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3-Day, 5-Day, and 7-Day Drug and Alcohol Detox

Most addiction treatment programs combine detox with rehab, which includes therapy and other services, to help patients free their bodies from harmful substances and begin working on their recovery. This combination is important because it provides patients with the opportunity to clear their bodies of drugs and alcohol as well as giving them the time to understand their addiction, so they have a greater chance at staying sober.


What is Drug and Alcohol Detox?

Detox, which is the process of clearing the body of toxins, is an important first step in the recovery process. People who have substance abuse problems and are dependent on those may need to go through detox, especially if they are dependent on specific substances. Beyond clearing the body of toxins, detox can also help manage potentially uncomfortable or harmful withdrawal symptoms.1 

People who are dependent on certain substances may need to go through detox as the first stage of treatment before they continue on to rehab. Drug detox and alcohol detox are meant to manage the acute and possibly dangerous physiological effects that may occur when an individual stops taking drugs or drinking alcohol.2

Not all substances require detox prior to addiction treatment but it is recommended for some, especially when withdrawal symptoms may be uncomfortable, painful, or even potentially fatal. Substances that may require detox include:

  • Alcohol.
  • Opioids.
  • Benzodiazepines.
  • Heroin.
  • Barbiturates.
  • Sedatives.
  • Cocaine.

Does Insurance Cover Rehab for Detoxification?

Most insurance companies cover at least some of the cost of rehab, which may include 1-day, 3-day, 5-day and 7-day detox. If you are looking for detox and addiction treatment, it can feel overwhelming. As you consider your options, knowing exactly what your insurance plan covers can give you peace of mind while you or your loved one is in rehab. You can do the work of getting and staying sober without worrying about unexpected costs or financial struggles. For more information on what your insurance plan covers, call AAC at , click here, or fill out the form below.


Medication Used for Drug and Alcohol Detox

Medically managed withdrawal may be necessary during detox because of the unpleasant and potentially deadly side effects that may result as the substance leaves the body.2 Potential side effects may require management through medications administered by a doctor in either an inpatient or outpatient facility. There are medications that are used to treat withdrawal symptoms for those who cease using opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and other sedatives.2

Depending on the substance of abuse, medications prescribed for medically managed withdrawal may include:4

  • Methadone.
  • Buprenorphine.
  • Naltrexone.
  • Acamprosate.
  • Disulfiram.

How Long Does Detox Take?

Detox can last for a few days up to a few weeks, depending on the specific situation of the individual. While it would be ideal if a patient could have a specific timeframe for detox, it isn’t possible to exactly pinpoint the amount of time it will take for detox to be complete. A 7-day detox provides a common timeframe for individuals who fall between less and more severe addiction, but that window is not guaranteed.

Additionally, there are various factors that may impact the length of detox, including the following:

  • The type of substance that was abused: Different drug types can have greater potential for dependence and higher risk of withdrawal. Certain drugs carry a much greater risk of uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The duration and severity of detox varies based on the substance.
  • Individual characteristics: Each person is unique and has their own physical makeup. In addition to drug use patterns, a patient’s hydration, nutrition, metabolism, and health profile can affect detox length.
  • Level of substance abuse: The length, recency, and degree of abuse can also impact the detox timeline. Those who have used drugs or alcohol for a longer period of time, in a greater amount, or recently may require a longer detox.
  • Multi-substance abuse: Those who are abusing more than one substance simultaneously may require additional detox.
  • Co-occurring disorders: Detox may be prolonged if a patient has other disorders that also require treatment.

Length of Detox: 1-Day 3-Day, 5-Day, and 7-Day

Typically, detox does not take place over a specific amount of time, but rather it is considered complete once the patient is no longer going through withdrawal and the body is cleared of toxins. So, if you are looking for something specific like a 7-day drug detox program, know that there are various factors that can impact the length of your detox.

Some of the factors that affect detox length include:1

  • The type of substance being abused: Drugs and alcohol leave the system at different rates and have different levels of withdrawal symptoms, so detox may be extended.
  • The length of time the substance was misused: Patients who have used substances regularly over long periods of time may have a dependence on the substance that can impact the withdrawal process.
  • The amount of the substance that was misused: Those who increase their substance use regularly may require a longer detox timeframe.

What Happens in a Detox Program?

