawal symptoms during the procedure. Each drug has its own distinct withdrawal process, as does each substance combination, and so on.

Types of substances and their detox timelines

The detoxification process differs based on the substance abused, the length and severity of usage, individual metabolism, and other factors. Here’s a rundown of several drugs and their general detox timelines:

  • Alcohol detox. Alcohol detox usually lasts 7 to 10 days. Individuals may suffer withdrawal symptoms. It also includes tremors, anxiety, nausea, and hallucinations during this time. Delirium tremens (DTs) can occur in severe samples, demanding medical attention. An alcohol detox might take anything from a few days to a week on average. A detox might last up to two weeks for people with a strong alcohol addiction. Drug detox time can also vary widely, with shorter-acting medicines requiring a few days and longer-acting medications taking up to a month. Adhering to a thorough detox plan and seeking expert assistance is critical to guaranteeing a safe and effective detox procedure.
  • Opioid detox. The duration of opioid detox varies based on the type of opioid consumed. Short-acting opioids, such as heroin, typically cause severe withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours after the previous dosage and can linger for up to a week. Long-acting opioids, such as methadone, can cause withdrawal symptoms that persist for several weeks. Opioid detox, in particular, may take longer as the body adjusts to the drug’s absence. To ensure a safe and successful detox, seek expert help and support during this period. Medical supervision, treatment, and medication to ease withdrawal symptoms are all options. A detox guide can give you helpful data and tools to assist you in navigating the process. It also encourages a healthy and effective detox.
  • Benzodiazepines. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be painful and even fatal. The timetable varies depending on the drug’s half-life, dose, and duration of usage. Withdrawal symptoms might appear within one to four days, peak within two weeks, and linger for months. It would help if you did a benzodiazepine detox under medical care.
  • Marijuana and nicotine. Marijuana withdrawal signs are psychological. It might include irritation, sleeplessness, appetite loss, and mood changes. Marijuana withdrawal signs, in comparison to other narcotics, are often milder and shorter-lasting. It fades within 1–2 weeks. Nicotine withdrawal signs typically peak one to three days after stopping smoking. It can cause irritation, anxiety, restlessness, and intense cravings. These signs will fade over a few weeks or months.
  • Stimulant detox. The withdrawal symptoms from stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine are psychological. They usually go away within a week. Yet, psychological cravings and withdrawal symptoms might last for a long time. Stimulant detox can include stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine. It can take anywhere from 7–14 days on average. People can complete the detox process and begin their road toward long-term healing with the help of medical experts and support.

Factors influencing detox duration

A variety of factors affect the length of the detoxification process. Knowing these elements is critical since they impact a person’s detox experience. The following are the most crucial concerns:

  • Individual health. The detox process is affected by a person’s general health. Individuals in excellent health may detox faster than those with underlying medical issues.
  • Duration of substance abuse. Long-term substance misuse can result in a more painful withdrawal process. The longer someone has been addicted, the more difficult and time-consuming the detox process may be.
  • Support and detox environment. A supportive and medically supervised detox setting may make an impact. Medical practitioners can prescribe drugs and therapies to lessen withdrawal signs. It also minimises the duration of the detox process.
  • Mental health. People with co-occurring mental health conditions may need a more extended detox regimen. It would help if you addressed addiction and mental health. It would help if you addressed concerns for an effective detox.

Ensuring a safe and effective detox

Individuals wishing to overcome addiction must provide a safe and efficient detox. The following are vital procedures and considerations to ensure a safe and successful detoxification process:

  • Medical supervision. It is crucial to detox under medical supervision, especially with alcohol and certain narcotics. Medical personnel can treat withdrawal symptoms. It also administers the required drugs and responds to crises quickly. A full review by healthcare experts will determine the best detox plan for you, depending on your health. It also includes a substance use history and withdrawal symptoms. Choose a location where medical experts can check your development around the clock. You can look for a drug detoxification programme that provides medication-assisted detox in a secure, tranquil, and adequately accredited detox center. It ensures that any issues are addressed immediately.
  • Nutrition and hydration. During detox, proper diet and hydration are essential. Nutrient-rich diets and enough water can help the body flush out toxins. It also results in a speedier and smoother detox process. Consume nutrient-rich meals to help your body cleanse. A proper diet promotes healing and improves health. Keep hydrated to remove toxins from your system.Withdrawal symptoms might be exacerbated by dehydration.
  • Individualised treatment plan. Receive a customised detox plan that addresses the kind and intensity of drug misuse and any underlying health or mental health concerns. You can use medications to control withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It boosts the probability of a successful detox, depending on the drug.
  • Emotional and psychological support. You should attend individual and group cure sessions to address the psychological parts of addiction. Behavioural therapy helps in the growth of coping skills. It includes the prevention of recurrence. Join a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) to connect with people who know your challenges. It also develops a sense of community and inspiration. Emotional help from mates, family, or support parties can affect the detox. A support system reduces stress and fears. It makes the method more bearable.
  • Aftercare planning. Detox is only the first step in the recovery process. Aftercare planning is critical for maintaining sobriety following a detox. It also includes therapy, counseling, and support group involvement. It is crucial to have a guide to alcohol and drug detox aftercare planning. It entails developing a long-term strategy to sustain sobriety and avoid relapse. It may involve cures, support groups, and changes to one’s lifestyle.

What happens after a detox programme is over?

Detoxification is critical. The significance cannot be overstated. Detox is the first stage in any substance abuse rehabilitation procedure.

Yet, just because an addict completes a detox programme and cleanses his body of the drug does not imply that he is ready to return to daily life. The odds of relapsing following detox are significant if no aftercare is provided. These odds are drastically reduced with aftercare.

Staying clean and sober following detox is exceedingly tricky without continued help. The good news is that there are several sorts of aftercare accessible.

Knowing how long does detox take

How Long Does Detox Take? It is crucial for anybody attempting to overcome an alcohol or drug addiction. It will provide you with information on the length and phases of detox. It will also provide helpful tips and ways to make the process more bearable.

Start your detox today to take charge of your recovery process. Getting treatment at a detox center and living a better, drug-free lifestyle is always possible. Don’t delay; begin your detox journey today and take the first step toward a brighter future.




Samantha Green, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd