What is Detox?

The first step in recovery is understanding and accepting that you have an addiction. This first step also includes being willing to get the help you need. After you make that determination, you will go through a detoxification process.

People start doing drugs to feel good, but the terrible truth to addiction is that instead of feeling good, people eventually become dependent on drugs to keep from feeling the horrible effects of withdrawal. When ready to quit, people have to face the process of detox and while it was what they have been avoiding, it is the necessary way to start the recovery and healing process. Recovering from detox gets addicts to a place where they can begin to address both the physiological and emotional sides of addiction.

What Happens During Detox?

When you go through detox, all of the drugs and alcohol are removed from your system to help you get to a stable place. When you are in a more stable place, you are better able to begin therapy. When you use drugs and alcohol, your body becomes used to having those substances in it. As the substances are removed, your brain adjusts to not having the chemicals in your body. There are withdrawal symptoms that you will experience through this process. The symptoms will differ based on the type of drug and length of time you used it. These symptoms are not pleasant, and it is helpful to go through detox in a safe and comfortable place. Detox is usually most effective when assisted by professional medical staff. These professionals at The Palm Beach Institute are trained to help you through the process and keep you on track. Oftentimes, detoxing on your own is not successful.

What to Expect During Detox

You will need a medical assessment to allow the staff to gather an accurate picture of your needs. This includes your medical history and details of your addiction. This allows the professionals to put together a plan that will be most successful for you. As the drugs in your system decrease, you will begin to experience symptoms. Every experience is different. There is no way to predict exactly how you will feel. Even if you have been through detox before, going through it a second time, your symptoms may be different.

Your physical symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea
  • Sweating, shivering, and shaking
  • Fever and chills
  • Runny nose
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Headache and cramps
  • Exhaustion and muscle pain
  • Scary and vivid dreams

Your psychological symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Confusion and paranoia
  • Depression and agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Mood swings
  • Intense cravings for drugs or alcohol
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

As part of the detox, you may be given medication to help control the symptoms. This medication may help you handle the withdrawal better. There is no mediation that can prevent all the symptoms, but some can help with certain symptoms like depression and anxiety.

How Long Will It Last?

While every person is different, you can expect detox to last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. There are many factors that may impact the length and severity of your detox. These factors include how long you have been using the drug(s) and how much of it you have been taking. The severity of your withdrawal symptoms will also impact the length of your detox. Your physical and mental health also can impact how long detox lasts.

Helpful Resources

Seaside Palm Beach Treatment

Substance Abuse Mental Health

The Palm Beach Institute

Behavioral Health Florida

KHN Health