The withdrawal syndromes associated with certain types of physical substance dependence can be unpleasant and possibly even dangerous. Those who are at risk of developing these withdrawal syndromes benefit from the added supervision, monitoring and, potentially, the pharmacologic interventions availed by medical detox settings. 2-4 In many situations, medication will be prescribed to help ease withdrawal symptoms associated with certain drugs, including heroin and prescription opioid drugs.2-4 The method of treatment—including specific treatment medications—received during detox will depend on the specific substance(s) being abused.5 While in detox, the specific medication required will differ based on the type of substance dependence and the potential risk of the withdrawal syndrome.

The detox process can be intense but is an important part of recovery. It typically includes the following stages:

  • Evaluation: Patients are assessed to ensure they receive the appropriate care and support as they go through medically supervised detox.
  • Stabilization: Patients may experience withdrawal symptoms as their body clears of toxins. The type and severity of those symptoms depends on the drugs that were used. This stage is meant to keep patients medically stable. Medication may be used, depending on the abused substance, to keep patients comfortable and safe as they detox.
  • Continuing treatment: Patients receive support and care around-the-clock during detox. As they complete the process, they will need to determine their next step in treatment. Detox is only the first step, and continued treatment, through inpatient or outpatient programs, therapy, etc., is imperative as patients continue to work on their recovery.

What is a Rapid Detox Program?

A rapid detox program places an individual under anesthesia for a period of time so that the patient is sedated while an opioid blocker brings on withdrawal. The intention is to accelerate the withdrawal process so that the patient wakes up with the drug cleared from their body so that withdrawal effects are minimized.6

However, rapid detox has not been proven to be any more effective. In fact, one clinical trial found that patients treated with rapid detox suffered withdrawal symptoms at the same severity as those who went through traditional detox.6 The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) does not recommend rapid detox because of its various dangerous and potentially life-threatening risks.


What are Same Day Emergency Detox Centers?

Rapid admission to a detox program may help reduce risks and could potentially save lives. Withdrawal from certain substances may be dangerous and even possibly deadly, and same-day admission to a detox facility could help people survive.

Individuals may require same-day admission to detox if they are experiencing withdrawal from alcohol, sedative-hypnotics, or opioids. If you or a loved one is at risk of experiencing unpleasant, painful, or potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, you may be able to enroll in a detox program as soon as the same day.


Outpatient Treatment Facilities for Detoxing

Some outpatient rehab programs provide detox treatment services at a medical facility during the day and allow patients to return home each night. Outpatient detox may be most suitable for people with relatively recent or less severe addictions, those with good support systems at home, and individuals with no other complicating medical or psychological issues.2

Outpatient treatment may be most useful for those patients with little risk of experiencing severe withdrawal so they will not need intensive 24-hour care. Additional advantages may include great social support outside of treatment by maintaining contact with friends and family; maintaining employment, school, or other personal and professional duties; and more flexibility during treatment.


Inpatient Treatment Facilities for Detoxing

Inpatient detox protocols may be somewhat similar to those found in an outpatient setting, but care takes place with the additional supervision afforded by the inpatient environment. In contrast to their outpatient counterparts, inpatient rehab has patients reside at the treatment center rather than going home in the evenings.

One of the main advantages to this type of treatment program is that patients are removed from the temptations and old habits of prior drug and alcohol use. This can help decrease the likelihood of relapse prior to treatment completion. Another benefit is the enhanced access to medical services, should they be needed. Those at risk of severe and/or dangerous withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings may benefit most from a drug and alcohol inpatient detox center.2


How to find 1-Day, 3-Day, 5-Day and 7-Day Detox Centers Near Me

There are detox facilities around the country, and many of them are part of inpatient or outpatient rehab facilities, so that you can continue your treatment after detox. As you research treatment facilities, remember that it is important to select a program that meets your individual needs and required level of care.

For more information about detox, you may want to reach out to your medical provider. Or you can contact one of our admissions navigators at for the information and support you are looking for as you look for a detox facility.

There are various treatment programs and strategies available for detox, so don’t give up if the first program you check out doesn’t meet your individual needs. To learn more about the addiction treatment process, click here. There are various rehabs near me that can provide the detox and continued treatment you need as you begin on your path toward sobriety.

Detox is the first step on the path toward recovery, so take that first step today.


Recommended Guides on Detox and Alcohol

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