Drug and Alcohol Detox

The Foundation of Help for Substance Abuse

Every year, people across the country make the fateful decision to experiment with drugs or alcohol. For some, it is a one-time mistake that has little impact on their lives. But for others, it is the beginning of a downward spiral that can lead to a substance use disorder and a host of other problems.

Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to serious health problems, damaged relationships, financial ruin, and even death. If you find yourself on this path, help is available; drug and alcohol detox is a good first step to getting your life back on track.

Keep reading to find what makes an effective treatment for substance use disorders, and how Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada can help you or your loved one!

What is Detox?

What is Detox

Drug and alcohol detox is the first step in overcoming addiction. By removing all traces of drugs and alcohol from the body, detox allows you to start fresh. But detox is more than just quitting cold turkey; it’s a process that requires professional help and medical supervision.

According to SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), medically supervised detox forms the foundation of effective substance abuse treatment.

The goal of detox is to cleanse the body of harmful toxins and prepare yourself for longer-term addiction treatment, such as alcohol rehab and working on any mental health issues you’re experiencing.

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What Should I Expect From Drug and Alcohol Detox?

Detox is the first step in many substance abuse treatment programs. The purpose of detox is to rid the body of harmful toxins that have built up over time. This process can be dangerous and even deadly if not done properly, which is why it’s important to detox under the care of treatment professionals. At-home detox can be dangerous as well as unsupervised, and drug detox kits do nothing to address the dangers of withdrawal.

If you are considering drug or alcohol detox, there are a few things you can expect, including the following:

You will stay in a hospital-like setting

Most drug detox programs take place in either hospitals or residential addiction treatment facilities, such as our Las Vegas detox center setting. This allows individuals to receive around-the-clock care and monitoring during the early stages of alcohol withdrawal and detox. Medically assisted detox can be key when fighting substance use disorders.

You Will Experience Uncomfortable – But Manageable – Symptoms

Detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be a difficult and uncomfortable experience. The first few days are often the most challenging, as your body adjusts to the absence of substances. During this time, you may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, sweating, shaking, and headaches. These symptoms can be unpleasant, but they are temporary and will subside.

Medical professionals will monitor drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms

A supervised medical detox can be very beneficial. Medical professionals will provide close monitoring and care during inpatient detox which can help make the process more comfortable and safe. A treatment provider will often prescribe medications to manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure you don’t have a seizure or any other medical emergency. The medical team will also be there to answer any questions you have and provide support.

You might receive therapy

In some cases, you may receive additional alcohol and drug abuse treatments such as group or individual therapy. This can help you get ready for the next phase of the treatment process once medical detox programs end.

You should be able to speak to your loved ones

During the drug and alcohol detox process, you should be able to stay in contact with your loved ones through phone calls or visits (depending on the facility). This can be important for both your emotional well-being and your recovery.

Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’re considering getting help for a drug or alcohol problem, you may be wondering what to expect during withdrawal. It’s normal to feel nervous about the unknown, but understanding the process can help ease your anxiety. Withdrawal occurs when you suddenly stop using a substance or quit drinking after long-term abuse.

Your symptoms vary depending on the substance abused, the severity of abuse, how long you’ve been abusing the substance, and whether you have any co-occurring mental health disorders. Some common withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Delirium tremens
  • Insomnia or sleep changes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Intense cravings for the substance

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Medication Assisted Treatment

Quitting drugs cold turkey can be incredibly difficult, and in some cases, dangerous. That’s why many people who are looking to get clean and sober choose to detox under the care of a medical professional. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is one option that can help make physical symptoms more manageable and increase the chances of success.

Detoxing at a medical facility using MAT involves the use of FDA-approved medications, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treatment. This type of care can be vital for people who are struggling with drug abuse and alcohol use disorder.

There are several different types of medication that may be used during a medical detox, depending on the specific needs of the patient, such as benzodiazepines, narcotic analgesics, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications.

The exact type of medication will depend on the individual’s specific needs and will always be determined by your treatment provider. It’s important to remember that these medications should only be used under close medical supervision, as they often come with risks for abuse and addiction.

Can I Detox at Home?

People often ask if they can detox at home, and the answer depends on what drug you’re coming off of.

Opiates and Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiates and Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiate drugs include heroin and fentanyl and prescription painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet.

When you stops using opiates, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms like muscle aches, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and insomnia. It can be difficult to manage withdrawal symptoms on your own, which is why a medically assisted detox program is always recommended. While you typically won’t be in danger of a medical emergency with an opiate detox at home, you will be much more comfortable in a medical detox setting.

Alcohol and the Risks of Cold Turkey Detox

If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse and want to quit drinking, detoxing at home may seem like the easiest option. However, it’s important to understand the risks involved in the alcohol detoxification process before you make this decision. Alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous, and even life-threatening. Without professional medical supervision, it’s difficult to monitor vital signs and manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms properly.

