How to Detox Prescription Drugs. Detox Timeline & Treatment

To detox prescription drugs, you need healthcare professionals to assess, create a personalized plan, and monitor withdrawal symptoms. Seek professional guidance for a safe and effective process.

One part of the treatment process for Prescription Drug Addiction is to detox prescription drugs. Prescription Drug Addiction is an illness that affects a person’s behavior and brain; it is a significant problem in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that around 52 million Americans over the age of 12 have used prescription medicines for reasons other than medical therapy at some point in their lives. Many people can develop an addiction over time. Some people are unaware that they have progressed from recreational use to addiction, even though the consequences of addiction can be severe. [1]

Prescription medications are designed to address specific medical conditions or alleviate symptoms associated with diseases, such as asthma, cancer, depression, or anxiety. These drugs can significantly improve a person’s quality of life, transforming a life filled with discomfort and sickness into one filled with health and happiness. However, some individuals misuse prescription medications for non-medical purposes, using them as recreational drugs, which can lead to a range of adverse consequences.

Suddenly, discontinuing the use of prescription drugs can trigger withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the kind of prescription drug, these symptoms can range from mild to severe and can even become life-threatening. The detoxification process helps manage and, in some cases, bypass entirely some of the withdrawal symptoms of your chosen prescription drug. This is why a medically supervised detoxification process is recommended instead of quitting cold turkey.

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What are Prescription Drugs?

Prescription drugs, regulated for safety, demand a written prescription from licensed healthcare professionals. They treat various conditions with forms like tablets or injections. Following precise dosages and instructions is vital, and open communication about concerns or side effects with healthcare providers is crucial for optimal treatment.

Kinds of Prescription Drugs


Antidepressants are medications designed to alleviate symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. Examples include fluoxetine (Prozac), venlafaxine (Effexor), and like amitriptyline.


They are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that relax the body and relieve pain. For example, medications containing oxycodone, such as Oxycontin and Percocet, and those containing hydrocodone, such as Norco.


Stimulants are drugs that excite and stimulate any bodily function. Stimulants induce alertness, elevated mood, wakefulness, increased speech and motor activity, and decreased appetite. Examples include methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others), dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall XR, Mydayis), and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine).

Prescription Drug Detox Timeline

How long does it take to detox from prescription drugs? The detoxification process can differ significantly depending on the prescription drug, individual health factors, and the specific detox protocol. This table provides a general overview; each person’s timeline may vary.

Detox PhaseTimelineDescription
AssessmentVaries Depending on the Patient.Initial evaluation of the individual’s health and substance use history.
Medical StabilizationA few days.The initial focus is on stabilizing the individual’s physical and mental health.
Acute DetoxificationThe initial focus is on stabilizing the individual’s physical and mental health.The initial focus is on stabilizing the individual’s physical and mental health
Post-Acute WithdrawalWeeks to monthsThe initial focus is on stabilizing the individual’s physical and mental health.
Rehabilitation and RecoveryMonths and beyondIncorporating therapeutic interventions for long-term recovery.

How to Detox Prescription Drugs?

Detoxifying from prescription drugs should be approached with caution, and it’s crucial to seek guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure a safe and effective process. Attempting to detox without proper supervision can lead to complications, especially for medications with a potential for dependence or withdrawal. Here’s a general guide on how detoxification from prescription drugs is typically managed:

Consult with a Healthcare Professional

Speak with your prescribing doctor or another healthcare professional to discuss your intention to detox. Provide a complete medical history, including other medications, supplements, or health conditions.

Medical Assessment

The healthcare professional will assess your overall health, the specific drug involved, and the severity of your dependence. Diagnostic tests may be conducted to evaluate organ function and other relevant parameters.

Create a Detox Plan

The healthcare provider will create a personalized detoxification plan tailored to your needs. This plan may involve gradual tapering of the medication or, in some cases, switching to a less potent alternative.

Medical Supervision

Detoxification is typically conducted under close medical supervision to monitor for potential complications or severe withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Psychological Support

Emotional and psychological support is an essential component of detoxification. Counseling or therapy may be recommended to address the underlying issues related to substance use.

Post-Detox Follow-up

After the detoxification process, follow-up care is vital to monitor ongoing recovery and address any lingering issues. Healthcare providers may recommend ongoing support, such as counseling or participation in support groups.

Lifestyle Changes

A healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management, can contribute to long-term recovery.

Detoxification is just the initial phase of addressing substance dependence. Comprehensive treatment may involve rehabilitation, counseling, and ongoing support to prevent relapse and promote sustained recovery. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice based on your situation and the prescription drug involved. Never attempt to detox on your own without proper medical supervision.

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Opiate Withdrawal

Typically, opiates are prescribed to treat pain.  Unfortunately, opiates have a long history of being misused for recreational purposes.  Opiates are available in a couple of different forms: one form is as a prescription pharmaceutical, like morphine or codeine, and the other form is as an illegal street drug, like heroin.

When opiates are taken, the drugs enter the brain through the bloodstream, creating false endorphins and dopamines.  This means that the drug gives the person the high that makes a rush of happiness and euphoria.  On the other hand, opiate withdrawal is far from euphoric.

Symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Insomnia.
  • Excessive Sweating.
  • Anxiety.
  • Muscle Aches and Spasms.
  • Paranoia.
  • Nausea.
  • Aggression.
  • Abdominal Cramping.
  • Rapid Heartbeat.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Dilated Pupils.
  • Irritability.
  • Inability to concentrate.

