What Are Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms & What Can Help During Detox

Taking hydrocodone regularly over a long period, or using more than prescribed, can lead to the development of a tolerance — meaning the body has become accustomed to the drug. Increasingly higher doses are required to provide the same level of pain control, which adds to increased dependence. When stopped, hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are difficult on the body as it works to adjust without the drug. If you’ve become dependent on hydrocodone, never attempt to quit “cold turkey.” Instead, educate yourself on the symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal addiction and how to detox yourself safely.

What Is Hydrocodone & What Are Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms?

Hydrocodone is an opioid painkiller sold as a combination of two medicines. Hydrocodone with acetaminophen is marketed as Vicodin, Lortab, or Norco; hydrocodone with ibuprofen is marketed as Vicoprofen, Reprexain, or Ibudone. 

The Most Common Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Hydrocodone is a powerful medication intended to relieve moderate to severe pain or to suppress coughs. Although it is one of the most commonly prescribed opioid painkillers in the United States, it isn’t meant for long-term use, and it can be habit-forming. Common side effects and symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal addiction may include:

Hydrocodone is a powerful medication is intended to relieve moderate to severe pain or to suppress coughs. Although it is one of the most commonly prescribed opioid painkillers in the United States, it isn’t meant for long-term use, and it can be habit-forming. Common side effects and symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal addiction may include:

  • Severe cravings
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Aching muscles or joints
  • Headaches, chills, sweating, goosebumps, or other flu-like symptoms
  • Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Racing heart
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Thoughts of suicide

What Can Help With Withdrawal From Hydrocodone?

It’s important to never attempt to stop hydrocodone on your own, as hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous. Medical detox is the safest and most comfortable way to get off the drug. 

A physician will help you determine which hydrocodone withdrawal treatment is the safest way to taper your body off the drug. The optimum schedule for tapering depends on several factors, such as the amount of hydrocodone you typically use, the length of time you’ve been using it, and the type and level of pain you experience.

Fast tapering involves stopping hydrocodone relatively quickly, and the body is free of the drug in a few days or weeks. This hydrocodone withdrawal treatment should take place on an inpatient basis where blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate are monitored 24/7. Medications are available to help with severe hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms. You may receive IV fluids to restore proper hydration, and your doctor may prescribe safer, less addictive medications if pain is an issue.

For some people, gradually tapering over weeks or months may be safer and more effective. Inpatient treatment is often recommended for people who are tapering slowly, although outpatient treatment may be suitable in some situations.

What Helps Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms During Detox? 

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during detox. If you are nauseated, take small sips, or try an electrolyte-replacement beverage such as Pedialyte. 
  • Avoid soda and other sugary drinks. If possible, skip coffee, as caffeinated drinks may worsen tremors and shaking. 
  • Ask your doctor if you can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with muscle or joint aches.
  • Eat regular, nutritious meals. If your stomach is upset, try eating small meals throughout the day. Bland foods such as toast, crackers, rice, or broth may be easier to tolerate. Your doctor may also recommend nutritional supplements.
  • Ask your physician if exercise is safe for you. If she approves, light exercise may ease mild aches and pains, lessen depression and anxiety, and may also help you sleep better. Try deep breathing, gentle stretching, or short walks. 
  • Reading, listening to music, doing puzzles, or watching TV will keep you busy and may distract you from uncomfortable symptoms.

How Medication Assisted Treatment Helps With Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Aside from the tips listed above, there are also a few prescribed medications that help with hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms:


Approved for medical use in the United States in 1981, Buprenorphine has been proven to be a safe, effective treatment for opioid addiction, particularly when used in combination with behavioral therapy and counseling

Also known as “bupe,” buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist, which means euphoria and other opioid-like symptoms are limited by a “ceiling effect.” The potential for abuse is still present but substantially reduced.

Subutex & Suboxone

The FDA approved Subutex and Suboxone in 2002. Both contain buprenorphine, and both can reduce cravings, lessen withdrawal symptoms, and reduce the risk of relapse. The difference is that Suboxone also contains naloxone, (marketed as “Narcan”). Naloxone is a powerful deterrent that triggers sudden, acute withdrawal symptoms if the drug is smoked or injected.  


In 2010, the FDA okayed the use of Vivitrol to help people with opioid addictions. While Subutex and Suboxone are taken daily, Vivitrol is administered via injection once every month. 

There are certain risks to medication-assisted hydrocodone withdrawal treatment, including possible overdose if the drug is misused. You must detox from hydrocodone 7 to 10 days before beginning any medication containing buprenorphine or naloxone. 

Drugs containing buprenorphine or naloxone should be used as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. While the medications can help with physical withdrawal symptoms, counseling is needed to address depression, anxiety, and other issues that often underlie addiction.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Withdrawal Last?

The intensity and length of hydrocodone withdrawal depend on the dosage, how long you used the drug, and how fast the drug is tapered. If the doses were small, withdrawal might not last long. However, hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are likely to be more severe if you took large doses, and the drug has built up in your body.

Other factors, including age, weight, gender, and overall health, will affect the length and intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms usually begin six to 12 hours after the last dose, then peak at about 72 hours. Some symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and insomnia, may last a month or more.

The Importance Of Hydrocodone Detox Treatment

The physical withdrawal from hydrocodone is the first step to better health, but a strong substance abuse treatment program will increase your chances of long-term recovery. Usually, treatment begins as soon as your body is free of hydrocodone and other drugs. 