Additionally, there is a risk of relapse when detoxing at home. If you slip up and have a drink, you could end up in a potentially dangerous situation. For these reasons, it’s always advisable to detox from alcohol in a medically-supervised setting.

Benzodiazepines and the Potential for Seizures

If you’re considering detoxing from benzodiazepines at home, it’s important to be aware of the risks. Without medical care, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. In severe cases, these symptoms can cause serious complications and be life-threatening. If you’re struggling with an addiction to benzodiazepines, the safest and most effective way to detox and treat withdrawal symptoms is under the care of a medical professional.

Cocaine and Methamphetamines

While it is possible to detox from cocaine and meth at home, it is not recommended. These drugs can be highly addictive and dangerous, and the withdrawal process can be difficult and uncomfortable. Detoxing without medical supervision can also be dangerous, as there is a risk of relapse or overdose. However, you likely won’t have any serious medical emergencies from detoxing at home.


Detoxing from marijuana won’t produce any serious medical emergencies, though it could be uncomfortable. If you’re looking to detox from marijuana at home, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. To help speed up the process, you can try exercising and sweating regularly, as this will help to release the drug from your fat cells.

You should also avoid eating fatty foods, as they can further slow down the detox process. Finally, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water; this will help to flush the drug out of your system more quickly.

How Long Does Detox Last?

Drug addict heating drug in a spoon over flame

Drug detox is the first and most important step in overcoming addiction. But how long does it take to detox from drugs, and how long will you stay in the treatment facility? The answer depends on a number of factors.

Type of Drug or Drugs Being Used

The type of drug you’re addicted to will play a big role in how long it takes to detox. Some drugs, like alcohol and benzodiazepines, produce very severe withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous or even deadly. They can last for many days or even weeks.

Other drugs, like marijuana, don’t usually produce dangerous physical withdrawal symptoms but can produce less severe withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, insomnia, irritability) that last for many months.

Substance abuse detox will also take longer if you’re addicted to multiple substances.

The Severity of Addiction

The severity of your addiction will also affect withdrawal symptoms and how long it takes to detox. If you’re a heavy user, it’s going to take longer to detox than if you’re a casual user. This is because heavy users tend to have higher tolerance levels, which means their bodies are used to having the drug in their system.

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Your Overall Health

Your overall health is another important factor in determining how long it will take to detox. If you have any preexisting medical conditions, such as liver disease or lung disease, it’s going to take longer for the drugs to leave your system and for you to start feeling better. Additionally, if you’re malnourished or dehydrated, it’s going to slow down the detox process.

Typically, you will spend between 3 and 10 days in a detox facility.

After Alcohol and Drug Detox

Successfully completing detox is an amazing accomplishment and is a major step in overcoming addiction and getting sober. But what comes next? What happens after you’ve put drugs and alcohol behind you and are ready to start your life anew?

The first few days sober can be tough. You’re likely to experience some withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to not having drugs or alcohol in your system. Some people have very mild symptoms, and others suffer from severe ones, including headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, and panic attacks.

To stay sober after detox, it’s important to start looking into ongoing substance abuse treatment options as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the temptation to relapse will be. There are a lot of different treatment options available, so it’s important to do your research and find one that’s right for you. With the right treatment plan in place, you can start rebuilding your life and making healthy choices for your future.

Options For Treatment After Detoxing

Options For Treatment After Detoxing

There are many different options available for treatment after drug and alcohol detox. The most important thing is to find a treatment plan that meets your unique needs and provides you with the support you need to successfully overcome addiction.

Residential Treatment Centers

A residential drug rehab is an option for those looking for more structure and support during early recovery. Residential programs require that participants live at the treatment facility while receiving care. Services offered vary depending on the program but can include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, 12-step meetings, recreation therapy, spiritual care, psychiatry services, and more. Residential programs typically last 30-90 days but there are also long-term residential programs that last 6-12 months or longer.

Intensive Outpatient

Another option is intensive outpatient treatment (IOP). IOPs meet more frequently than traditional outpatient programs but still offer the flexibility of allowing you to live at home while receiving treatment. IOPs typically meet 3-5 times per week for a few hours each session. Services offered in IOPs include individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other services designed to help people recover from addiction

Outpatient Program

Finally, you can consider a traditional outpatient treatment program. Outpatient programs typically meet for a few hours each week – less often than intensive outpatient programs. These programs offer individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other services designed to help you recover from addiction.

Each program offers different services designed to help people recover from addiction. With proper care and support, you can overcome addiction and start living a sober, happy, and healthy life.

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Let Us Help You

The detox process can be incredibly uncomfortable, and even dangerous. That’s why detoxing at a professional facility is always the best option. Our medically-trained staff will be with you every step of the way, helping you through the tough times and keeping you safe.

So if you’re struggling with addiction, don’t wait any longer. Come to Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada and get the help you need to start fresh. We’ll be here for you, every step of the way.

All calls are completely confidential, and our dedicated Admissions team can help you find options, let you know costs, and get you started on the road to lasting recovery.