The first stage in your private drug rehab is detoxification. Drug detox is when your body is given enough time to expel all drug residue from your system.

Detoxification is arguably the most vital component of rehabilitation, although perhaps the toughest to tackle.

Drug detoxification is conducted in a medically controlled environment where our qualified medical team observes your progress 24 hours a day until stabilisation is achieved. Our detox programmes are run by professional, medically qualified staff to ensure a safe environment for our clients.

Drug detox is required when you become addicted to certain illicit substances. These illegal substances requiring a medically assisted detox give rise to physical withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to cease taking these drugs.

Examples of drugs giving rise to physical withdrawal symptoms and hence requiring a detox include the likes of alcohol, opiates and certain prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines and hypnotics.

In contrast, drugs that do not give powerful rise to physical withdrawal symptoms do not typically require a medically assisted detox such as cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines.

If you are addicted to drugs requiring a detox programme, you must choose the environment where you will undergo your detox programme. Generally, you have two broad choices. Firstly, you may experience your detox programme ‘in the community’.

This is also known as a ‘home detox’. Alternatively, you may undergo your treatment at a residential rehab centre. Here, you will be removed from your drug-using environment, and you will also benefit from 24/7 medical observation.

A residential detox programme is by far the superior option compared to a home detox programme.

Detox typically takes around 14 days to complete. As a rule of thumb, an opiate detox will take longer than an alcohol detox. Addiction to certain addiction drugs may take up to four weeks to complete.

A detox programme treats the physical symptoms of drug addiction. To treat the underlying mental causes of drug addiction, you must generally undertake a rehabilitation programme, which requires around 30 to 90 days to complete.

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Drug Addictions We Treat

Drug addictions that we treat at Ocean Recovery includes:

What Happens During A Drug Detox Programme?

The human body is a fantastic and very intelligent instrument capable of many things, but one of the most impressive is its capacity to main the stability of multiple variables which include water levels, acidity, temperature and more. This is known as Homeostasis, and it is a balanced state that is compromised every time you take a drug.

When you take drugs, it will often change the number of neurotransmitters within the brain. Stimulant drugs often result in an increase in dopamine and serotonin.  The reason that drugs are so addictive however is because these neurotransmitters typically intermingle with the brain’s reward system.

Drug detox will always begin with an initial assessment. This assessment aims to capture relevant information about you and your addiction to drugs.

The assessment will determine your personal details and any information concerning your drug addiction history. The assessment will ascertain any previous treatment attempts you have made and whether you suffer from dual-diagnosed mental health problems.

This initial assessment is typically conducted over the telephone. When your detox programme begins, the information captured during this initial assessment will be sent to a qualified staff member.

They will review your assessment notes before carrying out a thorough in-person psychiatric assessment. Following the completion of this assessment, we will decide upon a suitable detox programme for you to follow over the subsequent weeks.

You will be given prescription medications that help to ease otherwise uncontrollable withdrawal symptoms. This prescription will allow the clinical team to increase or decrease the dose of these anti-withdrawal medications as they see fit.

Generally, the amount of medication you are given will correspond to the level of withdrawal symptoms you experience during your drug detox programme.

As your detox programme proceeds, your body and your mind will undergo a number of physical changes. Your organism will effectively ‘reset’ itself. Within the brain, neurotransmitters will begin to re-adjust to natural levels. This re-adjustment in the brain’s underlying chemistry is the chief cause of withdrawal symptoms.

Anti-withdrawal medications aim to slow down these changes by mimicking the drug you are addicted to. However, these anti-withdrawal medications will not allow you to experience a feeling of ‘being high’ so they thus have low abuse potential.

During the conclusion of your detox programme, anti-withdrawal medications will themselves be reduced and then ceased. At this point, you are said to be ‘fully detoxed’.

If you suffer from dual-diagnosed mental health problems, these problems may intensify during your detox. However, the detox clinic may prescribe medications that are legally designed to treat these issues. You will also benefit from therapy sessions that likewise attempt to treat underlying mental causes of drug addiction.

Following detoxification, clients are subject to a consultation. During the 10-day drug detoxification programme, you are subject to 24-hour a day medical observation. The amount of support you require during this time depends heavily on the nature of your drug addiction.

Medications easing withdrawal symptoms are offered during detoxification. Our support staff ensure you receive four nutritious meals per day.

Undergoing A Drug Detox Without A Rehab Programme

Whilst a drug detox programme may require a week or two to complete, an entire rehabilitation programme may require much longer. Typically, a rehabilitation programme may require 4-12 weeks to complete, perhaps costing thousands of pounds.

You may not have access to this time nor the funds to undergo a complete rehabilitation programme. In this situation, you may consider undergoing a ‘bare-bones’ detox programme and thus skipping the more comprehensive rehabilitation programme.

Undergoing a detox programme without a complete rehabilitation programme means you will keep the cost of undergoing addiction treatment to a minimum. You will also ensure your career, family or business commitments are not significantly disrupted by your treatment needs.

Suppose you choose to undergo a detox without undergoing a rehabilitation programme. In that case, you may always elect to undergo therapy sessions on an out-client basis following the completion of your residential drug detox programme.

How Long Will Drug Detoxification Take?

The main factor impacting the duration of your drug detox programme is the specific drug you are addicted to. If you are addicted to an opiate such as heroin, expect your detox to last for 14 days.

If you have experienced opiate addiction for many years, your detox programme may require up to 28 days to complete, although this is rare, and you should generally expect your detox to last no longer than 14 days.

