(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // New Jersey // Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC | Chief Clinical Officer
Boston addiction treatment center Serenity at Summit located in Haverhill, MA discusses how long, in general, it takes to detox from specific types of drugs and alcohol.
What Are the General Detox Timeframes?
Different substances affect the mind and body in different ways. That means that the detox timeframe for different substances and different individuals can vary greatly. Here are the general time frames for detox from specific types of substances, but keep in mind that there are factors that can cause them to vary significantly:
- Benzodiazepines – These are typically anti-anxiety medications. Symptoms of withdrawal typically begin a day to several days after the drug is discontinued. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can occur even when the drug is taken as prescribed and not abused. During the first couple of weeks of detox, the most common withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, headache, hypertension, heart palpitations and difficulty concentrating. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be dangerous, with more serious symptoms including respiratory problems that can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
- Cocaine and Other Stimulants – Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamines enter and leave the bloodstream quickly. The high that users experience doesn’t last long and the addictive behaviors of such drugs usually involve binge patterns. As such, the physical detox – removing the drug from the system – isn’t as long as some other drugs, lasting several hours to several days. However, the psychological effects of withdrawal may be felt for much longer.
- Alcohol – Withdrawal from alcohol can cause symptoms that require emergency medical intervention. Symptoms can last from a few days to weeks to even months after a person has stopped drinking, depending on the individual. The most serious withdrawal symptoms which include delirium tremens, seizure, and heart problems, are typically seen in people who drink a pint or more of liquor, 4-5 pints of wine, or 7-8 pints of beer on a daily basis over several months. The acute phase of withdrawal for alcohol typically lasts one to two weeks. During this phase, delirium tremens may be experienced. It is a condition that affects the nervous system and can cause hallucinations, tremors, confusion, seizures, and other life-threatening symptoms. Other minor symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include anxiety, depression, nausea, heart palpitations, sweating, headache, and fatigue.
- Heroin and Other Opiates – Withdrawals from opioid drugs typically last anywhere from several hours to several weeks. The most severe symptoms usually develop within two days of last use of the drug. Those symptoms include dilated pupils, nausea, intense cravings, body aches, sweating, and agitation.
Factors That Affect Detox Timeline
The time it takes for an individual to detox from a substance is unique, due to various factors. Because each individual is unique, and a specific timeframe cannot be determined based solely on the substance used, consulting with an addiction specialist may help narrow it down. But the following factors have to be considered to do so, as they contribute to the length of time it will take:
- Genetic composition
- Overall physical and mental health
- Length of time substance was used
- How the substance was used (by mouth, smoking, snorting, or injected)
- Amount of substance used
While the acute phase of withdrawal from substances may only take a relatively short period of time, the psychological symptoms may persist for much longer. Recovering addicts may develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), which is one of the reasons that addiction treatment should never end with the detox phase. Further treatment, like inpatient rehab, is recommended once a person is detoxed from drugs and alcohol.
Find Help at Summit Behavioral Health
If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, it is imperative that you seek treatment – beginning with detox. At Serenity at Summit we can help you detox comfortably and then transition into residential treatment. Please contact us today for more information.
FOR DRUG & ALCOHOL DETOX & PERSONALIZED 12 STEP PROGRAM ADDICTION TREATMENT
Serenity at Summit - New Jersey Addiction Treatment Centers - 609-422-5788 (Union, NJ)
40 Minutes from New York City
Serenity at Summit - New England, Addiction Treatment Centers
978-574-5999 (Haverhill, MA)
45 Minutes from Boston, Massachusetts