Drugs and Alcohol Detox Process and Side Effects


Drug and alcohol addiction cause damage to the body and the brain. In addition, drug abuse may affect your work, family relations at home, and relationships with friends. For these reasons, an addict may choose to stop using drugs and alcohol. Detoxification is the initial process that a professional will help you go on your way to recovery. Drugs and alcohol detox process involves helping your body remove toxic substances from the body as the brain gradually adjusts to functioning without the use of drugs.

Drugs and Alcohol Detox Process

The drugs and alcohol detox process is possibly the most challenging part of drug recovery, because the addict will experience extreme side effects. However, with persistence, focus, and help from your professional, you can get to the other side. Detoxification has two major phases with different side effects.

Phase 1

It is the period between your first day and a few weeks after. It has the most severe side effects. The side effects differ from one person to the other depending on the level of addiction and the type of drug abuse.

Medication assessment in this stage is crucial as it helps evaluate personalized needs. The expert will gather details such as any underlying medical condition, family history, and the period of addiction. Such information is a determinant of suitable medication for the patient.

Medications such as Librium, Ativan valium, and Benzodiazepines are used in helping a patient manage withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness
  • Heart failure
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hypertension

Medications are addictive and should only be used on prescription and close monitoring. These medications are meant to ease some but not all withdrawal symptoms. They help reduce anxiety, depression, and sleep. It is, therefore, dangerous to use detox medication without the help of a physician.


It occurs weeks or days after your first step to recovery based on your recovery rate. For some individuals, the detox process occurs faster depending on their level of addiction, underlying medical conditions, and the type of drugs they were using. This stage has fewer severe symptoms as the brain has started getting used to a drug-free system. However, it has some side effects called post-acute withdrawal symptoms. They include:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Diminished appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings

Dangers of Detoxifying without Proper Medication

Information about detoxification is available on the internet. However, it is dangerous for an addict to go through the drug detoxification journey without professional help, because people may take the wrong drugs resulting in more damage. Click here to find out more on how you can detoxify with the aid of a professional. Some of the side effects of self-medication include:

  • Kidney or liver malfunction
  • Severe headache
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Intense cravings
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • pneumonia
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Extreme nausea
  • Hallucinations

Some of the side effects are extremely dangerous and may cause heart failure and death.

Staying Sober After Detoxification

Even after going through drugs and alcohol detox process, some people may go back to their abuse habit. To avoid such this, here are some things you can do to stay sober.

Join a Support Group

A support group involves people with the same recovery goals gathered together to share their experiences. They also share tips on how they manage their addiction problems and the challenges they go through. Such groups keep you focused on your recovery goals.

Seek Therapy

Professional counseling helps in managing withdrawal symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Seeking therapy will help you reconnect with yourself as well as other people.

Reconnect With Nature

Go fishing, take a walk or climb a nearby hill. Nature uplifts your moods and helps in managing depression and anxiety.

Create a Hobby

A hobby will keep your mind preoccupied and keep you away from people who abuse drugs. If your hobby involves a vigorous activity such as playing, you are likely to have a good sleep at night.

Quitting alcohol and drugs may seem difficult. However, with a proper detoxification process, it is possible. Find yourself something to do with your free time after detoxification and avoid going back to abusing drugs.