Set Free Detox provides the expert support and medical oversight to safely complete the detox and withdrawal phase of recovery. The detox process allows the body to gradually adjust to the absence of the substance over a period of about one week. Once the substance has cleared the system the body and brain will stabilize, allowing the individual to safely transition to the treatment phase of recovery.
What to Expect in a Medical Detox
The recovery process is highly dependent upon successfully completing detox and withdrawal. Some individuals make the error of attempting to handle detox on their own, only succumbing to a relapse when the withdrawal symptoms overwhelm them. To safely navigate the detox process, it is essential to have the support of a medically trained detox team. These individuals provide the medical and psychological support that will minimize the discomforts associated with the detox and withdrawal process.
During the medical detox, the detox team will closely monitor the individual’s progress and consistently record important vital signs data. This data helps to determine which medical interventions might be necessary as the detox progresses into the acute phase. Medications, such as benzodiazepines, can help reduce anxiety, insomnia, and the risk of seizure, where over-the-counter remedies can help mitigate such symptoms as nausea and diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, and fever.
About the Detox Timeline
Several factors help to determine the length of the detox and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. During the initial intake interview the clinical team will ascertain the following to help anticipate potential health risks during detox:
- Length of addiction history
- Average daily consumption of the substance
- The individual’s age
- The individual’s health status
- The presence of polydrug addictions
- The presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder
- Mental health history
These variables will factor into the individual’s detox timeline and the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Generally, detox timelines range from 5-14 days in length, depending on the substance itself and the above determining factors. Detox typically follows a predictable path:
Phase One: Within hours after the last dosing or drink the first withdrawal symptoms will commence. These are the early symptoms that are uncomfortable but not necessarily painful. Phase One usually lasts about 24 hours.
Phase Two: Withdrawal symptoms are most intense during this phase of detox, which lasts for 1-4 days. The escalation in discomfort during Phase Two is due to the body attempting to adjust to the absence of the substance.
Phase Three: By about day 5 the withdrawal symptoms will begin to slowly subside. The body has purged the remaining toxins and is now becoming stabilized. Lingering psychological symptoms, such as depression or anxiety, are common.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the specific substance. Detoxing from alcohol or benzodiazepine will necessitate more careful observation and planning, as the withdrawal symptoms can be unpredictable and dangerous. For the benzodiazepine detox, a tapering schedule will allow the individual to slowly adjust to incrementally lower doses of the drug over a two-week period. For the alcohol detox, careful attention must be paid to days 3-4, as the delirium tremens is a serious, although fairly uncommon, health risk.