Hydrocodone withdrawal treatment involves various forms of therapy, such as one-on-one counseling, group therapy, or 12-Step groups. People never intend to become addicted, but trouble often begins when drugs are used to help them cope with painful thoughts or emotions. If you struggle with issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, or PTSD, counseling will help. 

Also helpful are intensive techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), which will help you recognize and change destructive thought patterns and replace them with more positive ways of dealing with stress. 

If you or a loved one are suffering from a hydrocodone addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us online, or give us a call at (866) 971-5531 today.

woman considering how to detox from benzos

How to Detox from Benzodiazepine Safely

The opioid crisis has captured the public’s attention for the past several years. Still, health officials in the United States are concerned that benzodiazepine addiction, often referred to as America’s other drug problem, are quickly becoming a serious threat. Problems can occur rapidly, and detoxing off benzos isn’t a matter of simply stopping.

If you’re ready to get off benzodiazepines, understanding how to detox from benzodiazepines safely, with the help of trained medical professionals, is the first step to recovery. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed; millions of people have been in the same boat.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, commonly known as “benzos,” are powerful medications that slow down activity in the central nervous system. They are widely prescribed to treat problems such as anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. Although there are several types of benzos on the market, the most common include Xanax, Librium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms can Begin Quickly

There’s little doubt that benzodiazepines are useful medications, but they are intended for short-term use only. All types of benzodiazepines can result in tolerance relatively quickly — as soon as a few days for certain short-acting benzodiazepines, and a month or two for longer-acting benzos.  

When the body becomes addicted to benzos it develops a  tolerance, so increasingly higher doses are required to reach the same level of effectiveness. With continued use, tolerance can lead to physical dependence within a few days or weeks. At this point, it becomes difficult to cope without the drug and attempting to stop results in cravings and other challenging benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms. 

Benzodiazepine Detox: Withdrawal Symptoms

Research indicates that approximately 50 to 80 percent of people who have used benzodiazepines continuously for at least six months will experience some level of withdrawal symptoms when reducing use or quitting. 

The severity of withdrawal symptoms while detoxing from benzodiazepines varies widely depending on the individual and may range from mild to severe. Symptoms are unpredictable and can seesaw from day to day — mild or nearly nonexistent on some days, and extremely troublesome on other days. Eventually, the good days will outnumber the bad.

There’s no way to predict the intensity of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, but the following may occur:

  • Cravings
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Nightmares
  • Restlessness
  • Weakness
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Lack of coordination
  • Indigestion
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches 
  • Trembling 
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks, anxiety, or agoraphobia
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Rapid mood changes

Although they are less common, severe benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can occur. People who stop suddenly, or those who have used benzos over a long period, may experience aching jaws or scalp, sinus pain, nosebleeds, changes in appetite, cravings for sweet foods, loss of libido, rashes or itchy, dry skin, depression, rage or aggression, and in some cases, hallucinations, paranoia, or even seizures.

The experts at 1st Step Behavioral Health can provide more information on benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal.

Inpatient Benzodiazepine Detox is Safer Than Detoxing At-Home

Some people can detox off benzodiazepine safely at home, with the ongoing support and advice of a physician. You may be required to pick up your daily dose at a clinic or pharmacy, and you may need to have a friend or family member with you around the clock for the first several days. While at-home detox works for some people, the risk of painful side effects is high. Relapse is also more likely.

Inpatient benzodiazepine detox is the best way to ensure your safety, especially if you have used the drugs for a long time, if previous attempts to stop have been unsuccessful, or if you’re also dependent on alcohol, opiates, or other drugs. Inpatient benzodiazepine detox is also advised if you have mental health issues or medical problems, or if you’re pregnant. 

Benzodiazepine detox centers offer many benefits that increase the chance of long-term success, including group and individual counseling, education, stress management techniques, family support, and aftercare.  You may receive antidepressants to relieve depression, or safer medications to help anxiety while detoxing from benzodiazepines.

Tapering Gradually: Common Benzodiazepine Detox Protocols

Detoxing of benzodiazepine “cold turkey” is rarely a good solution, as withdrawal can be challenging both emotionally and physically. In some cases, seizures and other life-threatening symptoms may occur when withdrawal is unmanaged by a physician. 

If you’ve become addicted to benzodiazepines, the safest way to detox is to reduce the dosage little by little with the advice and guidance of a medical professional until you are drug-free. Slower withdrawal affects the intensity of symptoms significantly. Some people who taper very slowly experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.  

Benzodiazepine detox protocol will vary depending on several factors depending on the dosage, length of time you have used the drug, your age, and your overall health. Your medical provider may recommend that you take doses at regular intervals throughout the day rather than waiting for times of stress. This allows the level of drugs in your bloodstream to stabilize before lowering the dose, thus minimizing the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 

Your doctor may recommend that you remain on a reduced level for days or weeks before reducing your dosage again, or she may prescribe a shorter-acting benzodiazepine before adjusting the dose, depending mainly on how you’re feeling.  Keep in mind that you may experience a temporary increase in symptoms following each reduction.

How Long Does it Take to Detox From Benzodiazepines?

There’s no way to know how long it will take to detox from benzos, but it depends primarily on how long you’ve been taking the drugs. If you’ve used benzos for only a few weeks or months, the reduction in doses will probably occur relatively quickly.