During detoxification, several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may be experienced. The severity of symptoms depends on the drug you consumed and the severity of your addiction.

Drugs such as heroin involve withdrawal symptoms of a physical nature. This means you may require up to 15 days to ‘stabilise’ during detoxification.

Drugs such as ecstasy display withdrawal symptoms of a psychological nature rather than physical. Therefore detoxification typically tends to last no more than five days.

You may qualify for our rapid detox programme, for instance, for heroin. Our standard drug detoxification programme runs for ten days, but custom packages are available.

After completing your detox, you may nevertheless continue to feel unwell. You are not advised to discharge yourself from the detox clinic’s care until you feel physically well and energetic.

Are There Natural Ways of Overcoming a Drug Detox?

Often one of the first things people search for is natural drug detoxification methods. We always recommend talking to a doctor before starting a drug detox.

However, we have listed a few natural remedies that may help you during a medically assisted detox. Again, you must consult the advice of a doctor before you try and detox from drugs, as going it alone can lead to fatal consequences.

Herbal Remedies

Some of the below-listed herbal remedies have been proven in studies to alleviate some of the symptoms of drug detoxification.

Peppermint – Peppermint, mainly tea, is known for its ability to settle the stomach, and many people consume peppermint following a large meal. This study shows that the consumption of peppermint through inhalation can reduce stomach pain and symptoms of feeling sick.

Chamomile – widely regarded for its ability to aid sleep, chamomile has also been recognised in studies to be an effective treatment for other symptoms you may experience during drug detox, such as anxiety.

Ginseng – Ginseng has become a prevalent herb in several teas, following multiple resources listing the multitude of benefits that it can provide. One of the most common symptoms those who go through a drug detox face is fatigue, and studies have shown that Ginseng is especially effective in combatting feelings of fatigue.

What Happens After My Drug Detox Programme Concludes?

Many people completing a drug detox programme will progress onto a full rehabilitation programme, and this will typically occur at the same treatment clinic where you undertook your detox programme.

When you elect to undergo a complete drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme, you will benefit from many therapies. This includes 12-step work, traditional psychotherapy and modern cognitive and behavioural therapy. You will also benefit from many holistic and complementary therapies.

If you elect to complete a residential rehabilitation programme, you may choose to undergo therapy on an out-client basis.

This treatment may be offered by the same treatment clinic where you underwent your residential detox programme. Alternatively, the clinic where you experienced your detox may be able to recommend another treatment provider that specialises in out-client treatment.

Another popular option following the completion of your detox programme is to attend mutual support group meetings. These support group meetings are run by organisations such as SMART Recovery or Narcotics Anonymous.

These organisations are ubiquitous throughout the United Kingdom, and you will likely locate one of these meetings within a short distance from your home – we will suggest this to our clients once they leave us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right rehab treatment provider can be a life-changing decision; here are some of the most common questions we are asked pre-admission.

How do I access drug detox near me?

Ocean Recovery treatment services are ready and waiting to help you get set up in our state-of-the-art drug rehab centre so that you can start overcoming your drug addiction through the best possible addiction treatments. However, one of the hardest things that an addict can do is actually reach out for help when they need it most. Admitting that you have an issue is never easy, but the fact that you are here suggests that you have already made this admission to yourself. The next step is to pick up the phone or even send us a message, only then can we help you get the assistance you need.

How do I convince a family member to get help?

Approaching anyone about their addiction is never easy. Addicts can be quick to feel judged and threatened when approached about their addiction and by approaching them in the wrong way you can actually push them further away from getting the treatment they need. There is a lot of training and expertise required when staging an intervention and/or convincing someone who you care about to take the necessary steps to overcome their addiction.

Approaching them from a place of understanding while also remaining firm about the impact their lifestyle is having on those around them is a necessary balance. For more information and guidance on this difficult topic, reach out to our helpline and enquire about our family and friend referral schemes.

What Is Dual-Diagnosis?

Dual-diagnosis a form of treatment during which our trained therapists may implement more standardised therapies in conjunction with treatments aimed at treating your addiction. This is often done when patients are suffering from depression and/or other mental health illnesses which can be treated at the same time as your addiction. Often times addiction can mask other mental health illnesses which will become more present when your addiction starts to have less of a hold on you. Not everyone will require this treatment, but it is very effective when necessary.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: March 15, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Alexander Lapa - Clinical Reviewer at Ocean Recovery

Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist) - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: June 28, 2022

MBBS, PG Dip Clin Ed, OA Dip CBT, OA Dip Psychology, SCOPE Certified

Dr Lapa graduated in Medicine in 2000 and since this time has accrued much experience working in the widest range of psychiatric settings with differing illness presentations and backgrounds in inpatient, community and secure settings. This has been aligned to continuation of professional development at postgraduate level in clinical research which has been very closely related to the everyday clinical practice conducted by this practitioner as a NHS and Private Psychiatrist.
He is fully indemnified by the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) and MIAB Expert Insurance for Psychiatric and Private Medical practice. He is fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK with a licence to practice.

Dr Lapa is approved under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act (1983)

Member of Independent Doctors Federation (IDF), British Association for Psychopharmacology (BMA) and The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)

Dr Lapa’s extensive experience has also concentrated on the following areas of clinical practice:
– Assessment, Diagnosis and Pharmacological Treatment for Adults with ADHD.
– Drug and Alcohol Dependency and maintaining abstinence and continued recovery
– Intravenous and Intramuscular Vitamin and Mineral Infusion Therapy
– Dietary and Weight Management and thorough care from assessment to treatment to end goals and maintenance
– Aesthetic Practice and Procedures