What to Expect From a 7-Day Drug Detox Program

A 7-day drug detox is a huge step to take when working on a journey to detox from substances. If your loved one is about to start the drug detox or alcohol detox process, you may wonder how to best support them. If you are looking into a detox program for yourself, you understandably want to know what you might expect.

Throughout the detox process, you, or your family member or friend may experience a host of
uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms for a few days, or these may linger for a few weeks depending on the
individual, the type of substances and amount they regularly use.

The first few days of the 7-day drug detox is when you can expect the most unpleasant part of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be discouraging and even medically dangerous. A person should never try to detox without being under the care of a licensed and qualified facility. You can never tell how a particular individual is going to react in the initial stages of withdrawal, regardless if they have detoxed before. It is imperative to be evaluated by a doctor as someone begins the detox process.

During this evaluation you’ll be diagnosed and prescribed detox medications that will greatly help reduce the risk of severe complications like seizures, strokes and heart attacks. Detox medications also help reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms along with the duration in which their symptoms may last. Throughout the detox process clinical staff monitors client vitals signs along with any changes in withdrawal symptoms. This is a very important part of the process as it helps promote a safe detox and provides the staff with the ability to make necessary changes to medications if needed to better support symptom reduction. As symptoms subside, anxieties and fears generally do so as well, especially for those who were hesitant about seeking treatment in the first place due to fear of the withdrawal process.

What Happens When Your Body is Detoxing?

Every person detoxing their body from a substance experience unique symptoms. During detox, the body must become used to living without harmful substances, so the substances are gradually reduced throughout the detox treatment using a tapered regimen of medications. This means that over the duration of a client’s detox, we slowly reduce the dose amount of medications that coincides with their symptom reduction. At the end of the detox process their body will be physically free of the substance(s) they were using along with all detox medications that were used during the process.

Detox medications play a significant role in changing the way a person experiences withdrawal symptoms. Although a person may still feel uncomfortable while using detox medications, the medication greatly reduces the chance of severe symptoms compared to not using the medications at all. In fact, most people that attempt to detox themselves “cold turkey” find themselves using again before the detox process is over due to the extreme physical and psychological symptoms they experience.

As your body begins to withdrawal from the substance, you may experience multiple physical and psychological symptoms. Some of the physical symptoms of a drug detox may include:

  • Headaches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shaking
  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Unpleasant and vivid dreams
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Runny nose
  • Chills and fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The psychological symptoms of a drug detox include:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings for the drug or substance

Some patients experience severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures, hallucinations, and delirium.

How Long Does the Detox Stage Last?

The detox process can last anywhere from a few days to weeks, depending on the severity of the withdrawal. Generally speaking, a person may experience detox symptoms for 7-10 days. However, each person is different and the duration of detox may be as well.  Several factors usually dictate the duration of the detox process.

  • A person’s overall health
  • Type of substance(s) used
  • The amount of substance(s) used on regular basis
  • How long someone has used drugs or alcohol

Over the last several years, many new types of synthetic drugs have been manufactured and distributed throughout our communities. Most everyone is aware of the Fentanyl crisis plaguing our nation, but there are also other synthetic substances being created from unknown chemicals and disguised as methamphetamine or Pressed Pills (pills created to look like prescription pills). All of these substances carry a high risk of overdosing or death. Detoxing from these synthetic substances create different challenges as well. The physical and especially the psychological symptoms of withdrawal are much more severe. Detoxing often requires multiple types of detox medications for longer durations of time.

What Does Detoxing Feel Like?

Going through a 7-day drug detox program feels exhausting and physically uncomfortable. Your loved one may feel sick to their stomach, anxious, paranoid, irritable, and restless. These symptoms are common when enduring a 7-day detox for drugs. Detox medications do a great job lowering someone’s risk of severe complications along with curbing the intensity of their symptoms.

Is Detoxing Safe?

There are always risks while detoxing. Some people are more susceptible to complications like seizures, strokes and heart attacks than others. The type of substance a person is detoxing from elevates the risk of a complication. For example, detoxing from alcohol or benzodiazepines create a higher risk for seizures than someone detoxing from opiates or heroin. This is because alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal create neurological disturbances in the brain that can cause vitals to elevate to unstable levels.

People are at their highest risk of severe complications within the first 72 hours from the onset of withdrawal symptoms. This is why it is crucial to seek help from licensed and qualified medical professionals and never attempt to detox yourself.  The proper diagnosis, planning, distribution of detox medication and monitoring of an individual’s symptoms and vital signs are key to lowering the risk of complications during this process.

At Bay Area Recovery, client safety and wellbeing are our main priority throughout the drug and alcohol detox process.  Our detox team is comprised of medical professionals that are experts in their field. We strive to create the safest, most humane detox program that provides clients with the ability to feel as comfortable as possible and minimizes risk factors.

We are here to support our patients when experiencing the difficulties of a 7-day drug detox. We provide a supportive and inviting environment to help focus on getting well and continuing onto the next phase of treatment.

Detoxing at a recovery center is much safer than taking your own 7-day drug detox pills or purchasing a detoc or “cleanse” kit. Detoxing on your own can be dangerous. While some individuals attempt to do a 7-day detox for a drug test, it is not recommended.

Being under medical supervision to safely detox from harmful substances is essential since everyone’s bodies react differently.

Final Thoughts

While it is uncomfortable to undergo a 7-day drug detox, it is safer than attempting to detox from drugs or alcohol without medical assistance. To begin the journey to recovery, schedule a one-on-one with our counselors today.

William Smith

LCDC, SAP, ADC, Admissions Director

William, better known as Billy around here is head of our admissions team. If you inquire about any of our treatment services, you will most likely speak with Billy in some capacity. Billy is one of the most passionate people when it comes down to recovery. You don’t have to have a long conversation to understand how much he cares about helping others. A recovered addict himself, he knows how miserable it is for those and their families who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. He has been a part of Bay Area Recovery Center since 2008.

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