How Long Does It Take To Detox Your Body?

If you are searching for answers to the question “how long does it take to detox your body?” you may be about to start a detox treatment program. If so, congratulations on setting off in the right direction. If you are reading because you require detox, you too can make this brave jump towards recovery.

One of the most significant barriers to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Like many other people with substance abuse problems, you may be in denial about the extent of your drug abuse, or you may be reluctant to ask for help. Although you may feel shame, it is essential to remember that addiction can happen to anyone, and it is an illness that requires treatment.

Detox programs might seem daunting, but the process is relatively straightforward. Although it is possible to detox at home, medical detox is in your best interest, just in case any complications occur. But how long does it take to detox? Not as long as you might think.

What Are the Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on the Body?

Alcohol is a powerful mind-altering drug. Using alcohol or other drugs can have dangerous short and long-term consequences on the brain and body, especially when misused. Through prolonged use, there is also a risk of addiction.

Both street and prescription drugs have a high potential for misuse and addiction. For this reason, you should only take prescription medication as intended, and you should never prolong their use or up dosage without consulting your doctor. Drug abuse, especially when taking multiple substances, is extremely dangerous and sometimes leads to overdose, which can be life-threatening.

People take substances for many reasons, such as for the high they offer, out of curiosity, due to peer pressure, or to self-medicate and ease symptoms of mental health issues, such as anxiety.

Although the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body vary, they commonly include:

  • Euphoria
  • Dysphoria
  • Increased heart rate
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep problems
  • Exacerbated existing mental health problems

Sadly, addiction can ruin lives. If you have an alcohol or drug addiction, it is important to tell someone and get help. After all, it is never too late to turn your life around and free yourself from the grasp of addiction.

Alcohol and the Body

Government guidelines state that, in general, men should only drink up to two drinks per day. Meanwhile, women should only drink one drink per day. If you are pregnant or on medication that is incompatible with alcohol, such as Xanax, you should refrain from drinking alcohol at all.

According to a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) survey, most people worldwide have tried alcohol at least once. But when a person frequently drinks alcohol or engages in heavy drinking or binge drinking, there is a risk of developing an addiction.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This means it slows down messages sent from the brain to the body. Other side effects of drinking alcohol include:

  • Euphoria
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Impaired cognitive thinking
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Drowsiness

The Risks of Drinking Alcohol and Using Drugs

Unfortunately, it is possible to overdose on both alcohol and drugs. Some signs of overdose include symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Being unresponsive but awake
  • Falling unconscious
  • Shallow breathing.

These symptoms require immediate medical attention. If you suspect yourself or someone you know is experiencing an overdose, call 911.

Furthermore, both alcohol and drugs have a high potential for harm and addiction and can exacerbate existing mental health issues and cause psychosis.

In addition to the signs of overdose noted above, some long-term side effects of substance abuse can include:

  • Heart attack
  • Strokes
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Brain injury
  • Cancer

What Does Addiction Look Like?

Also known as a substance use disorder (SUD), addiction occurs when the body becomes physically dependent on substances. Often, when an individual experiences addiction, they lose control over substances and continue to take them despite adverse effects.

If you have an addiction, you might take street drugs, such as heroin. Alternatively, you may misuse prescription medications, such as Adderall, by taking a higher dose than prescribed. You may even use them for a prolonged time.

Like others struggling with addiction, you may hide your problem from friends and family due to an intense feeling of shame. If you don’t feel you can talk to your family, support and guidance are available via rehab treatment centers and national helplines. But please remember there is no shame in addiction, and you must get help as soon as possible.

Should you find yourself unsure of what addiction looks like, we have shared some common signs below:

  • You use substances frequently and at abnormal times, such as in the morning.
  • You constantly think about getting your next fix.
  • You have unpredictable mood swings.
  • You experience physical withdrawal symptoms
  • You are defensive about your substance use and consequential behavior.
  • You have become secretive and often lie to cover your tracks.
  • You have become withdrawn from friends and family to avoid facing your truth.
  • You have suffered poor performance at school or work due to being under the influence.
  • You have financial difficulty due to buying alcohol or drugs.
  • You engage in risky behavior, such as driving under the influence.
  • You keep using substances despite any adverse consequences to your health and everyday life.
  • You want to stop taking alcohol or drugs, but you feel as though you cannot.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using drugs or alcohol.

Sadly, an addiction will gradually consume your life, making it difficult to quit without professional intervention. If you can identify any of the signs of addiction noted above, professional detox is in your best interest. Upon expressing your difficulties with drugs or alcohol to a medical professional, you will be encouraged to seek help at a treatment center where you can begin the recovery process.

What Does the Detox Process in Addiction Treatment Look Like?

Typically, every addiction treatment plan starts with detoxification, which is usually carried out at a detox center. Detoxification is essentially a cleansing process that rids your body of all substance traces. Depending on your circumstances and the advice offered by medical professionals, you may taper your substance use over time or undergo a medical detox.

As medical care can prevent severe withdrawal symptoms from affecting your progress, it is important to detox in a medically controlled way as an inpatient in a rehab center. Although you can detox at home if a medical professional permits, this is not always recommended. This is because the first few days of detox can be unpleasant and challenging due to withdrawal symptoms, causing some people to relapse.

In the safety and care of one of the many treatment centers located across the country, such as our own, you will have twenty-four-hour medical supervision. During your time in rehab, you will be made comfortable by specialized staff during the entire detox process. Medication can also be administered for the relief of some withdrawal symptoms.

Most detoxes take a few days to a week. Usually, withdrawal symptoms occur a few hours after your last dose, and symptoms peak around seventy-two hours into detox before slowly subsiding. However, if your addiction is severe, it may take you several weeks to detox, although symptoms should alleviate after one week.

What Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

A typical alcohol detox takes about a week. During this time, withdrawal symptoms can present themselves from as little as eight hours after your last drink.

Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Tremors or the shakes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High pulse
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Body aches
  • Stomach upset

The length and intensity of withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the extent of your alcohol use, your age, your health, and your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol.

In rare cases, some people experience delirium tremens (DTs) when detoxing from alcohol. This is a severe condition that can be fatal and requires emergency medical treatment.

If you experience delirium tremens, symptoms may include:

  • Extreme mental confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression and irritability
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Vivid dreams and nightmares

Symptoms of DT’s can last for around a week. Although a scary condition, professional care and various treatment options are available to help you remain comfortable and safe. With medical supervision you can manage your most serious symptoms and start the first steps into recovery.

To Conclude

As we can see, detoxing from drugs and alcohol can span different time frames. Usually, it takes one week to detox, but detox may take longer in severe cases.

Although the thought of completing an alcohol or drug detox may be daunting, seeking treatment is the first step to treating addiction. Following detox, additional treatment options are available to help you maintain your sobriety.

Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are also available to help you maintain sobriety, meet like-minded people, and stay focused on your recovery.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine