rippleranch_logo-200x101-1-q6144w15aqyeb8bcxqq9ctly80oko5dqv2hqwrlz40 (1)

What Is The Process For Drug Detox?

What is drug detox? Read on to learn more about the drug detox process, withdrawal symptoms, and recovery options at Ripple Ranch.

Drug Detox: Process, Side Effects & Detox Centers Near Me

Drug detox is an effective way to manage withdrawal symptoms and start the journey of addiction recovery. Detoxing from drugs has side effects known as withdrawal symptoms.

The drug detox process varies for each individual due to their needs and type of substance use disorder. The drug detoxification process involves three major steps: evaluation, stabilization, and preparation for entry into further treatment. The drug detox process objective is to reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.1

drug detox

Table of Contents

Learn More About Ripple Ranch Recovery Center

Our team is standing by to discuss your situation and options. Your call is fully confidential, and no obligation is required

What is Drug Detox?

Drug detox is a natural process of removing all traces of harmful substances ingested in the body. Drug detox helps manage withdrawal symptoms when an individual goes through rehabilitation. Drug detox ensures an individual is ready and physically stable to begin therapy to overcome drug addiction.

What Are the Side Effects of Drug Detox

The body reacts when the substances an addicted individual ingests are gradually reduced using the cleansing and detox process. The brain and body trying to adjust to the sudden chemical drop due to the detoxification process can be painful and dangerous.
The side effects of the drug detox process include:
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Depression

What's the Process of Detoxification?

There are several methods of drug detoxification. The detox method depends on the substance an individual is addicted to and the severity. The process of drug detox involves these primary steps:


This step involves the clinical professional conducting a full assessment of the addicted individual’s mental and physical conditions. The treatment professional tests for substances in the person’s bloodstream. This step helps determine the type of detoxification method that will be efficient and the level of treatment to administer.


Stabilization entails assisting the addicted individual during severe intoxication and withdrawals using Medical and psychosocial processes. This is to help the person attain a medically stable and substance-free state. Detox centers and clinical professionals administer detox drugs during this stage to help alleviate and manage any withdrawal symptoms.

Preparing the Individuals Entry into Further Treatment

This step involves Clinical professionals letting the addicted individuals know the importance of completing substance abuse treatment after detoxification. Sometimes treatment professionals draft a written contract to encourage the individual to complete the substance abuse treatment. Individuals who are stable enough at the beginning of treatment voluntarily sign the contract, which is not legally binding.

What's the Best Way to Find a Drug Detox Center?

Individuals can use the SAMHSA directory of single state agencies to find a drug detox center in their state. The substance abuse and mental health services administration directory is a compiled list of affordable treatment centers with their contact info. The directory also includes state-funded detox and treatment centers.2

Visit the official US government website “Findtreatment” to locate detox and treatment centers near you. Input your location in the search box and click on the search button. You can filter the search result by distance, payment options, treatment type, age, and language.3

What Happens During Detox?

During the detox process, the individual reduces or stops the intake of the substances. The body might withdraw due to the reduction or lack of the substance in the body system. 

This is because the body and brain have adjusted to the toxic substances and rely on them to function properly. Withdrawals can range from mild to severe. The severity of withdrawals depends on the type of substance abused and for how long.

What Happens After Detox?

Detoxing from drugs is just the first stage of addiction treatment. After an individual undergoes complete detoxification and is physically stable, a long-term treatment plan should commence.

Addiction centers work with the individuals to customize a treatment plan according to the individual needs to obtain and maintain sobriety. Treatment plans could include therapy, life skills training, medication, and relapse prevention training. Addiction recovery involves follow-up care to help prevent relapse.

What Happens During a Medically Assisted Drug or Alcohol Detox?

During a medically assisted detox process, addicted individuals are supervised by treatment professionals. The drug or alcohol detox process can be painful and dangerous as individuals experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. 

During medically assisted detox, clinical professionals treat withdrawal symptoms and administer detox drugs to ease the addicted individual’s discomfort.

How Long Does Detox Last?

Detox can last from a few days to several weeks. How long a process for drug detox takes depends on the type(s) of substance abused, duration of abuse, and medical history. Detox treatment goes beyond treating withdrawals but also treats cravings that emerge after withdrawals. Detox from cravings typically lasts longer than the withdrawal treatment stage.

Drug Detox During Pregnancy

Detoxing from drugs during pregnancy can be challenging. Medically assisted detox is the best detox process for pregnant women. Clinical professionals must supervise drug detox during pregnancy because withdrawal symptoms can harm the mother and fetus.
Addiction centers conduct full assessments of the mother and fetus’s medical condition. The assessment includes the type of substance and duration of abuse to properly administer medications to treat withdrawals without harming the fetus.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Common symptoms of withdrawal include:
  • Agitation
  • Excessive hunger
  • Insomnia
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Delirium
  • Loss of appetite
  • Self-harm
  • Irritability

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) refers to the symptoms heavy alcohol consumers experience when they suddenly reduce or quit the consumption of alcohol. Most individuals develop AWS within 6-8 hours after abruptly decreasing alcohol consumption.4

How Can I Safely Detox and Manage Withdrawal Symptoms?