On the other hand, reducing the dosage will take longer — several months or as long as two or three years — if you have taken the drug for a long time. Try to be patient with yourself; everybody moves at their own pace, and rushing the process will make the experience more difficult and complicated than it needs to be. 

Although you may not notice positive changes right away, you’ll soon begin to feel healthier and more confident.

Get Help Detoxing of Benzos Today: Reach Out for Help

No one has to struggle alone. If you or a loved one is addicted to benzodiazepine, we’re here to support you, and our team of addiction professionals will guide you through each step of your recovery journey. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (855) 425-4846 for more information about our effective inpatient benzodiazepine detox, or contact us here.

How to Detox from Methadone Safely

Methadone has helped many people stop or cut down their use of heroin and other opioids such as morphine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone. Methadone works by lessening severe cravings and other painful withdrawal symptoms, and also blocks feelings of euphoria.

When used as prescribed, methadone allows people to resume stable, productive lives, particularly when used in conjunction with counseling, education, and the support of friends and family.

Unfortunately, because methadone is a type of slow-acting opioid drug, it isn’t trouble-free and may become habit-forming. Addiction can occur when the drug is improperly used for pain control, or when it is used recreationally, and even people who have taken methadone as directed may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms upon stopping. Most people that use it want to do so as a short-term solution, and often find themselves looking for how to detox off methadone safely.

What Are the Effects of Methadone Withdrawal?

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Methadone?

Detoxing from methadone is different for everybody, and the timeline varies depending on how long you’ve used methadone, the size of the doses, your age, weight, metabolism, body fat content, and your overall health. Use of alcohol or other drugs will also affect the detox process.

The experts at 1st Step Behavioral Health can provide specifics about your timeline for getting off methadone safely.

The Most Common Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

When detoxing off methadone, the symptoms that appear during the first few days may feel a lot like a case of the flu, and may include:

  • Fever
  • Sweating and chills
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Goosebumps
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

The effects of methadone withdrawal usually peak between three and eight days, and this is generally the roughest time. You may experience:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches 
  • Severe cravings
  • Muscle tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Physical & Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms of Methadone

The difficult physical symptoms of detoxing off methadone usually subside after eight to ten days, and you’ll begin to feel quite a bit better. However, you may continue to experience psychological symptoms such as cravings, insomnia, anxiety, depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating for several weeks, or possibly even longer.

Try not to be discouraged if unpleasant methadone withdrawal symptoms continue longer than you expected. The symptoms won’t last forever, and they will gradually subside. 

What Is the Best Way to Detox From Methadone?

When determining how to detox off methadone, medical supervision at a methadone detox center such as 1st Step Behavioral Health is the best way. A doctor or nurse will be present around the clock, and they will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature frequently. You may receive prescribed medications to minimize nausea and other uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Your medical provider may recommend tapering off methadone gradually to minimize withdrawal symptoms, but there’s no single way that works for everybody. If you’re healthy, your doctor may want to taper the drug fairly quickly, or she may recommend slower tapering to ease you off methadone little by little.

Can I Quit Methadone Cold Turkey?

You may be contemplating how to detox from methadone quickly so you can move on with your life. These thoughts are understandable. However, the effects of methadone withdrawal can be intense, and quitting cold turkey, without the direction of a physician, is never a good plan. 

Quitting cold turkey also increases the chance of relapse, and the effects of methadone withdrawal may be so uncomfortable that you may be hesitant to try again.

Should I Try Detoxing Off Methadone at Home?

Don’t attempt methadone detox at home unless your doctor has determined that at-home detox will be safe for you. Be honest with your doctor about your substance use, and follow her directions to the letter. Never try to detox at home if you have diabetes, a heart condition, or any other pre-existing health problem.

Keep in mind that without medical supervision, you may become severely dehydrated as a result of sweating and diarrhea or vomiting. Dehydration can easily result in an electrolyte imbalance that can trigger headaches, muscle cramps, confusion, or dizziness. Although they aren’t a common effect of methadone withdrawal, seizures are possible. 

If your medical provider gives you the go-ahead for methadone detox at home, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Your doctor may recommend electrolyte replacement drinks, and possibly Vitamin C and B supplements. Be sure a friend or family member is with you 24/7 for the first several days, then get into treatment as soon as possible.

How to Help Methadone Withdrawal: Tips & Best Practices

The following tips may help, whether you’re detoxing at home or a methadone detox center:

  • You may not feel like eating much for a few days, but do your best to eat small, nutritious meals regularly. Try bland foods like crackers, toast, or rice. Avoid refined sugar and fatty, greasy foods.
  • Over-the-counter medications may help with headaches, upset stomach, or aches and pains, but always ask your physician first.
  • Go easy on sugary or caffeinated beverages, which can worsen dehydration. Forego alcoholic beverages during detox.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration, including dry mouth, extreme thirst, little or no urination, or fever.
  • Sip water throughout the day if you feel queasy.
  • Distraction will also help you get through the withdrawal process. Read, listen to music, watch a movie, or talk to a supportive friend. 
  • It may feel good to take a walk in the fresh air, or try gentle stretching or deep breathing. 
  • Acupuncture or massage may also help as you taper off methadone.
  • Call your medical provider immediately if you’re concerned about your symptoms.

