What to Expect During Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Detox

By Nashville Detox

Choosing to get sober often means going through a brief period of time when you experience challenging detox symptoms. Experiencing symptoms such as nausea, shaking, and insomnia can cause you to fall back on your commitment to stop using drugs or alcohol. In some cases, severe symptoms can pose a risk to your health and safety. The good news is that you don’t have to go through alcohol and drug detox alone.

Inpatient alcohol and drug detox programs give you around-the-clock support that helps you get through the most challenging part of your treatment. If you’ve never been in inpatient care before, then you likely have many questions. Knowing what to expect during inpatient alcohol and drug detox helps you prepare for your stay mentally. Although your treatment will be personalized to fit your needs, you can generally expect these experiences to be similar among anyone who begins inpatient care.

Start Your Detox Treatment

The intake stage of drug and alcohol treatment is the easiest. At this point, you’ve already decided that you need to get help with your addiction, and you’re ready to start your journey. During the intake process, an addiction treatment specialist will walk you through everything. Typically, this involves providing basic information regarding your health insurance provider along with general personal details such as your address and history of substance use. Your intake specialist will then discuss the best treatment course for your stay and provide you with more information about the accommodations.

Find Out What Happens When You Detox During an Evaluation

Your next step in the detox process is to undergo a medical evaluation. You’ll want to mention if you have any chronic health conditions or take medication. You can typically bring your prescriptions to care for your health conditions during your inpatient stay. A health evaluation is similar to a regular checkup. A physician will check your vital signs and look for potential issues that could affect your detox process.

This evaluation is also an excellent time to find out more about what happens when you detox. Your care provider can help you understand how your brain reacts to the sudden drop in chemicals that it has grown used to having in your body regularly. Everyone’s experience with drug detox is different. Still, your physician can help you understand what symptoms are likely to occur based upon the length of your addiction, frequency of use, and the drugs that you use regularly.

Detox Symptoms 

These are just a few of the most common physical and mental symptoms that you might experience during detox:

  • Shaking or shivering
  • Stomach pain and nausea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased temperature
  • Anxiety and irritability

Although the thought of feeling sick might make you anxious, it’s important to remember that these symptoms only last for a short time. Detox treatment makes them all more manageable.

Explore the Benefits of Medical Detox

After you’ve completed your medical evaluation, your physician might recommend using a medical detox plan. Your treatment team can use medicine that helps address your primary detox symptoms. This could include using medication to treat your anxiety or to ease your nausea. Since the idea of detox is to help eliminate chemicals from your body, medicine is typically only used to address your more uncomfortable symptoms. In most cases, you’ll be able to stop using the medication once your symptoms stop.

Get Help With Natural Alcohol Detox

Some people prefer to detox from alcohol and drugs naturally. Sharing your preference with your treatment team helps them to plan for keeping your symptoms under control. Natural alcohol detox includes using relaxation techniques to address your anxiety or taking your mind off of your physical symptoms. Inpatient care also includes providing you with nutritious meals and opportunities to engage in recreational activities so that you can restore balance to your body.

Prepare for Your Next Phase of Treatment

Inpatient detox is only the first step towards getting sober. After you complete your detox and are experiencing minimal to no symptoms, you’ll spend your final time in the program planning for what comes next. Your addiction support team will help you decide between an intensive outpatient program or another residential treatment center where you can continue to undergo therapy to get stronger in sobriety and prevent a relapse.

Getting Started 

Your general overall health and access to support impact your journey through the drug detox process. Having a physician and professional treatment team overseeing your comfort during detox reduces your anxiety and makes it possible to begin sobriety with greater confidence. As you work through each phase of your treatment, your support team will be there to offer you words of encouragement and strategies for eliminating drugs and alcohol from your system. This will prepare you physically and mentally to benefit from your next phase of addiction treatment services.


If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, please contact Nashville Detox Center to talk with our team of clinical experts who are standing by to help you get started on your road to recovery.

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