Detox, What Can I Expect?

So you've decided to admit yourself to a treatment program for your alcohol and/or drug problem. You may be nervous in not knowing what may happen while you're there. You may be anxious about what might happen during the detox. Concern and apprehension are absolutely normal.

Some of you have experienced the uncomfortable feelings, physically and emotionally, that are associated with detox. Some of you have never tried detox through a professional facility or by yourself. So what happens during this important time?


Everyone is different when it's time to detox, though there are some common things you can expect to happen. The first two or three days will be uncomfortable as your body detoxifies itself. You may sweat profusely, have shaking or trembling in your hands and legs. You may sleep some, a lot, or barely at all. Your dreams may seem overly vivid and real or you may not dream at all. You may experience bouts of nausea and loose bowels. You can count on flu-like symptoms like a low-grade fever, flushed skin, aches and pains which will more than likely make you restless and irritable.

Detox, What Can I Expect?

There are ways to alleviate some of these symptoms like hot baths or showers to sweat out the toxins, gentle music to quiet your mind, easy exercise routines, lots of liquids, vitamins or vitamin drinks to restore any deficiencies and anything else that will help make the detox easier. Nobody likes going through detox but it is a necessary process on the path to healthier living and well being.

If you are an alcoholic or a problem drinker, the alcohol in your system will not leave overnight. For someone who has drank heavily and consistently for a while can expect a total detox from 90 to 180 days. But don't let this alarm you. Alcohol has the innate ability of storing itself in the fatty cells of your body and will release itself, off and on, throughout that 90 to 180 day period. During that time, you may have sudden urges or cravings to drink. This is normal. If you are attending the appropriate aftercare meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous, you will have a support group of friends and a sponsor to help you through those uncomfortable times. Overall, you may not notice most of detox process. The initial detox that you will be aware of may last from just a few days to a week or two which will be done in the safety and comfort of the treatment facility. Compared to other drugs, alcohol leaves the body quickly and the initial detox is relatively short.

If you are a drug addict and depending on the drug you use and how much you use it, you can expect most of the same that an alcoholic would experience in detox. Some drugs do stay in the body longer than others. For instance, Marijuana can be in your bloodstream up to 30 days. Drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine usually stay in the body from 3 to 7 days. Each detox will be little different than the other.

No matter which drug or drink you use, the choice to enter a treatment facility and get help is the best thing you can do for yourself and those around you. The detoxification process is nothing compared to the continued emotional torture and physical pain of alcoholism and drug addiction. Everyday spent continuing to drink or use drugs gets a little worse. Everyday in detox and recovery get a little better than the day before it. Which one are you going to choose today?

Detox, What Can I Expect?

For more information on alcohol and drug addiction, please visit: Alcohol and Drug Rehab. For information on intervention, please visit: Intervention. For testamonials on how rehab worked for them, please visit: Testamonials.

Patrick McLemore has been a recovering alcoholic and drug addict since June 6, 2005. Patrick widely known as an expert in the field of addictions, he has not only studied the topic extensively, but has lived it. Patrick has worked with the Manor House Recovery Center for over two years. During that time he has been instrumental in the recovery and continued sobriety of numerous recovering alcoholic and drug addicts.