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How Long Will My Medical Detox Take at Novus?
When someone decides that they need to go to a medical detox facility to help them withdraw from a drug or alcohol, they understandably always ask how long it will take to complete their detox:
This question is easy to answer for some medical detox facilities other than Novus. The reason—they have a fixed and unchanging detox protocol for each type of drug and for alcohol. That is just the way it is. Sometimes it is too short and the person is very uncomfortable—to the point that they leave and resume drinking or taking drugs to handle the discomfort. Sometimes it is unnecessarily long. But it is almost always unchanging.
This question is more complex to answer for Novus. Our patients are not subjected to a “standard” protocol but instead they are treated as they are—unique individuals who we assist to more comfortably and safely complete their detox based on their personal situation. The detox schedule for our patients changes frequently in response to how the patient is doing and in consideration of a number of factors.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT HOW LONG A NOVUS MEDICAL DETOX PROGRAM TAKES
Some of the specific factors that will affect the length of time that your Novus detox will take are:
- Your unique DNA and metabolism
- Your age
- Type of drug or alcohol from which you want to detox
- Amount of the drug or alcohol being consumed
- Length of time you have been taking the drug or drinking alcohol
- Your vitamin or mineral deficiencies
- Your state of hydration
- Your overall state of health
LET’S BRIEFLY ADDRESS EACH FACTOR THAT IS LISTED ABOVE
DNA AND METABOLISM AND THEIR EFFECT ON YOUR DRUG DETOX
- Perhaps the major reasons explaining the variations in time needed to detox more comfortably and safely from substances are the individual’s DNA and metabolism.
- All of us have differences in our DNA that explain the differences in how we look and how we react to drugs and alcohol.
- All of us may metabolize drugs and alcohol through the same pathways in the liver, but this doesn’t mean we metabolize the drugs and alcohol in the same way.
- Remember, our DNA is unique to us and the action of the enzymes that metabolize these substances is often different.
- For some, the enzymes will work “normally”, for others the enzymes will work more slowly or faster, and some may not even have the enzymes in the first place.
- For example, one person taking 60 milligrams of an opioid like OxyContin may metabolize and use all 60 milligrams of the opioid, while someone taking 100 milligrams may not metabolize the opioid fully and only receives the effect of 60 milligrams.
- So your personal DNA and metabolism will guide us in adjusting your detox so that you experience the most comfortable, safe and effective detox possible.
HOW AGE AFFECTS A MEDICAL DETOX
A 75-year-old person may be healthier than an 18-year-old, but as a general rule, as we age our bodies tend to function less efficiently. This generally means that a medical detox program will take longer for an older person than for a younger one.
However, because of all the other factors, sometimes an older person will detox more rapidly than a younger person on the same substance.
TYPE OF DRUG OR ALCOHOL FROM WHICH YOU WANT TO DETOX
Opiods/Opiates (Heroin, methadone, OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl patch, Vicodin)
- Generally, the most difficult opioid from which to detox is methadone.
- Depending on the dose and the other factors listed above, a methadone detox normally takes from 10 to 14 days. We have had people on lower doses finish in seven days, but on higher doses it generally takes between ten to 14 days.
Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin)
- In our experience, the most difficult benzodiazepine from which to detox is Xanax.
- Some people will complete their detox from Xanax in six to seven days, but the average time is normally more like seven to ten days. It can take this long because of the way that Xanax affects some of our patients. For some people, it can actually take several weeks or longer.
- Unless you address the actual causes of why you were taking Xanax after you leave Novus, these withdrawal symptoms, although normally much less severe, can continue for weeks after you leave Novus and contribute to a quick relapse. We will make sure that you have the information you need to take your next step so that you can avoid relapse.
- It is generally easier for a person who is addicted to wine to medically detox than it is for a person who is drinking an equivalent amount of bourbon or gin, but again it depends on all the factors listed here.
AMOUNT OF THE DRUG OR ALCOHOL BEING CONSUMED
- For example, higher doses of methadone generally require the longest detox time, but someone taking only 20 milligrams of methadone daily will almost certainly complete their detox more rapidly than someone taking 120 milligrams of OxyContin.
- If someone is drinking a bottle of wine a day, they will likely be able to complete their detox more rapidly than someone who is drinking a fifth of vodka a day.
LENGTH OF TIME YOU HAVE BEEN TAKING THE DRUG OR DRINKING ALCOHOL
- Generally, the longer you have been taking a drug or drinking alcohol to excess, the longer it will take for you to withdraw from the drug or detox from alcohol.
- This is because, over time the body becomes more dependent on the drug or alcohol to create the effects the person is seeking.
- And it is for this reason that it sometimes takes longer for the body’s natural production of the chemicals that the drug or alcohol was replacing to reach normal levels.
VITAMIN OR MINERAL DEFICIENCIES IN A DRUG DETOX
- Many people who come to Novus are deficient in vitamins and minerals.
- This means that their bodies will not work as efficiently and this is why we often see such rapid improvement after our patients receive vitamin IV’s and begin taking supplements.
- The more deficient the patient is when they arrive, the longer it will take for their bodies to begin to function more efficiently.
STATE OF HYDRATION AND MEDICAL DETOX
- While most people are dehydrated to some extent, people abusing alcohol or drugs normally have an even greater degree of dehydration. Hydration is one of the most important factors for anyone going through a medical detox.
- If a person is dehydrated, the body’s cells work less efficiently and since they make up the vital organs, the organs operate less effectively.
- Because the body accepts hydration like a sponge absorbs water — gradually building up instead of instantaneously, the longer it takes for our patients to become hydrated properly, the longer it takes to complete their detox.
- Fortunately, in most cases the IV’s and our use of electrolytes speeds the process of hydration and shortens the normal length of detox.
HOW YOUR OVERALL STATE OF HEALTH AFFECTS YOUR DETOX
- Novus can help the person who is dehydrated or who has vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but if someone has blood pressure problems or diabetes or heart problems, these will affect the length of time a person requires to complete a medical detox program.
- Because of the stress that too rapid a detox can cause, the person with other health problems normally takes longer to detox from the same substance as a person in better health.
CAN MY NOVUS MEDICAL DETOX STAY BE SHORTENED?
- Some people ask if a person withdrawing from under 70 milligrams of OxyContin can be withdrawn in less than the average of 6 to 8 days.
- The answer is yes, the person can detox more rapidly and some of our patients have completed their detox in five days.
- However, for most, if they try to speed up their detox too much, they will have very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and they may not be able to finish their program because the pain is too great.
DANGERS OF LEAVING MEDICAL DETOX TOO SOON
- Once started, not finishing a medical detox almost always leads to a resumption of the drug or alcohol use because of the withdrawal symptoms that a person is still experiencing and therefore resumes taking the drug or drinking alcohol to stop.
- If patients proceed with their Novus medical detox program in the manner designed to be most suitable to them, they will no longer be experiencing the painful withdrawal symptoms from the drug or alcohol and will be ready to take their next step toward freedom from the drug or alcohol.
- This next step could be going into a rehab program, or it could be going to other healthcare providers if the drug or alcohol use was started to control physical pain or because of another physiological problem.
NOTE: This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine, health care diagnosis or treatment, or (iii) the creation of a physician patient or clinical relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or that this information may be useful to you or others, please consult with your health care provider before applying any information from our articles to your personal situation or to the personal situation of others.
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