Take the 1st Step Towards Methadone Detox Today

If you’re ready to detox from methadone, it’s essential to get all the facts first. Whether you detox at home or at a methadone detox center, treatment is critical and should be started right away. One-on-one or group counseling and education will help you learn methods of coping with stress, and you’ll identify triggers that can lead to relapse. 

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, our team of counselors, physicians, and other professionals will be with you through every step of the process and will ensure you have the highest possible chance of success. Call us at 855-425-4846 or contact us here for more information.

how long does it take to detox from alcohol

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

Alcohol addiction and the length of detox is dependent upon a variety of factors due to the severity of the addiction. Alcohol is a powerful substance that can cause extreme physical and mental effects. Long-term abuse can result in damage to many vital organs, including the kidneys, liver, and heart.

In addition to possible health risks, alcohol abuse can also lead to bad choices. Some of these choices could result in severe harm or death to one’s self or others. Driving while intoxicated or having unprotected sex are two potentially dangerous risks of binge drinking or abusing alcohol.

Many people who struggle with an addiction to alcohol eventually reach a point where they realize they have a problem. At this point, they may wish to get help. For various reasons, some of these people try to get clean on their own by attempting self-detox. 

Though these attempts are grounded in good intentions, they’re commonly unsuccessful and can lead to the user giving in to the temptation for another drink; thus, the cycle of addiction picks up right where it left off.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction 

Alcoholism is a serious illness that not only hurts the user but those around them as well. Alcohol addiction can take over your life if not treated sooner rather than later. But no matter what stage you’re in, recovery is possible.

Recognizing the signs of alcohol addiction allows you to put a stop to overdrinking. The sooner you’re aware, the sooner you can take action. While there is no exact formula for determining whether or not someone is an alcoholic, symptoms often co-occur. 

Many alcoholics experience similar symptoms. Although every patient’s challenge is unique, there are similarities within all kinds of addictions.

Some of the more common symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss
  • Exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings
  • Making excuses for drinking such as to unwind, deal with stress or feel normal
  • Choosing to drink over more important obligations
  • Becoming isolated and distant from those close to you
  • Drinking alone or in isolation
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Changing appearance and group of friends you hang out with

No matter how minor a drinking problem may appear, alcohol abuse symptoms should not be ignored. Choosing to detox from alcohol is a choice that can turn your entire life around. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time for you to enroll in treatment and begin the detox process.

Recognizing Alcohol Addiction

Determining alcoholism starts with understanding what kinds of questions to ask. There are multiple screening tools we use to assess our patients. One tool is known by the acronym CAGE – a questionnaire that measures the severity of an alcohol problem. If you answer “yes” to two or more CAGE questions, we strongly recommend that you call us today. We’re here to help. 

The four CAGE screening questions are:

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?

Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s sometimes hard to see the situation from a non-biased perspective. We urge you to look at things from an honest angle. Ask yourself these questions and answer them truthfully.

There is no shame in going through obstacles. You have the power to change your life and use your pain to catapult you forward. To begin the recovery process, medical detox is necessary. Keep reading to learn more about how a detox from alcohol could help. 

So, How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

For anyone serious about getting sober, medical detox is a necessary and crucial first step of the recovery process. Self-detox is not only dangerous but can also have fatal consequences. With professional assistance, it’s considered a safe and effective method of treatment.

The amount of time it will take to complete medical detox from alcohol will vary from person to person. Generally, this process takes about 7-10 days. However, several factors will help determine the exact time frame, as well as the severity of the withdrawal symptoms each faces. 

Some of these include:

  • How long the individual been drinking
  • Whether alcohol consumption is used in conjunction with any other addictive substances
  • How much alcohol the individual consume daily
  • Whether the individual has co-occurring mental health symptoms that could have resulted from the long-term abuse or a co-occurring mental disorder

Medically-assisted detox for alcohol addiction is the first step in ridding your body of toxins and starting fresh. Thinking about how long it will take to detox from alcohol may be intimidating. However, we assure you that the long-term reward of sticking it through is beyond worth it. The recovery journey has its ups and downs. But you’re strong enough to get through it.

The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as two hours after your last drink. Within 24 to 48 hours upon cessation, symptoms generally start to appear. This is when you may experience the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, sweating, tremors, and fever.

The severity of side effects will be dependent upon each person’s unique addiction. How long detox takes will also be dependent upon the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For instance, delirium tremens is one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Delirium tremens can become prevalent within the first 48 hours after your last drink. It involves confusion, severe shaking, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Although delirium tremens is rare, it can be life-threatening. 

Heavy drinkers who suddenly stop drinking may experience any range of dangerous symptoms. This is why it’s crucial to undergo medically-assisted detox in a monitored and safe setting.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms generally follow this timeline:

Six to 12 hours post-ingestion

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting

12 to 24 hours post-ingestion

  • Disorientation
  • Hand tremors
  • Seizures

48 hours post-ingestion

  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Tactile, auditory, and visual hallucinations
  • High fever and excessive sweating
  • Delirium tremens

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

As mentioned above, detox is necessary. The type of detox program or level of intensity needed for effective alcohol withdrawal management will depend on the severity of the addiction. The magnitude of alcohol dependence and the risk of experiencing a complicated withdrawal. 

