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What Really Happens During Detox

Definition of detox

Most people who have developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol will find that it is necessary to undergo detoxification before they begin an addiction recovery treatment program. Detoxing is the process of ridding the body of the presence of drugs and/or alcohol and getting them physically stable. During detox, the participant does not consume any drugs or alcohol as those dangerous substances are flushed from the body. This process is not particularly enjoyable and can have some intense side effects.

Withdrawal Syndrome

After someone abuses a substance such as drugs or alcohol for a long enough period of time, their body develops a tolerance to it. Eventually, that tolerance will transform into a dependency, meaning the body will not be able to function properly unless that substance is present. When the intake of the substance is ceased or reduced, the brain and body must quickly adapt. Those adaptations will often cause unpleasant side-effects in the way a person feels both physically and emotionally. Those side effects are known as withdrawal syndrome. More specifically, withdrawal syndrome refers to all of the physical, mental, and emotional problems that a person experiences after they have ceased abusing a substance.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms depend on a lot of things. The person’s age, gender, and race affect their symptoms, as do the specifics of their addiction—how long they have been abusing, which substance(s) they have been abusing, and more. However, there are some symptoms that are relatively consistent. They are most easily categorized by the substance that most commonly causes them. Here is a breakdown of some commonly abused substances and the withdrawal symptoms someone who is detoxing from them is likely to experience.


  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Malaise
  • And more


  • A runny nose
  • Aching muscles
  • Muscle cramps
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • And more


  • Anxiety
  • Intense emotions
  • Insomnia
  • Low energy
  • Lethargy
  • Intense cravings
  • And more

Get the Right Help

Detoxing is an uncomfortable, dangerous, and even life-threatening process that is always accompanied by intense cravings to continue abusing substances. Because of these and other reasons, it is never recommended that anybody attempt to detox by themselves. Getting help from a qualified and experienced detox facility is the only safe and effective way to detox.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction and wants to overcome it once and for all, the first step is to detox. Detoxing lays the foundation for the rest of their recovery journey. At ReAlign detox, we have years of experience helping our clients detox effectively, safely, and comfortably. We understand the withdrawal symptoms and other issues our clients will face as they are detoxing, and we are well-equipped to handle these challenges.