• Staff Writer

What Happens During Drug or Alcohol Detox?


If you are considering going to rehab, congratulations. That is a huge step in the right direction. Maybe you are already scheduled to enter rehab, but you want to do some more research on what to expect from detox. Detox can sound intimidating. Without proper care and supervision, detoxing from drugs or alcohol leads to painful withdrawal symptoms like sweating, vomiting, anxiety, hallucinations, and seizures.


To ensure you are as safe as possible when ridding your body of any substances like drugs or alcohol, entering a treatment center with trained professionals provides you with the most comfortable experience. Still, knowing everything you can about what to expect can give you peace of mind before entering rehab.

What Is Detox?

Detox is the first step of recovery after admitting you have a problem and “refers to the medical and psychological care of patients who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms as a result of ceasing or reducing use of their drug of dependence.” Detox is the clearing of alcohol or drugs from the body. With medical assistance, it usually takes anywhere from five days to a week for withdrawal symptoms to subside. Still, it could be longer if the severity of the addiction is worse. Depending on someone’s substance use, length of time they’ve been addicted, method of use, tolerance, family history, and medical problems, detox times and treatments will differ.


During inpatient treatment at a medical facility, detox typically includes monitoring vital signs, IV medication and fluids, and sedation. Each person will react slightly differently to withdrawal, so doctors and other professionals will plan treatments based on the person’s diagnosis and symptoms. Even with medically assisted detox, it is not a pleasant experience. Having support and guidance from trained experts makes the experience as comfortable as possible.


Of course, detox is only one aspect of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but it is one of the more physically exhausting steps. Following successful detox, the patient continues treatment through therapy, exercise, and growth.

What Does Detox Feel Like?

You hear a lot about the medical parts of detox, but it is hard to understand what it will feel like. Detoxing is different for everyone, no one will share the same symptoms or feelings.

Entering detox, especially for the first time, will be scary. It is a new experience with strangers and a lot of unknowns. Usually, you will meet a team of professionals taking care of you during detox. The staff will assess you, design your treatment plan, and get you settled. A medical evaluation will help the doctor decide what medications to prescribe and your diet. Your nutrition is important during detox because drug and alcohol use can lead to a lack of nutrition. The medications you take during detox help your brain counteract the effects of withdrawal. They satisfy your need for drugs or alcohol without the dangerous symptoms.


Most treatment centers don’t allow contact with loved ones during this time. That limit keeps you focused on detox and entering recovery. Although familial support is a significant part of recovery, it can be distracting at this stage. This is a time to lean on the support of the facility’s staff. That is what they are there for.


The days of detox, even with medication and supervision, will be hard. Your appetite might suffer, you will sleep a lot or have trouble sleeping, and you are often required to go to scheduled programs like peer meetings, therapy, or other planned activities within the facility. Once you are free from drugs and alcohol, your treatment will become more well-rounded. Your assessments and therapies will offer you more answers and guidance as your mind is likely clearer. This allows you to move along through recovery.

Why You Should Detox

Detox is not just a part of recovery but a vital part of it. It isn’t something to be skipped or handled on your own as it can be hazardous. Consistent drug and alcohol use interferes with the body’s natural functioning. Addiction changes the brain chemistry and hormone production, making withdrawing on your own incredibly challenging and dangerous.

Entering a detox program is the best way to start your recovery off right. It will give you the best chance at a comfortable experience and allow you to ease into the rest of your treatment. Choosing a treatment program allows you to regain control of your decisions, behaviors, and health. The schedules most programs follow rely on detox to work properly.


Drug and alcohol detox is something you can’t quite imagine until you experience it. Withdrawal symptoms can be brutal, and fighting the urge to use is challenging. Entering into a detox and treatment center removes the temptation to use as well as supervise your withdrawal. The aid of medical professionals allows you to fully focus on recovery. Medication, therapy, and support from staff keep you as comfortable as possible during detox. Removing drugs and alcohol from your system is a vital step in your recovery process and, although difficult, sets you on the road to further growth. Understanding all stages of detox can ease your mind before it begins and prepare you for what’s to come next. Going in with clarity rather than fear and anxiety is the best mindset you can have. California Care Detox & Treatment is here to answer any questions you have about detox and recovery. Call us now at (949) 281-0632.

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All