Our dedicated medical staff will evaluate you before any kind of treatment. We’ll make sure your current state is accounted for, and each step forward is as comfortable as possible. The specific detox method will vary based on the patient. However, you generally have the option of detoxing in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Benzodiazepines or other sedative medications may help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Medication is not a cure for alcoholism. However, several medications have been proven to aid in recovery when used as part of an overall plan involving counseling, group therapy, and social support.

Outpatient Detox for Alcohol

Outpatient detox for alcohol withdrawal may be the right level of care for people at low risk for severe withdrawal. Withdrawal progress is monitored through frequent check-up appointments within our facility. If additional care is needed, we can modify the treatment accordingly.

Inpatient Detox

Undergoing the detox process while residing at our facility is generally the best option. This is ideal for those struggling with a severe addiction to alcohol. Inpatient detoxification also provides individuals with a trigger-free setting. In other words, stimuli that might increase the risk of relapse is removed from their environment.

Help is Available for You or a Loved One

Now that we’ve answered the question, “how long does it take to detox from alcohol,” it’s time to explore your options. For successful and long-lasting results, detox should be immediately followed by extensive addiction treatment at a reputable rehab facility, such as 1st Step Behavioral Health.

Treatment is about using a wealth of resources to treat alcohol addiction. We tailor our treatment programs to meet each patient’s needs. From therapy to medical care to massage services, your comfort and security are our priority.

We’ll give you the tools to continue long-lasting sobriety after your treatment with us. We’re not just a treatment facility; we’re a family that’s in this together.

Our treatment programs include:

  • Personally assigned medical physician and therapist
  • Individual, group, and family therapies
  • Long-term care lasting up to one year
  • Recovery coaches on staff to assist patients with job/recovery skills
  • 2-bedroom, fully furnished apartments that offer the convenience and comforts of home
  • Holistic and recreational therapies such as yoga, art, music, wellness, massage, and acupuncture therapies

Beat Alcohol Addiction with Detox

There is no reason to let alcohol addiction control your life any longer. At 1st Step Behavioral in Pompano Beach, Florida, you can overcome your active addiction and learn how to successfully maintain your sobriety for many years to come. 

Our team of expert physicians, psychologists, and other medical professionals are eager to help you make this life change. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 or contact us here for more information about available programs.

home detox or medical detox

How to Decide Between At-Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

When it comes to treating substance abuse, many people find it hard to figure out what to do about the problem in their lives. Where do you start? Who do you talk to? And will anyone even be able to help?

These questions often plague the minds of those who are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. It’s not always easy to find the answers. So, many individuals become so overwhelmed that they simply decide not to get treatment at all.

In lieu of getting professional treatment, some people choose to detox at home. They opt for the “cold turkey” approach, which involves suddenly and immediately ending substance use in order to treat their addiction. Or, they work to wean themselves from the use of alcohol or drugs by gradually lowering the amount they use.

But, the truth is that detoxing at home is one of the most dangerous approaches to ending substance abuse. People who choose to quit cold turkey or detox at home are often placing themselves in harm’s way.

So, when trying to decide between at-home detox vs. medical detox, it’s best to choose the latter. Let’s talk about why this is the case.

The Truth About Detoxing at Home

Some individuals choose to detox from drug or alcohol use at home because they’re simply not sure how to find professional help. It seems as though there are countless rehab centers out there, each offering people a reason to choose them over the others. It can become very overwhelming for those who are searching for hope.

All people really want is freedom from addiction. But, instead, they feel bombarded by an addiction information overload. So, in order to end addiction without having to sort through the tidal wave of recovery center options, people may opt for the hassle-free option of detoxing at home.

Others may be discouraged by the price of addiction treatment. It can sometimes be challenging to come up with the money to get professional treatment for alcohol or drug abuse. So, some individuals just feel stuck. They’re unsure about whether or not they can afford treatment. As a result, they choose the at-home detox route, which, in a sense, is free.

In the long run, however, many individuals find that detoxing at home is far from free. It may not cost as much as professional detox programs. But, it’s definitely physically and emotionally costly.

While it’s certainly an understandable choice, it’s not the best choice. Those who choose to detox at home may suffer severely as a result of the withdrawal symptoms people experience when ending substance abuse.

Of course, the severity of withdrawal often depends on the type of substance and the length of use. Still, in any case, detoxing without professional and medical supervision can lead to some major problems as most individuals experience very serious physical and psychological effects.

Withdrawal: The Challenges of Ending Substance Use

Again, the withdrawal symptoms people experience when ending substance abuse will depend heavily on the type of substance they were using and how long they were using it. But, generally speaking, the symptoms of withdrawal can be very difficult to deal with.

Some of the common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Dehydration
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscular pain and stiffness
  • Changes in appetite (increase or decrease)

Sometimes, people may suffer from seizures, heart palpitations, and have problems with digestion. Withdrawal also leads to cognitive problems, including concentration difficulties.

In some cases, people may even experience symptoms of psychosis. Some may deal with hallucinations, paranoia, and delusional thinking. Individuals who are in withdrawal may also struggle with suicidal thoughts.

These symptoms are not just uncomfortable. They can cause people to become overwhelmed and exhausted. Unfortunately, these emotions often lead to self-harm and even suicide in severe cases of withdrawal. So, it only seems best to make sure that individuals who want to end substance abuse do so under the supervision of medical professionals who can help guide them through the withdrawal process.

