Detox is the first step to recovery. People with a substance use disorder often wonder what to expect when taking that brave first step. Though there are a few things people in drug detox can expect, the process looks different for everyone.
Detox varies from person to person partly because each substance creates very different withdrawal symptoms. However, even people who use the same substances have different experiences. The fact that many people in detox have been taking several substances is yet another factor that affects what the process will look like.
Withdrawal Symptoms Vary from One Substance to Another
The first factor that an addiction treatment professional will look at when managing a client’s drug detox is the substance or substances the person was using. The process looks very different for someone with a cocaine addiction than someone with an opiate addiction. In many cases, a person with a substance use disorder will be taking multiple drugs, so they will likely experience the withdrawal symptoms associated with more than one substance.
Here are some common examples of withdrawal symptoms for different types of substances.
- Alcohol: Symptoms usually begin about eight hours after the last drink. They are typically most intense between 24 to 72 hours after the last drink, though they can last much longer. Common symptoms include headaches, sweating, insomnia, nausea, enlarged pupils, depression, anxiety and fatigue.
- Opiates: The type of opiate or opioid a person uses will affect their withdrawal symptoms. For heroin, symptoms typically begin around 12 hours after the last use, while it can take up to 30 hours for methadone withdrawal to begin. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, agitation, runny nose, sweating and other flu-like symptoms.
- Cocaine: Cocaine withdrawal can begin soon after a person’s last use. In some cases, a person can begin experiencing symptoms while cocaine is still in their system. Cocaine cessation results in very few outward symptoms, but it may include fatigue, depression, hunger, nightmares and restlessness.
- Benzodiazepines: Symptoms of can begin within a day of the last use and continue for several days thereafter. Symptoms include irritability, insomnia, panic attacks, nausea, weight loss, palpitations, headaches and muscular pain.
Other Factors Impact Withdrawal, Too
An individual’s personal and family history can also play a role in how they experience cessation from a given substance. Two people with a similar history of substance misuse can experience different lengths or severity of withdrawal.
The length of your substance misuse, the amount and number of substances you were taking, and your genetic makeup will all affect your detox experience. If you have other medical conditions or take certain medications, the symptoms you experience can also be affected by these factors.
Proper Drug Detox is Based on Your Individual Needs
A person undergoing medical detox needs specialized care based on their individual needs. Your addiction treatment professionals should conduct a thorough clinical and medical evaluation before your detox begins. A client’s overall health and their medical and substance use history are very important factors to consider before administering care.
The Facility You Choose Matters
At Makana Path, we know how important specialized treatment is for people with a substance use disorder. The facility a person seeking treatment chooses and the specialization of the care that the facility provides have a big impact on the likelihood of success. We evaluate every client’s individual needs and provide 24/7 monitoring by our medical staff.
What You Can Expect in Drug Detox
As you can see, each person’s detox experience is unique. The typical detox period is three to five days, though that will vary depending on your needs. At Makana Path, you will work with medical staff, meeting daily with medical professionals to assess your progress and monitor your physical and mental well-being. During this period, you will be reminded of your motivation for treatment and given the help you need to determine your next steps.
Detox Is Only the First Step
In detox, the body is cleansed of addictive substances, but the person still needs a plan if they are to recover from a substance use disorder. Without a plan, there is little hope of success. There are many options available after medical detox, including therapy and 12-step programs. Just like in detox, everyone has unique needs and preferences.
Take the First Step with Makana Path
At Makana Path, we work with our clients and their families to figure out what happens after medical detox. We also offer intensive healing programs to help our clients gain the tools that they’ll need on the path to recovery. Our team offer many other resources to clients, so they never need to worry about being left without a strategy to keep moving forward in their recovery.
Makana Path does things differently. The close contact clients have with our medical staff sets us apart, and it has allowed us to offer unparalleled care to people who are serious about their recovery. If you want to speak to our team, we encourage you to give us a call at 1-866-905-4550. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.