Drug Detox & the Symptoms of Withdrawal

Recovery Centers of America Provides a 24/7 Medically-Supervised Drug Detox

At Recovery Centers of America, we understand that a drug detox can be daunting. Our team of clinicians and therapists ensure your comfort from the moment you walk in. They help cleanse your mind, body, and soul of any negative substances, so you can focus on getting well.

One of the first steps most people take when entering one of Recovery Centers of America’s treatment facilities is an alcohol and drug detoxification. Detox helps cleanse and stabilize your body and mind from alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, or any other drug lingering in your system. We make your withdrawal as comfortable as possible to ensure your medical safety. Here at RCA, detox protocols follow standards developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – one of the leading establishments on addiction treatment.

At RCA, our team of physicians, nurses, and other clinicians deliver a customized alcohol and drug detoxification in order to meet your physical and psychological needs. Carefully supervised detoxification can help reduce the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.

This medically-supervised detox process provides you with a safe, effective start to your sober life.

Opioids Withdrawal & Timeline

Opioids are a group of drugs used for severe pain management and include both opiates (such as morphine, codeine, heroin, and opium) and synthetic opioids (like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methadone). Chronic use of opioids results in debilitating dependence.

Opioids are similar to other drugs in that the timeline and symptoms of withdrawal vary on a person-by-person basis. Many systems within the body are altered when opioids are taken for a long period of time. Typically, the timeline for withdrawal symptoms comes in two different stages:

Early stage
(within 24 hours of last use)
Later stage
(24 hours after last use)
  • Anxiety
  • Intense craving for the drug
  • Aggression or quick temper
  • Emotional agitation
  • Delusions
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated pupils and possibly blurry vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure

Different drugs remain in your system for different lengths of time, therefore impacting withdrawal symptoms and onset. For example, heroin leaves the system faster – but symptoms start sooner, usually within 12 hours of last use.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms after the first 24 hours are usually very unpleasant, intense, and painful. This is why our addiction treatment centers offer medically-monitored detoxification under the guidance of our clinical staff. Comfort medication is provided to help patients get through withdrawal symptoms, and begin focusing on the next step in their treatment.

Benzodiazepines Withdrawal & Timeline

Usually prescribed for anxiety, benzodiazepines are like alcohol in the way they act on the central nervous system. Because of this, withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be extremely dangerous and need medical detoxification.

Much like alcohol and other drugs, the timeline and symptoms can change depending on the person, especially because benzodiazepines have different half-lives. Generally, symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremor
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

As for the timeline of detox from benzodiazepines, it depends. For example, alprazolam (like Xanax) has an average of an 11-hour half-life, so the system is rid of it quickly. On the other hand, the half-life of clonazepam (Klonopin) can be 30-40 hours, which means it takes longer to get out of your system. Therefore, you’re likely to start experiencing withdrawal symptoms for Xanax within a few hours of taking the last dose. However, it may be a few days before you start feeling symptoms of withdrawal from clonazepam (Klonopin).

A lot of other elements are factored into a benzodiazepine withdrawal timeline, such as how long you’ve been taking the drug, how much, how often, and various other health factors. Because it can take a month or two before physical symptoms completely reside, your best bet is to go through detoxification in a specialized treatment facility.

Stimulants Withdrawal & Timeline

When someone goes on a binge and uses a stimulant drug, like methamphetamine or cocaine, the withdrawal is commonly called coming down or a crash. This form of withdrawal comes in different stages:

Early stage Middle stage Late stage
  • Anxiety
  • Intense craving for the drug
  • Aggression or quick temper
  • Emotional agitation
  • Delusions
  • Lack of focus
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Waking with extreme hunger
  • Sleeping for long periods of time
  • Extreme sleepiness

Usually these symptoms start within 36 hours of stopping the drug, and last for a couple of weeks.

At Recovery Centers of America, we usually offer comfort medications for stimulant drugs, such as cocaine or meth. Often, people addicted to stimulants directly enter our residential program. Regardless of the path you take at Recovery Centers of America, we center all of our treatment around your comfort. You or your loved one can rest assured you’re getting exceptional care and treatment to support a healthy road to recovery.

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