Why Medical Detoxification is Best

As we mentioned earlier, withdrawal can be very intense and difficult to deal with. Many people have a hard time working through this phase of their recovery. As a result of the challenges that come up during withdrawal, some individuals feel that they have no choice but to relapse and use their drug of choice again in order to feel “normal” again.

But, they do have another choice. And this choice provides hope to even the hardest cases of addiction. Medical detox programs are designed to help people get through the detoxification process with comfort and safety.

A medical detox program is a type of detox that involves professionally administered medications that can help to improve the withdrawal process and make the journey to recovery much more comfortable.

Some medications in medical detox programs help to block cravings for drugs and alcohol. Some help to block the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. As a result of these effects, people who are working to end substance abuse in their lives can focus on getting better without the distractions of pain and discomfort.

Medically Detoxing at 1st Step Behavioral Health

There is no “one size fits all” type of treatment for addiction. Each person is different and has specific needs while in recovery. So there are various steps in a medical detox program. This allows professionals to find out exactly what individuals need.

First, individuals go through an evaluation process during which the medical team will determine how much medication is needed. Then, there’s the stabilization process, which introduces therapies and medication prescriptions to help those in treatment. The professional medical team then helps to prepare the client for detox. Next, the individual is on his or her way to total recovery from addiction!

After the detox process is over, therapy and counseling can help to equip them with the strategies they need in order to maintain the freedom they’ve worked so hard to gain!

If you or someone you know needs help overcoming a drug or alcohol use problem, please reach out to us here at 1st Step Behavioral Health. Let us help to bring addiction to an end for good! Call us at (866) 319-6126.



https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/7-medical-detoxification https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/drug-and-alcohol-detox/

how long does it take to detox from alcohol

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol? 9 Things You Should Expect

Who could have known that that first time you got drunk, back in high school at some party, would be the start of a new addiction? Now, you may jokingly wonder ‘how long does it take to detox from alcohol,’ when faced with the uncomfortable reality of being alcohol dependent. 

You remember the exciting stories of keg stands, a crowd cheering you on. But maybe you didn’t realize at first that alcohol was what made you more outgoing, confident, and fun. Slowly, you felt the need to drink, or at least hold one in your hand, to feel comfortable at social events.

Don’t feel bad about it, though. More than 15 million people over the age of 18 struggle with alcohol use disorder.

People develop addictions for any number of factors outside of their control. The way they were raised, the societal pressures they face, a chemical imbalance in their brain. It makes sense that people develop an addiction to things that make them feel good, and they shouldn’t be blamed for that.

But as humans with conscious minds, we can control the way we manage our biological impulses and learned habits. Alcohol addiction destroys relationships, the body, and the mind.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when struggling with something as overwhelmingly difficult as detoxing from alcohol.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol raises dopamine levels in your brain. This rush of ‘the good stuff’ is what makes us feel happy, satisfied, or pleased by a situation. Reading something really funny, watching your favorite team score a goal, getting a notification on Instagram. 

When the event that produced the pleasant feeling is over, (i.e. your liver metabolizes that shot of whiskey and processes alcohol out of your bloodstream) those good feelings go away. So you take another drink and keep feeling good.

As you become more and more addicted to alcohol for that good feeling (or eventually, a feeling of normalcy), your brain stops making the chemicals it gets bombarded with every time you drink. This forms a dependence. 

Repeated use of alcohol for the release of dopamine weakens your brain’s ability to produce it on its own. The longer you rely on this addiction, the longer and more severe your detox from alcohol will be.

Withdrawal symptoms will be unique to you, but generally, last one or two weeks after your last drink. 

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

As your body is detoxing from alcohol, you will experience some combination of withdrawal symptoms. Some are considered minor, like nausea, headaches, anxiety, increased perspiration, and insomnia. While others are more severe, like hallucinations, disorientation, and seizures.

The most severe withdrawal symptom is delirium tremens. The sudden removal of large amounts of depressants to your central nervous system causes the rapid onset of numerous symptoms at once. This includes hallucinations, and life-threatening fever and seizures. 

Detox Timeline

2-12 hours after your last drink – Minor symptoms begin. You may feel nausea, headaches, and stomach pain. You may become snappy and irritable with others. Without alcohol, you may feel an anxiety that keeps you up at night. 

10-30 hours after your last drink – Withdrawal symptoms start to reach peak discomfort. You might become confused and start to shake uncontrollably. Your blood pressure and temperature will rise as alcohol is purged from the body.

40 – 72 hours after your last drink – Symptoms may start to lessen. The anxiety and hallucinations caused by withdrawal may induce panic attacks. Symptoms come and go, and come back again, which may be frustrating and increase agitation.

72 hours – 1 week after your last drink – You are most at risk for delirium tremens. The most uncomfortable symptoms begin to subside. 

More than a week after your last drink – Only a few minor symptoms remain. In some cases, you may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome. This prolongs feelings of anxiety, lack of energy, insomnia, and delayed reaction time for as long as one year after your last drink. 

Why Go to A Detox Center?

Even if you can trust yourself to slowly wean off alcohol, or believe that you can cut yourself off cold turkey, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are often too much for individuals or untrained persons to handle.

Detox centers provide stability in your path to recovery. A regular sleep schedule, proper diet, therapy and counseling, and proper medication are the many moving parts required to overcome this life-consuming addiction.

