When most people attempt to quit drugs cold-turkey, they are ambitious and optimistic that they can do it. But then the withdrawal symptoms start. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in duration and intensity, and symptoms will also present in different ways, depending on what drugs a person has taken. For example, people who are addicted to cocaine are at risk for developing depression during detox, while people detoxing from alcohol may have a seizure.
The detox and withdrawal timeline can also vary in length depending on a person’s overall health, their metabolism, weight, and the severity of their addiction. Furthermore, people who are addicted to several substances at once may experience a longer, more pronounced withdrawal and detox period. For those wishing to get clean from drugs or alcohol, understanding the withdrawal and detox period for each substance can make the process seem less daunting.
How long does it take for someone to detox from substances?
When most people who aren’t familiar with addiction hear the word “detox,” the term may conjure images of the latest fad diet or juicing craze. But for people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the word “detox” takes on a more worrisome and sinister meaning.
When someone abuses drugs or alcohol, the body and brain begin to develop a tolerance for the substance. So, a user will take start taking more and more of the substance to try and induce the same euphoric effect or high. Pretty soon, the body becomes dependent on that substance to function. When a user is unable to get the amount of drugs or alcohol they need to function, they will experience intense withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal process is the body’s way of clearing out the drugs and toxins from the person’s system and re-establishing a normal state of equilibrium. The withdrawal process can be painful and distressing for many people. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms are potentially dangerous.
Getting help from professionals during the withdrawal and detox process is ideal for keeping patients safe and lessening the severity of symptoms. How long it takes to detox for each substance can vary. And, if someone is addicted to more than one substance, the process will take longer and symptoms may be more severe. The following drugs can be detected in a standard urine test for these time periods:
- Heroin: 1 to 3 Days
- Cocaine: 2 to 3 Days
- Methamphetamine: 2 to 3 Days
- Marijuana and THC: 1 to 7 Days
- MDMA: 2 to 4 Days
- Alcohol: 12 to 24 Hours
These time frames do not mean a person will experience withdrawal symptoms for the same amount of time. Withdrawal symptoms typically last for a few weeks. In severe cases, a person can develop a condition called PAWS, or Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. This is a condition where the person experiences prolonged withdrawal symptoms, sometimes for months or years after cessation. PAWS is most common in recovering opioid addicts, which is why drug replacement therapies can be beneficial for these individuals.
Also, detoxing from prescription drugs can vary significantly. Many prescription drugs come in time-release forms and even non-time release forms. Prescription medications that are time released can take longer to clear someone’s system since the drugs are metabolized at slower rates.
Is it possible to flush drugs out of a person’s system faster?
Many people will try to cheat drug tests by attempting to flush the drugs out of their system faster. There are numerous products a person can purchase online that claim to detox the system more quickly. But these typically do not work. It’s impossible for someone to take a pill or other supplement to immediately speed up their metabolism and influence the body to clear itself of toxins quicker.
What are some methods for detoxing from drugs more quickly?
There are no specific methods or products that may influence the body to metabolize drugs faster than the standard timeline. But people with healthy kidney and liver function, and people with a naturally fast metabolism may detox more quickly than someone without these attributes. People who are attempting to detox from only one substance will also typically clear their system faster than someone who is addicted to several drugs at once.
What is the safest and most effective way to detox from substances?
Recovering from an illness like drug addiction requires patience and resilience. Even if it takes several days to detox from a drug, and then several weeks for withdrawal symptoms to subside, a person will eventually achieve sobriety from drugs if they stay the course. But those symptoms can be incredibly painful and distressing for both the person experiencing them and their loved ones who are witnesses to the process. It’s also a risk to detox without outside medical intervention. Some detox and withdrawal symptoms can be deadly.
People who are trying to quit drinking may develop a potentially fatal seizure condition called Delirium Tremens. Also, many drug withdrawal timelines come with the risk of depression and anxiety. The safest, and often most effective way for someone to detox from drugs is with assistance from medical professionals. Clinicians can monitor someone’s progress and prescribe safe medications designed to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Making the detox timeline less painful and stressful can also decrease the chances of someone relapsing during this crucial time. Relapsing during detox and withdrawal sends the individual right back to square one, and to reach sobriety, they will have to start the process all over again. It’s possible for someone to detox from drugs in an inpatient center, or participate in an outpatient program for detox.
Are you or a loved one trying to quit using drugs or alcohol, but are afraid of the withdrawal process? Detoxing and withdrawing from drugs does not have to be a painful experience. At Mission Harbor Behavioral Health, patients have the option to attend safe and effective inpatient or outpatient detox programs. Contact Mission Harbor today to learn more about how we can help you achieve sobriety.
The facilities at Mission Harbor are staffed with trained experts to best assist patients with their mental health issues. We are capable of dealing with any and all cases with a licensed staff, equipment, and approved techniques. Our mission is to help those who want to help themselves, and we support your decision in seeking help.
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