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I'm considering rehab, what can I expect when my body goes through detox?
Rehab - Freedom From Addiction

I’m considering rehab – what can I expect when my body goes through detox?


Thank you for your question. Before you enter a treatment facility, it should be determined whether or not you need to first go to a medical detox facility. A medical detox facility will help to manage your withdrawal symptoms more comfortably and safely as you will be medically supervised/monitored during this time.

What level of care you need will depend on what type of drug you have been using, for how long, and in what amount. Withdrawal symptoms will also vary from person to person depending on these factors.

For example, individuals who abuse opioids and painkillers, such as morphine, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, or street drugs such as heroin will experience several withdrawal symptoms.

According to the U.S National Library of Medicine early symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • A runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Late symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Opioid withdrawal reactions are very uncomfortable but are not typically life-threatening. Symptoms usually start within 12 hours of last heroin usage and within 30 hours of last methadone exposure.

However, after using opiates in high doses over an extended length of time, it is recommended that you work with a medical professional or go to a detox facility to safely and comfortably stop using.

Another example is cocaine. Cocaine can be a very addictive drug. There can be both physical and emotional reactions when someone stops using cocaine after a period of use and abuse. Restlessness, agitation, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and unpleasant dreams are common withdrawal symptoms from cocaine.

Withdrawal symptoms can occur even with mild use, and with heavy use, there are some potential medical concerns that might be present.  Withdrawal symptoms typically last between 24 hours to a few days. However, some post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last from weeks to even months.

It is important to consult a medical physician, a hospital, or detox facility when stopping alcohol or drugs, as symptoms of withdrawal can be life-threatening.

* All responses provided by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

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