If you have a serious drinking problem, you should not suddenly stop all consumption without medical supervision. It can be fatal. Your brain and nervous system will struggle to bounce back from prolonged dependence without supplemental medication. 

Anyone with medical conditions, such as heart disease or lung disease, should seek medical assistance before detoxing from alcohol. Medical professionals will ensure your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored to avoid more severe conditions.

Symptoms can change rapidly. Independent recovery may be derailed by unexpected and overwhelming symptoms, leading to relapse. Detox programs offer medication to manage your pain, so you can stick with your recovery plan to the end.

Detox Medications

To combat cravings and chemical imbalances caused by alcohol dependents, the following medications may be administered:

  • Campral – Works to reduces alcohol cravings without negatively reacting to alcohol consumption.
  • ReVia, Depade (pill) or Vivitrol (injection) – Stops ‘high’ feeling caused by alcohol consumption and reduces cravings.
  • Librium and Valium – Benzos used to calm anxiety, insomnia, and muscle spasms brought on by withdrawal.

Find Professionals Who Know How Hard It Can Get

The first step to recovering from alcohol addiction is flushing the system. The first step is always the hardest.

Addiction professionals at 1st Step Behavioral Health understand how hard it can be to detox from alcohol, and have the resources to help you get through it. 

Here you can ask questions like ‘how long does it take to detox from alcohol,’ or ‘how can I fight my addiction,’ and get answers specifically tailored to you. Everyone has a unique set of experiences, so to fight your addiction, you need to understand your individual needs.

Request more information on how 1st Step’s detox center can help you or a loved one recover from alcohol addiction here

It Takes A Village

One of the most concerning aspects that South Florida rehab centers have concern for with people who go through treatment is the long term ability for a person to remain free from their substance use disorder. While south Florida detox, and by extension residential detox, focus on the short term, rehab differs in that it’s goals aren’t for the now, but for the future. For many people coming into treatment, they’ve often created a situation which leaves them isolated, void of a social network outside of that which serves the addiction they’ve developed. Finding a new network that encourages sobriety and helps a recovering addict focus on their goals instead of abusing a substance is a challenge, and oftentimes the biggest challenge.

An old proverb states, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, but in reality, it takes a village to obtain results which benefit the individual as well as the group or community they belong to. Forming bonds that show by example how to handle problems and passes education and encouragement in a bidirectional motion is one of the most important tools a recovering addict can ever receive.

While in treatment, therapies of all kinds, including mental health and emotional well being, in addition to activity therapies such as physical activity and creative activities, are deployed to assist with helping a patient find new outlets to cope with their condition, there is something unique about a community and belonging which helps to reinforce sobriety. While in most cases, it’s rather ridiculous to rely on bronze age thinking for modern problems in modern times with modern research, it’s well known that community has insanely strong influences on an individual’s behavior. We no longer have villages in modern America an idea, but a community is a proper stand-in for the saying; “It takes a community to help an addict stay sober and focused”.

There are several aspects of community building, but often times, the isolation involved and the previous community that reinforces drug use are heavy barriers to overcome. It becomes less a problem of building a community but rather replacing the one that has supported the negative habits and substance use disorder instead. One could think of it as replacing caffeinated coffee with decaf; the surface level observation is very similar, it’s what you can’t see that makes the impact.

If people were serious about combating addiction nationwide, there would be far less judgement of people suffering from substance use disorders and far more reaching out and building relationships and making public invites to more productive behaviors in groups. It may seem silly, but even something as simple as a group that goes to watch movies once or twice a week can do so much for someone, giving them a place to feel they belong and replacing their solitary activity of drug use with a community activity that can take the place of the unhealthy ones that develop from addiction.

If you are suffering from substance use disorder, please call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 to discuss a personally tailored treatment option that works for you.

ADHD And Addiction

According to various studies backed up by south Florida rehab centers, there is an estimated 25 percent overlap within adolescents that have substance use disorder and also fit the criteria for ADHD diagnosis. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a chronic condition that includes a combination of persistent problems such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Many teens who experience ADHD also may struggle with low self esteem, poor school performance and troubled relationships. There is not any specific ‘cure’ for ADHD but treatment will involve medications and behavioral therapy and intervention, very similar to treatment options for many substance use disorders.

ADHD also comes with it a difficulty of ‘staying on task’, or even simply being still for extended periods of time. People with ADHD also find themselves interrupting people when they talk and being forgetful about completing activities they start.

One thing the research didn’t uncover, though, is that there’s no real answer as to why there is such an overlap between these two conditions. According to Dr. Sarah Johnson, MD, medical director at Landmark Recovery, people with ADHD have issues regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. People who have severe addiction often are found to have issues associated with dopamine releases in the brain. Addiction neurobiological research, which is relatively young compared to other medical research, has already identified connections between dopamine and behavior.

Many adults have been found to be carrying with them ADHD but haven’t been properly diagnosed. Just as with addiction, the earlier the identification of the symptoms, the higher the likelihood of success when dealing with the symptoms in the person. Behaviors end up becoming habits, which in turn make reversing the behavior far more difficult as the condition is allowed to progress and be untreated.