People can safely detox and manage withdrawal symptoms by getting medical-assisted treatment from inpatient or outpatient treatment centers. Trained professionals at addiction centers will assist in treating withdrawal symptoms and administer medications to ease the process. Detoxing without proper supervision is dangerous and can cause further harm to one’s health.

Which Should I Use: A Detox Center or a Treatment Facility?

Individuals physically dependent on substances need to get complete detoxification at detox centers. Drug detox centers treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings after reducing or completely stopping substance intake.
Addiction centers ensure an individual is ready and physically stable to begin therapy and other treatment plans at treatment facilities. Individuals who are not physically stable can begin their journey to addiction recovery at treatment facilities; they need to go through detoxification.
Only addicted individuals whose type of substance abuse and level do not require detox can begin their recovery journey at a treatment facility. Treatment facilities use holistic treatment methods that focus on the whole being to treat addiction. Treatment centers will help you identify triggers and teach life and relapse prevention skills.

Can I Detox at Home?

Addicted individuals can detox at home. Some people consider at-home detox as a valid opportunity, as this makes the process seem easier and home often offers a safe and comfortable feeling. Detoxing from drugs at home is a form of outpatient treatment.
However, at-home detox can be dangerous as withdrawal symptoms range from mild to life-threatening.

Side Effects of Detox at Home

Using medication to ease the process without consulting a treatment professional can increase the side effects of home detoxing. Side effects of at-home detoxification include:
  • Dehydration
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Night sweats
  • Excessive hunger
  • Stomach cramps

Life After Detox

Detox is only an essential first step in treating substance use disorder. It helps prepare the addicted individuals and make them physically stable enough for the next phase of treatment. After drug detox treatment, individuals are highly recommended to get rehabilitation treatment.
Rehab helps individuals attain and maintain sobriety by teaching them life coping and relapse prevention skills. Complete recovery from substance use requires continual support, such as support groups and therapy.

Detox Types and Options

Types of detox treatment will be detailed below.

Medical Assisted Detox

During a medically assisted detox process, addicted individuals are supervised by treatment professionals. Clinical professionals administer medications to ease the side effects of the detox process.

Drug Tapering

This detox process involves an individual gradually reducing the drug over time with the guidance and supervision of a treatment professional.

At-home Detox

This is when addicted individuals who are determined to stop substance use undergo detoxification at home. At-home detox is also a form of outpatient treatment.

Rapid Detox

This is a form of an inpatient treatment procedure. Rapid detox involves an individual being put under anesthesia, and the substance is completely flushed out of their system.

Cold Turkey

During cold turkey detox, an addicted individual abruptly stops using the substance(s). This detox method is the least effective.

Is Ultra Rapid Detox Safe?

Ultra-rapid opioid detoxification (UROD) is a potentially effective and safe treatment for opioid use disorder. This anesthesia-assisted detox process aims to reduce the duration of detoxification and treat withdrawals. 

The long-term success rate of UROD is 75%. If not properly done and supervised by a trained medical professional, UROD has adverse side effects.5

Why Choose Medically Supervised Drug and Alcohol Detox

Medically supervised detox is among the most effective and safe detox options. During medically supervised detox, trained treatment professionals help ease withdrawal symptoms and assist if a medical emergency occurs. This method offers privacy and quality care an individual needs during the vulnerable time of experiencing withdrawals.

Some of the Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Substance abuse treatment programs offer different treatment plans to help addicted individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. The treatment programs also serve as support systems to help encourage addicted individuals during treatment. 

Some major substance abuse treatment programs are:

  • SMART recovery
  • Alcohol anonymous
  • LifeRing
  • Narcotics anonymous

Begin Recovery with Drug and Alcohol Detox at Ripple Ranch Recovery

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, contact Ripple Ranch Recovery to begin your journey to recovery. Ripple Ranch offers customized treatment programs for adults and teenagers to overcome addiction. Counseling is used by master’s level clinicians to assist adults and adolescents in finding themselves during detox and addiction therapy.

Guiding Principles in Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment

Tips contain the guiding principles for detoxification and substance treatment. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) develops the Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPs). The CSAT is a division of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).6

A TIP entails topic-specific best-practice recommendations for preventing and treating drug abuse and mental illnesses. Tips are based on the expertise and experience of clinical, scientific, and administrative specialists in various kinds of treatment and prevention.

Learn What Ripple Ranch Has to Offer

Ripple Ranch Recovery Center in Comal County, Texas, is a unique addiction treatment facility. The recovery team at the center creates a special care plan using evidence-based treatment strategies and a foundational holistic approach. 

This treatment center employs therapeutic techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to assist patients in achieving long-term sobriety. Ripple Ranch Recovery offers custom-tailored addiction treatment plans to assist people in successfully stopping substance use.

Several decades of data and academic study support the recovery center’s treatment methods. The treatment methods successfully assist individuals in overcoming substance use disorders and achieving long-term sobriety.

Detoxification Programs

Ripple Ranch Recovery provides outpatient, inpatient, and detoxification programs. The recovery center offers medically supervised detox to make the procedure as secure and comfortable as possible for individuals.

The center’s residential treatment program provides individuals with a secure, peaceful setting where they can acquire new coping mechanisms. Before having to put their newly acquired abilities to use in real-world situations, this aids them in becoming ready for life following treatment.

Reach out and begin recovery today.