How Long Does the Detox Programme Last?

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Cleansing the body of abusive, toxic substances like drugs or alcohol while also managing the co-occurring withdrawal symptoms is called detoxification or addiction detox. The most crucial step towards recovery, detox, can overwhelm you and can be dangerous, depending on the substance used, the severity of addiction and the way of consuming the substance. However, proper treatment at a detox clinic can help. Though detox typically takes a week or so, if you have a severe addiction, it can extend by several weeks or even months. Hence, it is crucial for you to know what the detox process offers. We will explore everything one must know about detox in this article, including its length, withdrawal symptoms, and what to expect from rehab for addiction withdrawal.

The Importance of Detox

Drugs and alcohol are undoubtedly addictive, and it becomes difficult to stop when you become dependent on a substance. Drugs and alcohol disrupt normal brain function, and you keep consuming them to experience the pleasurable effects. For example, when you participate in activities that positively inspire you, the brain's reward pathways get flooded by feel-good hormones, such as dopamine, encouraging you to indulge in the same activities repeatedly. Similarly, pain medications or alcohol can make you feel good, and you receive the same jolt of dopamine. As a result, you become addicted to them, inducing the need for addiction detox.

Addiction Withdrawal

Much like a medication prescribed by your physician, prolonged exposure can suppress the effects, and you eventually need higher doses to feel the effects. Similarly, when your body gets addicted to the substances, you feel driven to consume them in higher doses to achieve the same high. Finally, when you decide to detox and stop using the substance, your body starts adjusting to the change, and the withdrawal process begins. Though everyone responds differently to detox, most people get highly affected, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, for example, seizures and severe dehydration. Therefore, it is vital to have round-the-clock access to treatment, particularly for more serious addictions.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

l       Paranoia

l       Mood swings

l       Depression

l       Nightmares

l       Insomnia

l       Flu-like symptoms, including fever and sore throat

l       Nausea and vomiting

l       Anxiety or nervousness

l       Hallucinations

l       Sweating

l       Panic

l       Short-term memory loss

l       Psychotic episodes

l       Thoughts of self-harm

l       Muscle cramps

l       Lethargy

The Length of Detox by Substances

Different substances have different timelines for detox. While you can detox from a few substances within a week, others cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Accordingly, the rehab for addiction withdrawal includes and strongly encourages medically-supervised detox.

The table below is an illustration of the detox timeline of different substances and the withdrawal symptoms associated with them.


24 Hours – 2 Days

3 – 5 Days

First Week

After First Week


Withdrawal symptoms occur, including anxiety, insomnia, and shaking

Symptoms peak within 72 hours, and seizures, hallucinations, and fever may occur.

Physical symptoms taper off

May experience alcohol cravings until the treatment is received

Sleeping Pills

Within hours of detox, patients may experience anxiety, shaking, insomnia, and circulation problems

Symptoms may peak after the first few days, depending on the strength, dose, and severity of substance abuse

For some, withdrawal symptoms may be delayed, beginning after a week after the last use

May experience rebound insomnia, but gets worse until treated


Staying hydrated and having a balanced diet can help ease the withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms include headaches, insomnia, mood changes, reduced appetite, and stomach problems

Mental symptoms increases, including drug cravings, loss of focus, irritability, and depression

Most symptoms abate as the body resumes normal production of its own THC


Depending on the type of hallucinogen, symptoms may vary from headaches, and  sweating to drug cravings

Withdrawal symptoms peak and taper off in the first week of detox

Changes in the brain's reward system may cause mood changes until natural levels return to normal

PCP is known to produce drug cravings in individuals following use


Why do People go to Detox Facilities?

More engagement with addictive behaviours makes it more difficult for you to stop. Hence, addiction detox can be hazardous without any medical supervision. And depending on the condition, the rehab centres prepare treatment plans or suggest detox medication to help ease the symptoms. For example, inpatient detox is the safest way for those affected severely by the substances and need complete abstinence to recover successfully.

How Long Does the Withdrawal Process Last?

Detox length varies from person to person, depending on several factors, such as your health, the dosage of the substance, and any underlying mental health issues. Typically, withdrawal symptoms peak after two days of your last substance abuse; they start to subside after a week if you do not develop any severe health complications.


Find a Suitable Detox Programme

Anyone with an alcohol or drug addiction can benefit from an addiction detox programme. However, it is only the beginning of the road to recovery. Patients often require appropriate treatment programs and participation in support groups to achieve long-lasting sobriety. That's why seeking addiction help from rehab for addiction withdrawal is crucial. Also, believing that spiritual development and healthy recovery can recover a person in and out, multiple rehab centres and detox clinics in the UK take a people-centred approach to treating addiction. You just need to find the right one! Because alcoholism is a social problem that impacts everyone in the family, it's time to fight against addiction to facilitate the development of a better society.


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