Treatment centers that deal with substance use disorders are moving more and more toward a holistic approach, in which conditions like ADHD, as well as depression and other mental health conditions are simultaneously treated as many times, the addiction is triggered by these undiagnosed mental illnesses. However, if someone with one of these related mental health issues develops a chronic addiction, simply treating that condition without addressing the addiction is guaranteed to actually handle the addictions themselves. When substances also introduce a chemical dependency, such as alcohol and opiates like heroin, the problems can become complicated by withdrawal symptoms. In fact, many people who find themselves addicted to opioids like oxycontin and heroin will attest that many times, they simply continue using to avoid the pains and discomfort of withdrawal itself and not for any ‘high’ that comes from using the substance itself.

As research continues to uncover more about how the human mind works at a neurobiological level as well as how habits are formed and induced by brain activity, treatments for conditions like ADHD and how they tie into substance use disorder will become more effective.

Substance abuse disorder is a chronic mental illness that affects thousands in south Florida and requires drug rehab. 1st Step offers treatment options in south Florida including detox. For more information, call (866) 319-6126.

Side Effects of a Codeine Addiction

Anyone in Florida and across the United States who has had bronchitis a time or two probably has had a cough medicine cut with codeine prescribed to them by their doctor. It’s a common prescription. Codeine is an opioid physicians prescribe for severe respiratory problems as a cough suppressant, as a medium to mild pain reliever, and to treat diarrhea. Codeine is quite often combined with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin as a way to increase the potency of the drug without having to up the dosage of the opioid in the pill or cough medicine being taken by a patient.  


How Dangerous is Codeine, Really?

Not all doctors do a great job of explaining to the patient just how dangerous of a drug codeine can be when it is taken outside of the doctors parameters, but even if they do make the point clearly and bluntly to their patients, the pull of an opioid is strong, even if it is a less potent opioid. And much like the way a prescription of hydrocodone can shove people along to a new addiction to heroin, a person’s tolerance grows at expedient rates on any opioid.

Someone experimenting with codeine can quickly find themself unsatisfied with the way codeine effects them and move on to Oxycontin or Vicodin. They may even skip that step and go straight to heroin. Opioids are a dangerous drug partly because of chain they make, one to another, passing an addict up the chain of potency from codeine to oxycodone, methadone to heroin to fentanyl. Cocaine’s effects peak earlly and the drug is relatively fast acting. Some of the side effects someone will experience are as follows:


Codeine Side Effects

Some of the side effects of Codeine are:

  • Itching
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry Mouth
  • Miosis
  • Orthostatic Hypotension
  • Urinary Retention
  • Euphoria
  • Dysphoria
  • Coughing

Rare side effects:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Seizure
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Respiratory depression


Possible long-term effects of codeine usage

  • A lesser libido or sex drive
  • Persistent apathy
  • Memory Loss


Treatment for Opioid Addicts including Heroin Drug Treatment in Broward County

Anyone who has gone down the road of getting hooked on codeine cough syrup, starting to take vicodin, or even more dangerous, heroin, knows that opioid addiction is impossible to quit on your own. The only help that can be had for this chronic disease is medical and therapeutic treatment through Detox. Broward County Drug Rehab through 1st Step offers patients top quality care and comprehensive treatment for opioid addiction of all kinds. Call us right away to learn more and get on the path back to a life of sobriety..


Drug and Alcohol Addiction, A Common Disease In The United States

An addiction to drugs or alcohol grips a good amount of this country, and this widespread problem spans all the way down to South Florida. Many of the community suffer from this chronic disease. Drugs and alcohol are addictive substances that alter the user’s brain in a way that eventually causes a chemical dependence and a psychological addiction, clutching the person who is struggling from the addiction to a drugs or alcohol in its metaphorical grasp, making it nearly impossible to get free. Intoxicating and addictive substances can range from substances that are prescribed by a doctor to treat a legitimate medical ailment, all the way to a drug made and bought on the street. Some addictive substances are illicit like meth, and others are perfectly legal, like alcohol. Intoxicating substances are administered or taken in many different ways. Some of the means of taking a drug or even consuming alcohol make the substance even more dangerous.


Some common ways drugs are taken:

  • Snorted in the form of a powder
  • Injected into the vein of a user or injected into their muscle
  • Eaten in food that is infused with the substance, such as with a marijuana “edible”
  • Taken as a pill – tablet or capsule
  • Consumed in some kind of liquid form – mixed with water or alcohol
  • Smoked in a pipe, bong, or rolled joint – a cigarette like item
  • Used through subdermal patches on the skin, like a fentanyl patch
  • Through suppositories – absorbed by the anal mucous membrane


These addictive drugs or alcohol attach themselves to the pleasure centers of the brain, intoxicating the user and often offering them a sense of happiness that they fail to find in their everyday life. A person suffering from a drug or alcohol chemical dependency feels not only a want to use the intoxicant, but a desperate need to. This is because eventually the person using the drug or consuming the alcohol experiences a change in brain chemistry that makes it imperative that the addict use in order for their body to continue functioning. The body has adapted to the frequent and persistent use of the drug. The only hope for someone struggling with this chronic disease is to seek comprehensive treatment at an addiction recovery facility.


There’s Hope in South Florida Detox and Drug Rehab

1st Step Behavioral Health offers a tiered approach to substance abuse treatment. Florida has a deep need for drug and alcohol abuse treatment that takes into consideration the unique qualities of each individual patient. At 1st Step you’ll find a caring staff of licensed medical professionals and qualified therapists who can answer questions and who will help you build a recovery plan for you.

Contact us today to start laying down the foundation for that plan.