Alcohol & Drug Detox: Understanding the Process

Detox Treatments

Alcohol and drug detox is an essential first step in addiction treatment. While it can be tempting to try to detox on your own, withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous if not treated in a medically supervised environment.

If you or a loved one are in need of a safe detox in a supervised environment, our specialists at Renaissance Recovery will connect you with detox services in California or Florida

Call our free hotline at 866.330.9449 to get connected to the treatment you need.

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Clinically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated:


What is Detox?

A drug or alcohol detox (detoxification) is the process of removing drugs or alcohol from the body.

Detox is the first phase of the recovery journey. It helps clear toxins from the body. Detox also manages withdrawal symptoms. Medical professionals guide the process at a detox center. This makes it safer and more comfortable. Most people need more treatment after detox.

Table of Contents

an image of people at Renaissance Recovery, where we can help you find detoxSide Effects of Detox

When someone stops using drugs or alcohol, the type and severity of symptoms depends on: 

  • Type of drug
  • Length of use
  • Amount used
  • Physical health
  • Mental health 

Mild detox side effects include: 

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Fast heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking
  • Weakness
  • Sweating

Severe side effects of detox may include: 

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Seizures

While these symptoms can be uncomfortable, medical care can manage even the most severe symptoms with the proper medications. 

Detox Process

The detox process usually lasts for 7 to 10 days. There are 3 stages: 

  • Evaluation: Evaluation is the first step. Medical professionals will check your health. They’ll also ask about your drug or alcohol use. They will create a treatment plan just for you.
  • Stabilization: This stage of detox helps you deal with withdrawal. Doctors may use medications to ease symptoms. They will also provide medical care and emotional support.
  • Transition to treatment: After detox comes more treatment. The detox team will help you move smoothly into a rehab program. Rehab helps people stay sober long-term. 

How to Detox from Alcohol

Detoxing from alcohol is the first step in the recovery journey. It aims to cleanse the body of alcohol safely. The process involves 24/7 care from healthcare professionals. 

Detox programs also offer medications and help manage withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms like nausea, anxiety, and tremors can be severe. Severe alcohol withdrawal affects 1 in 20 people. This can be fatal. All risks can be reduced with medical detox. 

How to Detox from Drugs

A medical detox for drugs also involves clearing toxins from the body. However, withdrawal symptoms vary based on the drug, amount, and duration of use. Detoxing from opioids or benzos can be dangerous. Supervised drug detox programs also offer medications. These lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.  

Can You Detox at Home?

There are many dangers of detoxing at home – it’s not usually a good idea. It can be uncomfortable and risky. Medical detox is safest. Consult your doctor before you stop using drink or drugs. Avoid home detox unless your doctor suggests this. 

Types of Detox Programs 

  • Inpatient detox: This is where you stay at a detox center or inpatient rehab. It’s ideal for those with severe addictions. They get 24/7 medical care and support.
  • Outpatient detox: With outpatient detox, people live at home and visit a treatment center regularly. Outpatient detox may help those with strong support systems and stable homes.
  • Medically assisted detox: Medical professionals provide medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms. This makes the detox process easier.
  • Holistic detox: This approach uses natural methods and medical support. Options may include exercise, nutrition, and stress relief. 

How Much Does Detox Cost?

Detox costs from $200 to $500 daily. Costs can vary based on the type of facility, services offered, and insurance.  

Some inpatient rehab programs include detox. Rehab costs from $1,000 to $10,000 per week. 

Does Health Insurance Cover Detox?

Most health insurance plans cover the costs of medical detox. At Renaissance, we work with all major health insurers.  

After detox, it’s a good idea to attend a treatment program. Our outpatient centers in California and Florida can help you stay sober after an alcohol or drug detox center. 

Detox FAQs

Is alcohol detox dangerous?

Alcohol detox can be dangerous without medical supervision. Severe complications like seizures can be fatal. 

How long does drug detox take?

Drug detox usually takes a week. The duration depends on the type of drug, the amount used, and the duration of use.

Can I detox from drugs or alcohol on my own?

Detoxing from drugs or alcohol alone is not wise. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Medical detox is a safer setting. 

Rehabilitation can put an end to addiction

Call and ask the facility directly or call your own provider to determine if your insurance covers the treatment.

Contact us

Call today or fill out our contact form to learn more about how we can help you conquer addiction.