Antidepressant Withdrawal

Antidepressants are one of the most commonly used prescription drugs. They are often misused because of their mood-altering effects.
Antidepressants are one of the most commonly used prescription drugs. They are often misused because of their mood-altering effects.

Another common prescription drug that can often get misused is antidepressants, which are the most commonly used prescription drug among clients.  While antidepressants are usually used to treat medically diagnosed depression, these medications are misused for the feeling of euphoria they can provide.  For the most part, antidepressant misuse occurs in young adults with a substance use disorder or a mental illness.  Much like opiate withdrawal, antidepressant withdrawal comes with a handful of potential side effects. 

Symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal are:

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Mood swings.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Tremors.
  • Loss of coordination.
  • Headache.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Nightmares.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Restlessness.
  • Muscle Spasms.

Stimulant Withdrawal

Stimulants are most commonly prescribed to treat hyperactivity disorders. The impact of the drug on the nervous system makes the body release natural chemicals, such as dopamine, to increase mental alertness.  Stimulants have become popular among younger people because they are used as study drugs to enhance academic performance.  When a person stops misusing stimulants, they can experience symptoms like:

  • Difficulty Sleeping.
  • Depression.
  • Intense Dreaming.
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies.
  • Anxiety.
  • Aggression.
  • Tremors.
  • Stomach pains.
  • Sweating.
  • Fever.
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Why Undergo Prescription Drug Detoxification?

Detoxification, also known as detox, is a fundamental process driven by a plethora of compelling variables connected with substance use and dependence. One of the main objectives is to rid the body of accumulated toxins and dangerous materials so that physical health and functionality can be restored. This critical procedure is also essential for effectively handling the complex web of withdrawal symptoms that coincide with stopping drug use. Under the watchful eye of healthcare specialists, detox enables a more controlled and acceptable experience, putting safety first in the face of significant health hazards associated with the rapid stopping of certain substances.

Aside from its immediate health benefits, detox serves as an essential starting point for subsequent treatment, establishing the foundation for thorough rehabilitation and therapy. It serves as a catalyst for interrupting the cycle of reliance, allowing people to retake control over their bodies and thoughts. Detox promotes better mental health and improves overall quality of life by providing mental clarity and emotional stability. Choosing to begin on a detox journey demonstrates a significant commitment to personal empowerment. It’s the start of your journey toward a better, substance-free existence within the larger tapestry of addiction recovery.

A Comparison of Prescription Drug Detox Methods

The choice of detox methodology depends on individual factors, including the specific prescription drug, the severity of dependence, and the person’s overall health. Personalized plans incorporating a combination of these approaches often yield the best outcomes for prescription drug detoxification.

Gradual TaperingSlow reduction of drug dosage over timeMinimizes withdrawal symptoms, gradual adjustment
Medically Supervised DetoxDetox conducted under close medical supervisionEnsures safety, immediate intervention, and support
Substitution TherapyReplacement of the original drug with a less potent or longer-acting medicationManages withdrawal symptoms more smoothly
Supportive MedicationsAdministering medications to alleviate specific withdrawal symptomsEases discomfort, addresses anxiety, insomnia, etc.
Inpatient RehabilitationDetox within a specialized facility with 24/7 medical supervisionProvides a controlled environment, constant support
Outpatient Detox ProgramsDetox conducted at home with regular medical check-upsOffers flexibility with medical oversight
Counseling and TherapyIncorporating behavioral therapy and counseling during detoxAddresses psychological aspects, provides coping strategies
Holistic ApproachesIntegrating alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, or acupunctureComplements medical interventions, focuses on overall well-being
Aftercare PlanningDeveloping a plan for ongoing support and treatment post-detoxEnsures a smooth transition into rehabilitation

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Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction. Find the Support You Need with We Level Up Prescription Drug Detox Centers

Find detoxification treatments and therapies that work. Contact We Level Up Texas addiction rehab center for options and resources.
Find detoxification treatments and therapies that work. Contact We Level Up Texas addiction rehab center for options and resources.

We Level Up offers tailored treatment plans for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis. During this critical period, our 24-hour synthetic drug detox ensures comfort. Following detox, inpatient treatment, including medication-assisted therapy, begins. Behavioral treatment, group therapy, family therapy, and alumni programs can help people heal over the long term.

After successfully finishing the prescription drug detox and inpatient treatment, our alumni programs become a cornerstone for lasting sobriety. These efforts include continuing help from medical professionals, support groups, and aid to families affected by synthetic drug usage through dedicated family therapy sessions.

Overcoming addiction is often a challenging process to go through alone. Many people experience relapses during withdrawal in an attempt to alleviate symptoms and satisfy cravings. However, you can manage withdrawal symptoms and successfully recover with detox and rehab therapy and a robust support system at the We Level Up treatment centers. If you require assistance with your rehab journey, contact a We Level Up treatment professional now. Your call is free and confidential.

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Prescription Drug Detox Infographics

The infographic below details the detoxification process, which can vary widely based on the prescription drug, individual health conditions, and the specific detox plan. The table offers a general timeline, but individual experiences may differ.

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Embed the below “10 Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms” Infographic to your Website. This infographic is provided by the We Level Up addiction treatment center team. To use the below infographics, you agree to link back and attribute its source and owner at

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Embed the below “How to Detox Prescription Drugs” Infographic to your Website. This infographic is provided by the We Level Up addiction treatment center team. To use the below infographics, you agree to link back and attribute its source and owner at

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Prescription Drug Abuse & Prescription Medication Addiction Recovery & Sobriety Story

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Search We Level Up Detox Prescription Drugs, Mental Health Topics & Resources
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