Drug detox

If you’re struggling with a drug addiction, a medically assisted detox might be right for you before you start addiction therapy.

  • Evidence-based treatment options
  • Online and face-to-face treatment
  • Highly qualified specialists

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Free addiction assessment

Page clinically reviewed by Dee Johnson (Mbacp, MNCS), Addiction Therapist at Priory Hospital Chelmsford.

Dee is a seasoned counsellor and supervisor with expertise in addiction therapy and has specialised in the addiction treatment programme since 2010. She practices as an integrative counsellor, with skills in CBT and mindfulness.

What is drug detox?

If you’re wondering what to expect from rehab, drug detox is a common stage in any drug rehabilitation journey.

Detox is the process by which toxic substances, such as drugs and alcohol, are broken down and passed out of the body. This happens as part of a comprehensive, medically assisted process, where we’ll help you to manage your withdrawal symptoms and ensure that you remain comfortable.

Ultimately, the aim of detox is to tackle the physical symptoms of your substance use disorder. Once you're physically stable, we’ll help you to address the underlying causes and triggers for your addictive behaviours as part of our residential addiction treatment programme.

Our drug detox programmes have been designed to ensure that this process is safe, thorough, and managed as smoothly as possible for everyone. Plus, it’s all done in a highly supportive, clinical environment.

Evidence shows that compassionate and supportive care is just as important as medication in the drug detox process. This is why we’re dedicated to providing exceptional support to our detox clients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Save 10% on addiction treatment

Priory is currently offering 10% off private self-pay addiction inpatient treatment, for admissions until 31st August inclusive. Get a free initial assessment with a therapist, to help you take the first step towards recovery. Call us on 0330 056 6023 to find out more. T&Cs apply.

Addiction treatment at Priory Hospital Altrincham

Priory Hospital Altrincham provides excellent addiction treatment programmes for both behavioural and substance addictions, as well as medically assisted detoxification.

Watch this short video to find out more:

Free addiction assessment

We recognise that reaching out for help can be daunting. That’s why we offer a free assessment with a Priory expert at your nearest Priory hospital if you are struggling with the symptoms of addiction. Call our dedicated team today to arrange a free, confidential assessment.

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How does drug detox work?

During your free initial drug addiction assessment, your specialist will be able to assess whether going through a drug detox is an appropriate step for you.

If this is the case, the next step will be for you to receive a medical assessment with one of our addiction and detox experts. The purpose of this is to gather important information on the nature of your drug addiction, as well as your medical history, to allow our detox specialists to develop your individual plan.

So, what happens during a detox? Drug detoxification at Priory takes place as part of our residential addiction treatment programme, which means that you'll stay at one of our hospitals for the duration of your detox. The process of detoxification usually lasts for between 7 to 10 days.

With round-the-clock care and specialist medication management, we’ll ensure that you’re closely looked after, safe and comfortable at all times. We have medical and nursing staff on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning we’re able to help you with any issues or concerns you have, and provide medical care in a swift and timely manner.

While there’s no medication that prevents all drug withdrawal symptoms, our team use appropriately controlled medication to help you cope with the detox process. This will help ease any anxiety and depression you might be feeling, help you to sleep, and counter as many other problems as possible.

Essentially, the goal of drug detox at Priory is to:

  • Remove all traces of harmful and addictive substances from your body
  • Reduce any withdrawal symptoms that you may experience when you no longer have drugs in your system, by using appropriately controlled medication

The type and severity of the symptoms you experience during detox depend on a range of factors, including:

  • The type of substance you’re addicted to
  • How long your body has been dependent on the substance
  • How much of the substance you’ve been taking
  • Your general physical and mental health

Drug withdrawal symptoms

The sudden removal of substances can cause a range of unpleasant, uncomfortable and sometimes distressing withdrawal symptoms.

Drug withdrawal can be a challenging and uncomfortable process, marked by a range of physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms are the body's response to the absence of the drug it has become dependent on. Expanding on the section, drug withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhoea
  • Headaches and Stomach Aches
  • Sweating, Shaking, and Shivering
  • Intense Cravings for the Drug
  • Mental Health Issues such as Depression, Anxiety, and Paranoia

It's important to note that the intensity and duration of these symptoms can vary greatly, influenced by factors like the type of drug used, the duration of use, and the individual's overall health and biology. Medical supervision during the withdrawal process is often recommended to manage these symptoms safely and effectively.

The most severe withdrawal symptoms from drug addiction represent serious health risks and require immediate medical attention. These symptoms include:

  • Seizures: During withdrawal, particularly from certain substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines, individuals may experience seizures. These seizures can be dangerous and indicate a severe level of physical dependency.
  • Hallucinations: Some individuals in withdrawal may experience hallucinations. These can be visual, auditory, or tactile and are often distressing. Hallucinations are most commonly associated with withdrawal from alcohol or certain prescription drugs.

It's crucial to understand that these severe symptoms can be life-threatening and require urgent medical care. They are a sign that the body is undergoing significant stress due to the absence of the substance it has become dependent on. Medical supervision in a controlled environment is strongly advised for individuals at risk of experiencing these severe withdrawal symptoms.

Save 10% on addiction treatment

Our free addiction assessment explained

Priory is currently offering 10% off private self-pay addiction inpatient treatment, for admissions until 31st August inclusive.

Get a free initial assessment with a therapist, to help you take the first step towards recovery. T&Cs apply.

  • Work with world-class addiction specialists
  • Network of rehabilitation centres nationwide
  • Range of therapeutic techniques used, including equine therapy

How long does drug detox take?

The structure and length of your detox plan will be guided by a number of different factors, including:

  • The level of your drug use (the amount you consume and how frequently)
  • The seriousness of your withdrawal symptoms
  • Your overall physical health and medical history

For most people, the detox process lasts for between 7 to 10 days. However, you’ll be able to start on our intensive programme of addiction therapy as soon as you’re physically able to, even if you’re still going through detox.

Where can I detox?

If you think you’re in need of a drug detox, it’s important that you get professional help. Trying to detox by yourself at home, without any monitoring or support, can be dangerous. Going ‘cold turkey’, without medical supervision, can lead to serious issues and can even be fatal.

While you’re detoxing with us, you’ll stay in a modern, well-equipped en-suite bedroom, which has been specifically designed to be welcoming and comfortable, in order to support you in your relaxation and recovery. In order to ensure that the detox process is as pleasant and restful as possible, we’ll also provide you with a range of entertainment facilities, such as books and a TV, to help you pass the time and serve as a distraction from your withdrawal symptoms.

Drug detox and withdrawal may seem overwhelming. However, at Priory, our specialist detox teams are dedicated to minimising the impact of your drug withdrawal symptoms, and offering you the expert service you need for successful and long-lasting addiction recovery.

Contact us to make an enquiry or for more information

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