How Long Does Drug and Alcohol Detox Take?

Table of Contents

Last Updated on: 27th February 2024, 07:44 pm

Embarking on the path to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is a commendable decision, but it’s also one filled with questions and uncertainties. One of the most common questions we hear at OC Revive is, “How long does drug and alcohol detox take?” It’s important to understand that the journey to recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process, and the first step—detoxification—can vary significantly from person to person.

Understanding the Importance of Detoxification

Detoxification, often referred to as detox, is the vital first step in the recovery process where the body is given the chance to purge itself of the toxins accumulated through drug or alcohol use. This phase is crucial because it addresses the physical hold that substances have on the body, preparing the individual for the therapeutic stages of recovery that follow.

The Stages of Detoxification:

  1. Evaluation: Upon entry into a detox program, medical professionals assess the individual’s personal situation, substance usage, mental health, and physical health. This stage determines the level of support needed.
  2. Stabilization: This stage involves medical and psychological therapeutic interventions designed to prevent harm. The goal here is to achieve a substance-free state.
  3. Transition into Continued Treatment: Detox is just the initial step. Preparing patients for the next phase of recovery is crucial to ensure long-term success.

Factors Affecting the Length of Detox

Several factors can influence the duration of detox:

  • Type of Substance: The specific substance a person is detoxing from significantly affects the length of the detox process. Different drugs have different half-lives and withdrawal timelines.
  • Frequency and Duration of Use: Chronic, long-term use generally means a longer detox period. The body needs more time to adjust to the absence of the substance.
  • Physical Health: Existing health conditions, especially liver and kidney health, can affect the body’s ability to process and eliminate substances.
  • Mental Health: Individuals facing mental health issues, including anxiety or depression, may experience a longer or more complex detox process. This is especially relevant in dual diagnosis treatments.
  • Polydrug Use: Using multiple substances can complicate and prolong the detox process due to the body’s compounded dependency on multiple drugs.

Remember, a personal consultation is necessary to accurately determine how these factors influence your or your loved one’s detox journey.

The Detox Timeline: What to Expect

Here’s a more detailed look at what the detox process may look like for various substances:

  • Alcohol: Withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as two hours after the last drink and last for weeks. However, the most severe symptoms typically occur within the first 24 to 72 hours.
  • Benzodiazepines: Withdrawal from benzodiazepines should never be attempted suddenly or without medical supervision. The process is often done through a slow tapering down of the medication, which can take several weeks or even months.
  • Opioids: Symptoms of withdrawal can begin within 12 hours for some opioids, and they peak within 24 to 48 hours. Acute withdrawal symptoms gradually taper off over the course of a few weeks.
  • Stimulants: Withdrawal from stimulants like methamphetamines or cocaine can cause severe depression and suicidality. While the acute phase of withdrawal might only last a week, the psychological withdrawal symptoms can last much longer.

The Role of a Supportive Environment: OC Revive

At OC Revive, we provide a safe, supportive environment with medical monitoring to ensure that detox is not only effective but also as comfortable as possible. Detoxing can be an intense experience, both physically and emotionally, and our team of experts is here to provide the necessary medical and emotional support.

Dual Diagnosis Comprehensive Care

For individuals suffering from co-occurring mental health conditions alongside substance use disorders, the concept of dual diagnosis treatment is especially relevant. At OC Revive, our dual diagnosis approach treats both the substance use disorder and the mental health condition concurrently, providing a comprehensive approach to recovery that addresses the whole person.

Life After Detox

It’s vital to understand that detox is just the beginning of the recovery journey. Post-detox, you or your loved one will transition into further treatment phases, which may include residential treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient programs, therapy, counseling, and support groups. These services are crucial for maintaining long-term sobriety, preventing relapse, and building a healthy, substance-free life.

Call OC Revive Today!

Beginning a detox program can be an intimidating prospect, but you don’t have to face it alone. OC Revive is here to provide all the information, support, and care you need as you or your loved one takes this critical first step towards recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out at 844-954-3890. Let us be your partner on this journey toward healing and renewal.


Yes, depending on the substance involved, medications are often used to ease withdrawal symptoms. These can include methadone, buprenorphine, and certain antidepressants, among others.

If you’re struggling with a mental health disorder as well as substance abuse, you might be a candidate for dual diagnosis treatment. It’s critical to address both issues together for effective recovery.

It’s strongly discouraged to leave detox early, even if you feel better. Completing the program ensures the best foundation for lasting recovery.

OC Revive offers continued care through various programs, including individual therapy, group therapy, life skills training, and more, designed to support sustained sobriety.

Yes, family involvement is encouraged. Addiction affects the whole family, and healing is more effective with the support of loved ones.

Table of Contents

Get Help Now

Admission Coordinators are available 24/7.
Take Control Of Your Life and Call Now.

Related Articles

healthy boundaries in relationships

Setting Healthy Boundaries in Relationships

Last Updated on: 21st May 2024, 09:48 pm Clinically Reviewed by: Brittany Astrom – LMFT Relationships are an essential part of life, they can bring us happiness, love, support, and

Get in Touch

Get More Info By Filling Out The Form Below

Call Now
Take the First Step.
We'd love to meet you.

We work with most insurance plans as an in-network or out-of-network provider.

aetna insurance logo
Blue Cross Blue Shield logo
anthem insurance logo

Get Help Now

Admission Coordinators are available 24/7.
Take Control Of Your Life and Call Now.

Allyson Lake

Case Manager