What Is a Drug Detox? (2 Types, Main Stages & Side Effects)

A person doing a drug detox at home

Detoxing is an unavoidable part of any addiction recovery process and plays a vital role in drug and alcohol detox.

After conducting comprehensive studies, I will provide you with an exhaustive overview of the drug detoxification process and the indicators that should be monitored.

Here’s everything you need to know about drug detox.

Quick Summary

  • Drug detox refers to therapeutic and medical procedures that help a person flush out drug residues from their body.
  • Detox drinks are a great solution for managing withdrawal symptoms before entering a detox program.
  • The first step in a medically assisted detox is for the patients to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation.

What Is A Drug Detoxification?

A doctor reading up on drug detoxification

Drug detoxification, more commonly known as “detox,” is the intervention needed for physical dependence on drugs and describes addiction medicines that help ease withdrawal symptoms through a detox program [1].

A detoxification program alone cannot address the deep-rooted psychological, social, and behavioral issues caused by substance abuse.

2 Types of Detox

In addition to the drug detox programs available at any drug detox center, individuals can opt for either rapid or ultra-rapid detox. Both methods provide effective and safe means of eliminating harmful toxins from one’s body.

1. Rapid Drug Detox

A doctor making a patient drug detoxRapid detoxification provides an expedited way of assisting users in clearing out illicit substances from their bodies. This technique is more efficient than traditional methods, allowing individuals to avoid the discomfort associated with drug and alcohol detox.

Careful analysis has led me to conclude that rapid detox is potentially risky and incredibly costly. 

During this approach for treating those suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD), the individual is put under anesthesia and administered drugs meant to replace other substances in their body.

Rapid detox can cause:

  • Heart attack
  • Paranoia
  • High body temperature
  • Infection
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Choking
  • Death

2. Ultra Rapid Drug Detox

A doctor helping a patient detoxUltra-rapid detox is when narcotic antagonists are used to remove an individual’s dependence on drugs or alcohol quickly. 

These antagonists bind to the receptor sites in the brain, blocking out opiate agonists attempting to attach themselves since they have a higher affinity for that specific site [2].

One way to conduct a detox is by using detox drinks. These drinks are meant to assist in eliminating any toxins from one’s body, such as alcohol or drugs.

The ingredients in these beverages have been used throughout history to cleanse the bloodstream and rid the body of toxins.

Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

As the level of alcohol or drugs in an individual’s body decreases, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal signs and sensations related to drug use and drinking can be very similar, so many people undergoing detoxification will encounter comparable discomfort.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the severity of withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and drugs depends on how long a person has been dependent, the kind of substance they have been taking in, the quantity ingested, as well as their mental and physical condition [3].

Withdrawal may lead to an array of physical as well as psychological symptoms:

  • Feelings of nausea, bouts of vomiting, and episodes of diarrhea
  • Crippling headaches and stomach-churning pains
  • Trembling and shivering, drenched in sweat
  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Mental health difficulties like depression, anxiety, and paranoia

The most severe withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

Whether detoxing from drugs at home or in a detox center for substance abuse treatment, individuals struggling with this health danger should seek help immediately.

However, opioid withdrawal symptoms can also be managed with the help of medical and psychological services. Professional intervention can reduce withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for a person to transition from detox to rehabilitation.

“A medically supervised detox prevents dangerous complications of drug and alcohol withdrawal.”
The Addiction Center

Read More: Which Are the Worst Drugs to Detox From?

What Are The Stages Of Drug Detox?

A doctor explaining to a patient with a clipboard

The stages of drug detox may differ from one person to another, but they usually involve evaluation, stabilization, and admission to a drug rehab center. 

Detoxification treatment requirements differ person-to-person. To help individuals struggling with drug abuse, the drug detox process provides personalized care and typically involves the following steps:

1. Evaluation

The medical team vigilantly scans potential patients to identify any physical or mental health issues they may have. 

To accurately measure the number of drugs in a patient’s system, doctors perform blood tests, allowing them to make knowledgeable decisions on what medications are needed.

2. Stabilization

To ensure the safety of the patient, stabilization is compulsory. Both medical and psychological treatment must be administered to eliminate any potential danger during the addiction treatment.

3. Preparing Entry Into Addiction Treatment

After medical detox, the last phase is preparing yourself for a rehabilitation program.

At this point, doctors advise their patients on what comes next and how to prepare themselves mentally. Inpatient rehab provides the highest chances of success post-detoxification.

Also Read: What Is Detox Like in Rehab?

Drug Detox Side Effects

Going through drug detox can be a painful and hazardous experience, which is why medical detoxification is essential.

Some side effects that may emerge include:

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating

How Long Does The Detox Process Take?

A doctor talking to a patient about drug detox

The time the detox process can take depends on your case; however, it can last from 7 to 10 days for most people.

A few different factors will govern the length and structure of your medical detox plan, including:

  • The quantity and frequency of your drug consumption
  • The intensity of your withdrawal symptoms
  • A comprehensive overview of your physical health and medical background


How Much Does A Detox Cost?

A detox can cost up to $15,000, depending on the detox program chosen. Inpatient detox programs provide therapies and treatments to help individuals suffering from drug abuse, making them more expensive than other detox options. Outpatient detox facilities are less expensive but may not be suitable for people with severe addictions or those with mental disorders.

What Is Involved In The Detoxification Of Drugs?

In the detoxification of drugs, the liver is the most involved. The liver is the body’s primary site of drug metabolism and plays an essential role in expelling toxic compounds from our system. It is fundamental for detoxifying drugs and removing unwanted substances from the human body.

How Does Detox Work?

Detox works by flushing out toxins from the body. The detoxification process can be accomplished in various ways, such as with detox drinks like Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse, exercising and sweating detoxifying foods and herbs, or medically supervised detoxification programs.

Embracing a New Chapter: Life After Detox

Detoxification is a critical stage. However, the detox process is just the beginning. Detox alone can rarely lead to lasting recovery.

To build long-term sobriety and better manage cravings, ongoing counseling, and therapy are essential parts of the process.

During the addiction treatment, you’ll learn new skills that will guide you on your journey to sobriety.

Additionally, detox drinks such as Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse can help detoxify your system quickly by jumpstarting key bodily functions that effectively rid your body of toxins, so you can transition into rehab and begin life anew.


  1. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/detoxification
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3799236/ 
  3. https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma15-4131.pdf

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